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".

Threshold Episode 02: 'The Red Man Was Pressed'

Feb 9, 2017

How did we go from more than 50 million wild bison to just 23 free-roaming animals? And how does the decimation of the herds relate to the oppression of Native Americans? Find out on this episode of Threshold.

'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

'Food Guys' Recipe: Plum Torte

Feb 5, 2017
Frank Vincentz (CC-BY-2.0)

Food Guy Greg Patent writes:

Once in a while a recipe catches on like wildfire and sends people straight to the kitchen.  One such recipe is Plum Torte, a simple-to-make butter cake topped with Italian prune plums, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon baked in a spring-form pan.

Threshold Episode 01: For The Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People

Feb 2, 2017
Find out why hundreds of Yellowstone bison are slaughtered each year, on this episode of Threshold.
Amy Martin

Yellowstone National Park is where we saved the American bison from extinction. But each year, we slaughter hundreds of animals from this prized herd. Why? Find out now on the first episode of Threshold.

"Like many today, my troubled inheritance is the great wave of settler colonialism that washed from Europe over the Americas for the last five centuries.  I carry its invisible weight when I walk these Rocky Mountains and when I drive America’s freeways—all on stolen Indian land," writes "Reflections West" co-host, David Moore.

'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.

Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would give each Indian tribe in the state two free licenses per year to hunt buffalo.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana is known for tall mountains, deep valleys, and expansive forests, but most of the state is comprised of vast prairie landscapes that were once home to thundering herds of American bison. Scientists and historians believe that bison in North America numbered between 3 and 6 million prior to their government-ordered extermination in the late 1800s. Millions of bison were slaughtered simply for their tongues and hides.

Larry Miller (CC-BY-2.0)

"A decade ago I packed everything I owned into my little car and drove across the country to Montana, in part because of a few poems," writes essayist, poet and two-time winner of the Obsidian Prize for Poetry, Melissa Mylchreest.

The Poetry Of Life

Jan 25, 2017

In When We Were Birds, Joe Wilkins wrests his attention away from the griefs, deprivations, and high prairies of his Montana childhood and turns toward “the bean-rusted fields & gutted factories of the Midwest,” toward ordinary injustice and everyday sadness, toward the imminent birth of his son and his own confusions in taking up the mantle of fatherhood, toward faith and grace, legacy and luck.

'The Palace of Glass': Logan Reviews

Jan 24, 2017
Penguin Random House

The Palace of Glass is the third book in the The Forbidden Library trilogy, with possibly more to come, because I thought the series was very successful.

How To Get Rid Of Plantar Warts: Dr. Starbuck Explains

Jan 20, 2017
Luciano Martins

Hi!  I’m Dr. Jamison Starbuck, a naturopathic family physician.  I’m here today to give you health tips on what might seem like a creepy topic:  warts.

But not just any warts. I’m talking about plantar warts. Do you know where plantar warts grow?

On your feet!

The word “plantar”, spelled p-l-a-n-t-a-r, is an adjective describing things related to the sole of your foot.

The sole of your foot is like the sole of your shoe. It’s the bottom. And that’s where a plantar wart grows.

'Things We Hold On To'

Jan 20, 2017
National Geographic

by Mari Hall

When I was a child, my mom never understood why I seldom played with the toys she bought.

“Why don’t you play with that Bratz swimming pool I bought you?”

I always tried to make it seem like I played with it more than she thought, or that the times I did play with it, she wasn’t in the room. But that wasn’t true. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the toys my parents bought me; I was just often seen with a pencil in hand and paper sprawled out in front of me. In my stories, there were boxy figures, exaggerated clouds, smiling suns, and clashing colors of reds, blues and purples. My handwriting looked just like it does now, but larger and shakier. I would staple papers together to make small booklets and my mom would buy me bound journals from the dollar store. She always said that was one of the gifts I was the most excited about. At a young age, I wanted to be a writer.

'The Mad Apprentice': Logan Reviews

Jan 19, 2017
Penguin Random House/Puffin Books

The Mad Apprentice is the second book in the Forbidden Library series. It's predecessor, The Forbidden Library, was exciting and, in it, Alice was bound to a creature called "The Dragon" even though it was more of a huge black lizard, but apparently that still qualifies as a dragon.

Jennifer Savage moved to Montana from South Carolina fifteen years ago for what was to be a one-year job.  She has never left.  "An old friend recently told me, “I suppose you are as much Western as you are Southern, since you’ve lived so long in Montana.”

Flickr user, Stacy Spensely (CC-BY-2.0)

What makes cottage fries irresistible? It's the caramelization. Whenever you bake or sauté carrots, onions or potatoes in oil or butter, you're  caramelizing - or oxidizing - the vegetables' own sugars, giving them a sweet nutty flavor and brown color. Thin potato pancakes, cooked in olive oil, covered, for 5-8 minutes on each side over medium heat, are the crunchy, delicious outcome of caramelization.

'Field Notes': Seeing The Stories In Scat

Jan 16, 2017
Canine scat showing bones and fur.
Josh Burnham

Some years ago, I worked at a science school near Yellowstone National Park. I taught kids ecology. My favorite day was the tracks and signs day where ten fifth-grade companions joined me for a hike along a river bottom to piece together recent animal activity. We rarely saw any animals, but the place throbbed with life. We were a team of detectives, opening our senses to all the clues we could find.

6 Tips To Relieve A Common Cold: Dr. Starbuck Explains

Jan 14, 2017
Emman Nagle

Hi!  I’m Dr. Jamison Starbuck. I’m a naturopathic family physician and I’m here today to talk about ways to feel better when you’ve got a COLD.

Everybody knows what a cold is, right? Stuffy nose, watery eyes. Your head feels heavy and your throat is scratchy.  You just don’t feel good.

