MTPR

Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

Pete Fromm Confronts His Tendency To 'Go Feral'

Jun 1, 2017

At twenty years old, Pete Fromm heard of a job babysitting salmon eggs, seven winter months alone in a tent in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Leaping at this chance to be a mountain man, with no experience in the wilds, he left the world. Thirteen years later, he published his beloved memoir of that winter, "Indian Creek Chronicles" —"Into the Wild" with a twist.

Ceanothus: Life From The Kiss Of Fire

May 30, 2017
Ceanothus velutinus, a plant with more common names than zip codes in California.
Walter Siegmund (CC-BY-SA-3)

Thirty-plus years ago when I was studying wildlife management at Oregon State University, we learned that Ceanothus was a highly preferred forage plant for deer and elk during the winter. I knew that Ceanothus was the genus name of a large group of western shrubs and I even knew enough to recognize a few of the individual species back then.

'Sound of Sun'

May 29, 2017

I can always ride a beautiful pony
and walk through the pines
as the bell on the horse's noseband rings
in the whisper of wind through trees.

Rich fragrances carry love home
like a bird carries hose hair to its nest.
Words of love build a house of love.
Let feeling go, way out in the heart. Fly in love.

Bumblebee (Bombus nevadensis).
Sesamehoneytart (CC-BY-SA-4)

I headed home with my head full of questions about what the bumblebee had been doing and why. Why would it ignore food in favor of bare and uninviting ground?

Autism
Nick Youngson http://nyphotographic.com (CC-BY-SA-3)

"The myth is that autistic kids sometimes don't feel emotion, and that is just not true at all. I can say from personal experience that autistic kids have emotions," says Logan, who joins Annie to clear up some misconceptions you might have about autism.

Learn about autism from Logan and his mom Lisa on this episode of "Kids Like You And Me."

Montana Repertory Theatre
Josh Burnham

The Montana Repertory Theater, a professional theater-in-residence at the University of Montana, will complete five performances of Harper Lee's landmark play "To Kill a Mockingbird" in Beijing and other locations in China.

Greg Johnson, artistic director of the Montana Repertory Theatre says, "We believe this is the first time an American theater company will bring this play to mainland China."

Johnson joins Michael Marsolek on this episode of "Front Row Center" to talk more about this international cultural exchange.

Pronghorn antelope at the National Bison Range.
Josh Burnham

Pronghorn are unusual because their twins are the only surviving winners in some pretty serious battles within the womb. Soon after fertilization, there can be more than seven developing embryos, which begin to elongate in what pronghorn biologists call the “thread-stage.” These thread-like embryos literally entangle and often knot together till they pull each other apart. Wenfei Tong explains in this episode of "Field Notes":

Bill Harley, singer, songwriter, author and storyteller.
Josh Burnham

Bill Harley — a two-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, author and storyteller — says storytelling is "absolutely central to what it is to be human." Harley's original songs and stories paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling, and family life.

Harley talks about storytelling, learning the cello, and his upcoming Missoula performance in this interview with MTPR's Michael Marsolek.

Paula McLain Brings Beryl Markum Back To Life

May 10, 2017

Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa.

Ponderosa Pine Bark: Rocky Mountain Aromatherapy

May 8, 2017
Flickr user Tim Jones (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The bark of any tree is more than just a good-looking façade. Even the most graceful aspen or stately ponderosa requires bark to protect its sensitive inner flesh from disease, parasites, and other environmental stresses, such as fire.  Much like our skin, this outer layer is a necessity to protect the biological functions occurring within its protective covering. 

Gangsters, Gamblers, Bootleggers, And Wrestlers

May 3, 2017

Late summer, 1921: Disgraced former lightweight champion Pepper Van Dean has spent the past two years on the carnival circuit performing the dangerous “hangman’s drop” and taking on all comers in nightly challenge bouts. But when he and his cardsharp wife, Moira, are marooned in the wilds of Oregon, Pepper accepts an offer to return to the world of wrestling as a trainer for Garfield Taft, a down-and-out African American heavyweight contender in search of a comeback and a shot at the world title.

