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".

'We Burn Good Together'

Nov 21, 2016
Nov. 30 marks the end of open burning season in Montana.
Karl Nousiainen

by Michael Revere

Starting fire in a downpour
is no problem for you and me.
We burn good together.

As we tend the late fall slash fire,
I say, "Sweat feels good."
You say I'm "nasty" and smile.
I see beautiful curves
outlined under your t-shirt.
A small, dried out spruce tree
bursts into flame.

From Ruth Garfield, a female sheriff in 1920, to Elouise Cobell, a Blackfeet banker in the 21st Century, women have significantly shaped the state and communities across Montana. Beyond Schoolmarms and Madams celebrates the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in Montana, six years before the 19th Amendment. Two of the authors, Annie Hanshew and Laura Ferguson, discuss how the Montana Historical Society selected the collection of women's stories.

After high school, Kipp McGuire joined the Marine Corps and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned a college degree in political science, worked as a bouncer and a congressional aide. Now he's pursuing a graduate degree in international relations.

Cycling Towards Climate Solutions

Nov 20, 2016

Mindy Ahler and Ryan Hall are biking over 4,000 miles from Oregon to Washington, D.C., stopping in communities along the way to discuss local climate change solutions and federal policies. They recently passed through Montana and met with Home Ground host Brian Kahn to share their motivations and hopes for the future. To find out more about the ride, visit Mindy and Ryan's blog Low Carbon Crossings.

'Field Notes' Talks Turkey

Nov 20, 2016
Although never native to Montana, turkeys were introduced here in the 1950s when national conservation efforts were mounted to save the species.
(PD)

I had my first up close and personal encounter with a real live turkey this year while walking through a wooded portion of a friend’s ranch in the foothills of the Big Belt Mountains. Nothing too exciting happened - the bird and I stood and looked at each other for a time, and then went on about our business.

A Response To 'Opportunity, Montana,' by Brad Tyer

Nov 17, 2016
Beacon Press

Brad Tyer: Sacrificial Landscapes

I stare in wonder at a handful of bright turquoise bones gathered behind the CVS in downtown Butte. I came here to see them for myself, as I was told these bones have been dyed from copper sulfate leaching from the soil. I guess I didn’t believe our situation was that bad, but now I see. Up the hill from where I stand, massive gallows frames poke their heads from behind brick buildings; to my right, the East Ridge is exposed in a stepped face leading down an open pit mine. In my hands and surrounding me on all sides are the effects of my hometown’s mining past.

For 2016, the Third Coast Festival is back with our annual "Best of the Best" broadcast featuring the winners of our annual documentary competition. In this two-part special, host Gwen Macsai, presents the top radio stories of the year!

"Some of my most illuminating experiences of the West have occurred behind the wheel of a car," writes writer, teacher, and director of the Montana Book Festival, Rachel Mindell. "This is not especially romantic. Having lived in Arizona, Colorado and Montana and as a woman who loves to hike, to sit on rocks and to feel insignificant, I have continually averted the expression of a direct commune with nature. As a writer, I need expansive solitude to produce, a metal cage with windows and relative silence. To produce, I need to drive.

'The Trouble With Twins': Logan Reviews

Nov 15, 2016
Knopf Books for Young Readers

The trouble With Twins, by Kathryn Siebel is a very funny, and at times suspenseful, book. The main characters are Arabella and Henrietta Osgood, two very nice girls who are twins. They were born on the second and third days of April. Henrietta was born a little before midnight on the second and Arabella was born a little while after in the early morning on the third. That’s how they can be twins but be born on separate days.

'Buffalo'

Nov 14, 2016
Shawn McCready

by Eduardo Chirinos

In days of old, buffalo dotted the plains
with a soft, light brown.

Their hooves fearlessly trampled these pastures.
This was their home, their vast

Wildlife Sign: Clues In The Storybook Of Nature

Nov 14, 2016
Elk in Yellowstone National Park
Jim Peaco/Yellowstone National Park (PD)

A couple weekends ago, some friends and I got up early to drive into the Flint Creek Range near Anaconda. We planned to hike through an area that we’d been told was home to some 800 elk, 150 big horn sheep, 30 mountain goats, black bear, and moose. We walked up the trail with great anticipation for a day of spectacular wildlife viewing. The sky was slate gray, and it wasn’t long before we encountered our first snowflakes and felt our hands getting numb. 

"This last fall, I was teaching a poetry class in Arlee, a small Montana town on the Flathead Reservation, just after the first snow fell on the mountains," writes musician-poet-teacher, Caroline Keys. "A junior high student in my poetry class, one in a set of identical twin brothers, turned in a poetry exercise in which he was asked to replicate one of the most famous and enigmatic poems titled "This is Just to Say" by the Modernist poet, William Carlos Williams. The assignment asked him to rewrite Williams's mysteriously potent form with something from his own life.  The student's poem began like this:

This is just to say
yes we have switched classes
you thought I was the other twin
and you have finally figured it out...

Yellowstone National Park: Is It Really Wild?

Nov 10, 2016
© Michael Nichols/National Geographic Yellowstone National Park. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River from Artist Point.

The May 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine is devoted entirely to America's first national park: Yellowstone. It's more than just a park. It's a place where, 140 years ago, we began to negotiate a peace treaty with the wild.  David Quammen tells the story of the park in a four-part essay. He is the only author to write the entire narrative for an entire issue of National Geographic Magazine.

Yellowstone National Park: America’s Wild Idea. These stories and pictures of Yellowstone National Park's animals will surprise you.

'To the Man in the Jaunty Golf Cap, Wow—

Nov 7, 2016
Paul Elliott photo

by Rob Carney

I'm glad that wool was saved from coyotes,
glad for winter with its sight lines, glad for trees,

the way they cooperate
by letting go of their leaves.