Kids Like You And Me: Type I Diabetes

Jan 13, 2017
PracticalCures.com

Type 1 diabetes is "a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy" (Mayo Clinic).  There's no cure for type 1 diabetes. So what does a kid with this disease do everyday to keep himself healthy? It's complicated! And how does his family help him? And how does he explain insulin injections to his friends? This week, Annie talks to Robby, and his dad, Bob, about what it's like to live with type I diabetes.  

Excerpt From LONG STORY SHORT, by Margot Leitman

Jan 13, 2017
Penguin Random House

From LONG STORY SHORT: The Only Storytelling Guide You'll Ever Need

Here’s the good news. All of these skills—from story structure to content, to what makes a story memorable, coherent, and engaging—can be learned.

Q:  Umm, okay . . . so what is storytelling exactly? I tell stories with my friends all the time. Isn’t that the same thing?

"Some days I’m the little girl I was 15 years ago: leather boots in tall grass, stroking the black silk neck of my horse," writes Chelsea Drake, assistant editor and writer at Missoula Valley Lifestyle Magazine. "She and I are like limbs of the same tree, growing up and into ourselves, finding a way through fire and ice.

'Field Notes': Learning To Read The Wildlife Stories Cast In Snow

Jan 10, 2017
Heron tracks in the snow.
Josh Burnham

Skiing across fresh fallen snow through a ponderosa forest, I pause at strange tracks with no apparent beginning or end, as if some animal had fallen from the sky. Wing tracings reveal a delicate brush of feathers. Within a heavy indentation where the bird must have struck, the snow is stained slightly red. The wingspread measures almost as long as my outstretched arms.

'After a Terrifying Nap'

Jan 9, 2017
Daniel Orth

by Michael Earl Craig

Gratitude came down
in the form of a golden
grasshopper.

Not golden like a bar of gold
(an ingot)
or golden like honey
or paint on a football helmet.
It was another kind of gold.

Bill Dickinson

Hi!  I’m Dr. Jamison Starbuck, a naturopathic family physician. I’m here today to give you health tips on two chilly topics: frostbite and frostnip.

The difference between frostbite and frostnip is like the difference between a dog bite and a dog nip. A bite hurts a lot and might leave a scar. A nip hurts, but it doesn’t usually cut the skin, and the pain goes away quickly.

Recipe: Moroccan Lamb, Apple and Squash Tagine

Jan 7, 2017
Flickr user, Farther Along (CC-BY-2.0)

Food Guy Greg Patent writes:

Lamb is great with apples, and the following recipe – a Moroccan-style tagine – takes full advantage of Montana's bumper crop. You’ll need about 2 pounds of a tart apple variety. A tagine can refer to a specific cooking vessel or to the dish itself, in this case a kind of stew.

Bar feet
Flickr user, Roger Jones (cc-by-2.0)

The Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre (RMBT), which is based in Missoula, will once again be hosting the prestigious Vienna International Ballet Experience (VIBE). The five-day international dance challenge will be held in conjunction with the the second annual Art of Diplomacy conference and film festival. Charlene Campbell Carey, the Artistic Director of RMBT and the VIBE U.S.A. Director, discusses how the arts deepen human connections.

The events will take place January 10-14, 2016.

National Park Service. (CC-BY-2.0)

"I fish with my children, the paddle knocking the canoe in an easy rhythm," writes Caroline Patterson, writer, teacher, and director of the Missoula Writing Collaborative.  "Phoebe is five, her taffy hair in braids; Tobin three, his round face expectant as he scans the pocked water. I take up the spinning rod, for we are trolling, the dreamer's way of fishing. Phoebe and I let out line, and I show her how to reel it in. I lie back to wait, studying the tamaracks, capped by the Swan Mountains.

Riverbend Publishing

In the summer of 1967, life seems almost dangerously idyllic to fifteen-year-old Grace Birch and her ten-year-old sister Franny. Their mother is Nora, a beautiful and educated woman who writes haunted love poems when she isn’t working as a law professor at the local university. Their father is David, an actor turned drama professor. As the children of independent, bohemian parents, Grace and Franny spend their days entertaining themselves and their evenings observing the delicate dance that is their parents’ relationship. David’s dedication to his craft makes him magnetic to his students, but challenges his devotion to his two young daughters and his wife.

Cultivating The Coconut Craze

Jan 3, 2017
Franz Eugen Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen, 1896

There's a coconut boom going on: the versatile flesh of the fruit can be manufactured into substitutes for milk, cream and other cooking oils. The Food Guys, Jon Jackson and Greg Patent, point out that there are reasons to be concerned about the growing demand. Coconut farmers in Asia are among the poorest people in the world, and often, their trees are planted as a monoculture, a risk to farmer and the environment alike.

"I have been thinking about consciousness, who has it and who doesn’t," writes poet, essayist and editor, Melissa Kwasny. "'Consciousness: to have a sense of oneself as apart from others.'  Science has discovered that even plants can distinguish between a self and a not-self, halting their growing roots in contact with the foreign. Carl Sapina, in a recent book called Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, says we share basically the same nervous system—wolf, coyote, even the worm. To grant them consciousness is to wake, not to a dream world, but a greater reality that requires a different navigation and a far different morality. 

Ruffed Grouse: Drummers Of The Bird World

Dec 30, 2016
Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus). (CC BY 2.0)
Flickr user, Seabamirum

One Saturday morning looking out my window, I noticed something wandering  along the fence outside my house. Worried it was one of my chickens that had escaped, I grabbed my binoculars. But instead of a chicken, I saw a brown and white bird with a tuft on his head. As I watched him making his way, pecking and discarding all but the tastiest of scraps, two more of the birds emerged from the brush. The ruffed grouse were back.

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