The Story Behind Sagebrush, An Icon Of The West

May 1, 2017
Big sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata)
Matt Lavin (CC-BY-SA-2)

Break off a sprig of big sagebrush and inhale its aroma: the fragrance is clean, sharp and as cool as the smell of winter. Call it camphor blended with a touch of Christmas. Crush a few leaves between your fingertips and the scent is suddenly somewhat bitter and more pungent. Let the sprig dry for a few hours and you’ll find that the fragrance gradually loses its bite, softening to crisp evergreen with a hint of juicy berry.

Milk and Filth
cover dsign and image: Evan Lavender-Smith / University of Arizona Press

"All of us gun owners, pro-rights-pro-life, pro-choice…  all of us are being oppressed by this same coterie of rich people. But we’re oppressing each other through hate. And that’s great for that 1%. They’re thrilled when we’re fighting about trifling things because they have all our money now." — Carmen Giménez Smith

Paintbrush: The Prettiest Parasite On The Prairie?

Apr 25, 2017
Indian paintrbrush (Castilleja linariifolia) in Grand Teton National Park.
(PD)

Most people are familiar with the showy red or yellow flowers of the Indian paintbrushes. They can be found from the dry valley grasslands to lush alpine meadows. There are 21 species of the paintbrush just in Montana, including bristly paintbrush, the red-flowered species of dry slopes and scarlet paintbrush which is common in meadows and along streams.

'Muriel'

Apr 24, 2017

My mother held out for tangerines.
They were more willing than the orange,
Rare as China, still, and carried the
Thought, which was never spoken,
That life was no more than that.
Peeling them now in the darkened
Kitchen, the taste of them almost in
My mouth. A mouth forged
From the soft melding of two others
Slipping open like caves found
In darkness, moistening the sweet,
Heavy air that fell between them
With the thought that was never spoken.
My thumbs enter the skin
No differently than did those

Recipe: Russian-Style Cabbage Rolls

Apr 23, 2017
Steven Depolo (CC-BY-2.0)

When Food Guy Greg Patent went to the grocery store recently, the beets he intended to buy looked tired, so his eyes began wandering over other produce possibilities. They stopped at green cabbage - crisp, fresh and glistening with droplets of water. Cabbage rolls were what he'd make.

Steering With My Knees, poems by Paul Zarzyski
poetry, western author, bronc riding

During this program, Paul Zarzyski talks about and reads from his latest collections of poetry and prose, Steering With My Knees and 51: 30 Poems, 20 Lyrics, 1 Self-Interview, both published by Bangtail Press.

IWFF is an annual wildlife and conservation themed film festival held each April in Missoula, Montana. The event draws in hundreds of filmmakers, scientists, conservationists and enthusiasts.
IWFF

The International Wildlife Film Festival is about "honest, ethical film-making," says Executive Director Mike Steinberg. "It's hard to tell a story about any species without maybe considering the ramifications of the impact that humans are making on the planet ... And we're interested in presenting beautiful, theatrical films."

Steinberg joins Michael Marsolek to preview some of the highlights at this week's festival and talk about the festival's vision and 40 year history.

Burnt snags in western Montana
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-NC-2)

One of my favorite places to look in the forest is up. I love the way trees frame patches of sky, and how rays of sun slide over the branches and slant into pockets of darkness. On a recent stroll through the woods near Echo lake, I found myself, as usual, looking up. I saw mostly fir and birch trees, and I took their narrow trunks and modest heights as signs of a young forest. But it was a much older tree that caught my eye.

Join Threshold podcast's Amy Martin at the International Wildlife Film Festival for a behind-the-scenes look at one of this year's most exciting podcasts. Amy will discuss some of her decisions as producer and editor of her podcast about the past, present and future of bison and people.

'Stranded At Noon's'

Apr 17, 2017

Now that wet street smell
evening rush hour,
and I have a flat tire.
This morning
a dead dog in the ditch
a black roamer who would come in
and leave our yard sniffing.
Now this rain
this stranding at a gas station
this dead dog in the ditch day.

Two bearded house painters
push through the glass doors,
decide out loud not to pay taxes this year.
No forms in the post office
the day before they're due.