And I'm glad for the skill of the helicopter pilot,
ski-smooth even in the crosswinds,

River otters in winter
Flickr user, USFWSMidwest (CC-BY-2.0)

What happens to otters in winter when the lake is frozen, I wondered. Does the family stay together or disperse? Do otters have any special survival strategies to get through the cold times?

Radiolab Co-Creator Jad Abumrad speaking in Missoula Oct. 23, 2016.
Freddy Monares

Jad Abumrad, co-host and creator of Radiolab, visited Missoula for a couple reasons.

"I was especially psyched to be here because I passed through here about 20 years ago, and it was an amazing time. And I have some really good friends here. So I’m here just to talk about the process of making radio, but also just to catch up with a few people,” Abumrad said.

Mark Gorseth

"My father, and many fathers and their fathers before them in the last century, especially those working in the American West, were forced to travel away from home to provide for their families," writes poet Mark Gibbons. "They were sometimes gone for days, weeks at a time. My dad worked as a trainman for the Milwaukee Railroad, available to hop a freight around the clock every day of the year.

Writing And Foraging For Food In Rural Alaska

Nov 2, 2016
Mountaineers Books

Swallowed by the Great Land: And Other Dispatches From Alaska's Frontier is a collection of compelling Alaska stories from Seth Kantner, bestselling author of Ordinary Wolves.

When Seth Kantner's novel, Ordinary Wolves, was published 10 years ago, it was a literary revelation of sorts. In a raw, stylized voice it told the story of a white boy growing up with homesteading parents in Arctic Alaska and trying to reconcile his largely subsistence and Native-style upbringing with the expectations and realities tied to his race. It hit numerous bestseller lists, was critically acclaimed, and won a number of awards.

Tune In For 'Hamilton: A Story of US'

Nov 2, 2016

'Hamilton' is "a story about America then, told by America now," and who better tells that story than students from New York City high schools?

'Beastly Bones' And 'Ghostly Echoes': Logan Reviews

Nov 1, 2016
Algonquin Young Readers

This is Logan, here to tell you about Beastly Bones and Ghostly Echoes, the second and third books in the Jackaby series. Both books are by William Ritter.

Beastly Bones is the second book, while Ghostly Echoes is the third. Both are the same genre as Jackaby, which is mystery/horror.

The Food Guys Say 'Cheese'

Oct 31, 2016
Flickr user, Stu Spivack. (CC-BY-2.0)

The Food Guys, Greg Patent and Jon Jackson, discuss cheese.

For nearly 40 years, Ray Kuntz has been involved in commercial trucking. He built a national company operating from Montana and worked for driver safety and major reductions in exhaust pollution. As a citizen, he’s stayed engaged on social issues ranging from reducing roadside fatalities to fighting mental illness.

The Devil You Know

Oct 27, 2016

The Devil You Know — just in time for Halloween and this year's Election, The Truth offers a special hour of horror stories that take place within the world of electoral politics. The Truth is a podcast that makes movies for your ears. The stories are entirely fictional, created with rich sound and professional-level acting, from Peabody-award winning producers Jonathan Michell (Radiolab, Studio 360) and Kerrie Hillman (Fair Game, Studio 360).

Flickr user, Don DeBold (CC BY 2.0)

"The draft haunted me during the Vietnam War, and for us college kids standing naked that morning, awaiting our pre-induction physicals, it was a vulnerable moment," writes Toby Thompson, author and writing teacher.  "We’d boarded an Army bus for the ride to a nearby fort, where medics and physicians waited to decide our fitness for duty. A few boys were gung-ho, but our majority hung our heads in resignation or prayer, hoped for 1-Y or 4-F status.  Either meant you wouldn’t have to serve.

'Jackaby': Logan Reviews

Oct 25, 2016
Algonquin Young Readers

Jackaby by William Ritter is a very good book, and I loved it. The main character is Abigail Rook, a very smart young woman who is employed by Jackaby, a man who can see the “unnatural.” In the beginning of the story, Abigail gets hired by Jackaby. Abigail and Jackaby soon have to deal with seemingly random murders that just aren’t natural. The murders are unnatural because in some cases, some of the blood is missing.

'Vasectomy'

Oct 24, 2016
Confluence Press

by Greg Keeler

waiting for an hour alone
in the white room

naked from the waist down
clean flesh on clean sheets

polished steel and rubber tubes
behind reminiscences

of alcibiades on his*
lopping spree (would bogart

As a child, he sensed that he had leadership ability, and in World War II, he had a chance to demonstrate it. An active family life and law practice followed. Now at age 92, Bob Anderson reflects on a distinguished career and the experiences that shaped his character. 

Remembering Distinguished Veteran, Ben Steele

Oct 24, 2016

Early this month, flags across Montana were flown at half-mast to honor World War II veteran Ben Steele. We interviewed Ben several years ago. What he had to say is very much worth hearing again.

Watch: Salish Honor Ancestors In Return To Homeland

Oct 23, 2016
On the 125th anniversary of the forced removal of the Salish from the Bitterroot, a group of Salish people and supporters honored their ancestors with a three-day walk returning to their homeland.
Courtesy Tailyr Irvine (www.tailyrirvine.com)

On the 125th anniversary of the forced removal of the Salish from the Bitterroot, a group of Salish people and supporters honored their ancestors with a three-day walk returning to their homeland.

Radiolab's Jad Abumrad will be in Missoula Oct. 23 with his show about "Gut Churn."
Thesaradarling (CC-BY-2)

In advance of Jad Abumrad's visit to Missoula this weekend, we asked you the most important thing Jad needs to know about Montana. Here's what you told him. Hopefully your advice will help minimize any "gut churn" related to his visit.

Pages