MTPR

The Write Question

Thursday 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM
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The Write Question is a weekly literary program that features authors from the western United States, including James Lee Burke, Maile Meloy, Thomas McGuane, Kim Barnes, Robert Wrigley, Jess Walter, Pam Houston, Barry Lopez, and hundreds of others.

The Write Question is produced by Chérie Newman. Executive producer, Michael Marsolek; studio engineer, Beth Anne Austein. The music in some programs was written and performed by John Floridis.

The Write Question podcast

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Writing To Preserve Nakoda Culture And Ancestors

Feb 22, 2017

Nakoda Sky People is a compilation of poems from several of Allen’s smaller collections, and also contains a lexicon of Nakoda words and phrases as well as pages of Native recipes and herbal medicines.

In an introductory essay to Nakoda Sky People, Minerva Allen states directly, “We keep our history and culture alive by telling of our ancestors and legends to young people.”  She tells of learning the Assiniboine way of life from her grandparents, and now she feels a duty to pass along what she knows. 

'The Sleigh and the Buffalo Robe'

Feb 20, 2017
Jeanne, Creative Commons

by Bonnie Buckley Maldonado

1935

The big sleigh pulled easy
by the draft horses,
Teddy and Baldy,
sailed over snow banks,
flashing diamonds
marking their way.

Sleigh bells rang out
our excitement,
parents up front,
children in the box behind.

An Excerpt From SHOT IN MONTANA, by Brian D'Ambrosio

Feb 17, 2017
Riverbend Publishing

Montana is a realistic feast for filmmakers. It is not surprising that Hollywood selected Glacier National Park as the mythical setting to depict heaven in the 1998 Robin Williams movie, “What Dreams May Come.” Filmmakers captured the surreal beauty of one of the world’s greatest treasures so vividly that critic Roger Ebert declared “What Dreams May Come” as “one of the great visual achievements in film history.”

Western Writers Write The West

Feb 15, 2017
University of Texas Press

What does it mean to be a westerner? With all the mythology that has grown up about the American West, is it even possible to describe "how it was, how it is, here, in the West--just that," in the words of Lynn Stegner? Starting with that challenge, Stegner and Russell Rowland invited several dozen members of the western literary tribe to write about living in the West and being a western writer in particular.

'Love Song'

Feb 13, 2017
Kumar

by Danell Jones

I'm overeasy for you —

After four hardboiled decades
you glaze my heart
icing dissolving on my tongue

Call me your sweet, your dariole, your bonfemme

You'll be my crown roast, my deep dish, my potatoes O'Brien

You'll be my always

my cupful

my round

my fill

Super Heroes Invade Sugarbeet Falls

Feb 10, 2017

Excerpt from Sugartbeet Falls, Volume 1:  Fantastic Friends, by Ryan A. Arca

Pops walked through the door carrying an ancient-looking chest that appeared to be older than both Xander’s grandpas combined. It looked like it weighed about half a ton, even in Pops’s long, strong arms.

“What the heck is that?” Xander asked, gaping.

The Battle To Control Nature In National Parks

Feb 8, 2017
Penguin Random House

The fascinating story of a trial that opened a window onto the century-long battle to control nature in the national parks.

When twenty-five-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. At immediate issue was whether the Park Service should have done more to keep bears away from humans, but what was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. 

'Bardo Thule'

Feb 6, 2017
Tim Pierce

by Dave Caserio

My brother, expecting, thinking, what?
That the wind would waft our father's ashes
Gently out of his hand, convey them
As though a squall of butterflies, as
White bits of the soul, as wafer
Upon the tongue, to dissolve

Combining Bone Fishing And Poetry Into Memoir

Feb 2, 2017
Milkweed Editions

Chris Dombrowski was playing a numbers game: two passions — poetry and fly-fishing; one child, with another on the way; and an income hovering perilously close to zero. Enter, at this particularly challenging moment, a miraculous email: Can’t go, it’s all paid for, just book a flight to Miami. Thus began a journey that would lead to the Bahamas and to David Pinder, a legendary bonefishing guide.

'Mutation'

Jan 30, 2017
Ruthanne Reid

by Elizabeth Cain

When you can walk a milefrom your front door in August
and eat wild strawberries,
something changes
inside.

Months later you thrive
when the snow tumbles
down the mountain
and the roads ice up
and you can't even see
your way to the barn.

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