San Francisco-based author Sherril Jaffe talks about creative inspiration and reads from her award-winning collection, You Are Not Alone & Other Stories.

BOOK DESCRIPTION
A homeless woman takes up residence in a man's closet; a detective solves cases by feeling the emotions of the perpetrators; a woman happens upon a swingers' club in the back of a tire shop; a couple struggling with their pets' protracted endgame puts out a hit on them; and a man's mother, newly dead and buried, calls him to ask if she can visit.

'Field Notes': All About The Western Meadowlark

Apr 12, 2017
Western meadowlark, or "thunderchunk".Western meadowlark
Kevin Cole (CC-BY-2)

If you have been in open country anywhere in Montana, you have heard, and probably seen, thunderchunks. These birds are everywhere, proclaiming territories and singing from fence posts, sage brush, and telephone poles.

Recipe: Baked Apples With Barley-Chorizo Pilaf

Mar 29, 2017
Hansbenn (CC-BY-2.0)

Food Guy Jon Jackson tries out New York Times writer Melissa Clark's apple-barley "get together"  and declares it delicious.  Clark's risotto-esque recipe was inspired, but not limited by, the kosher cooking of her grandmother, Ella, who cooked "the greatest hits of Jewish cuisine.  She could simmer up a tender matzo ball and some succulent pot roast, but I doubt she ever met a barley pilaf, let alone thought of making one herself."

During this program, Chérie Newman talks with Jo Deurbrouck about her nonfiction book, Anything Worth Doing: A true story of adventure, friendship and tragedy on the last of the West's great rivers, which won a 2012 National Outdoor Book Award.

Anything Worth Doing tells the unforgettable true story of larger-than-life whitewater raft guides Clancy Reece and Jon Barker, two men who share a love of wild rivers and an unbending will to live life on their terms, no matter the cost.

'Field Notes': The Tale Of Montana's Strangest Frog

Mar 26, 2017
Ascaphus montanus tadpole.
(PD)

Several decades back while working as a biologist in Oregon, I was picking rocks off the bottom of a rushing stream. While investigating the underlying aquatic insects, I encountered an odd animal. It was what appeared to be a tadpole stuck to the bottom of the rock! Assuming all frogs and tadpoles occur in swamps, not in high elevation rushing streams, I wondered what it was doing there.

'Why Print Books'

Mar 20, 2017
Sabda Press

why print books he said
who needs books these days
everything's on the web

well i wouldn't know i said
i still enjoy turning pages
in a chair by the fire

still window-shop mainstreet
still relish a big screen matinee
buttered popcorn jujubes and milk duds

still sit and think about how
all last century carriages went horseless
and horses thank god are not extinct

still long for real letters in the post
the effort of someone's penmanship
the dear and sincerely yours

National Weather Service, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham

"It was a pretty impressive winter," says Trent Smith from the National Weather Service. "Kalispell and Missoula had some of the coldest average mean temperatures since the late 1970's. And then we ... got a significant amount of snow over this winter. And now that we've transitioned here these past few weeks we're really looking at the flooding issues."

Listen now as Smith recaps the weather highlights from this winter and gives a preview of what's in store for western Montana as we transition from winter to spring.

Threshold Episode 07: Oh Give Me A Home

Mar 16, 2017
Students in Gardiner, MT share their schoolyard with wildlife, including elk and bison.
Amy Martin

In the final episode of Threshold season 01, listeners will encounter pearls of wisdom from youth who have grown up with bison in their midst, and take a trip to the Oakland Zoo, which will soon receive buffalo from the Blackfeet tribe that will help jumpstart a conservation herd there. We also conjure the big ideas driving this first season - what's our future with this animal? How does that connect with our history? Can America ever have wild, free-roaming bison again?

Black Lawrence Press

In Children and Lunatics, the 21st century is new and fragile, the center barely holding. Wars, terrorists, and hurricanes are on TV.  A silent street person and a suburban mother share intimate spheres of love and grief and odd obsessions, although they barely meet.  As their paths converge, an eerie world hovers, casting shadows and flickering lights, igniting fears and dreams.

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