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".

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

In advance of his show Sunday in Missoula, Jad Abumrad of Radiolab talks with MTPR's Michael Marsolek about "Gut Churn."

"This was a feeling that I, in the 14 years of making Radiolab, I just grappled with every single day," says Abumrad.

Flickr user, Neal Sanche (CC BY 2.0)

"My close friend from high school died recently as the result of a car crash from three years ago. He had been driving to Missoula," writes Erik Kappelman, a student at the University of Montana.

"A short time ago I drove that same road with my pregnant wife and four-year-old daughter. We went to our family's ranch outside of Big Timber; the place is falling apart after my parent’s divorce, after years of disability and alcohol. I think to myself: when that homestead collapses after one hundred years, it will finally be over.

'Rain'

Oct 17, 2016
Jordan Hackworth

by David Allan Cates

A flash on the ridge lengthens shadows, dims the wire
of ravens, and you retreat again tonight.

Madness drives us to bury seeds in what solitude
and night reveal—or perhaps it's only vigor.

Born in longing, words come to life in whispers,
the first truth I know.

Truffles, Trees And — Squirrels?

Oct 16, 2016
Truffle With A Squirrel Bite
FLICKR USER, SCOTT DARBEY (CC-BY-2.0)

Walking through the woods recently, I saw a red squirrel digging in the litter of the forest floor. I assumed it was burying a pine cone, but on closer inspection I found a piece of mushroom. Little did I know I was witnessing a process critical to the survival of a forest.

Marcona Almonds
FLICKR USER, JONATHAN PINCAS (CC-BY-2.0)

Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans) provide significant health benefits. In addition to good fats, they contain high quantities of vitamins, minerals and fiber. The Food Guys recommend eating a quarter cup of tree nuts each day, but they also recognize that prices can fluctuate depending on the environmental conditions and global market.

Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It...

Oct 13, 2016

During this special episode of The Write Question, Beth Hunter McHugh talks about creativity; Barbara Van Cleve shares her opinion about the romance of The West; Joe Wilkins describes how the birth of his son ignited a fire-storm of poetry; Paula McLain talks about the challenges of writing first-person, historical narrative; Ken Ilgunas relates the story of his encounter with a self-appointed posse in northeastern Montana; and New Mexico poet Carmen Giménez Smith shares her process of narrative compression.

"The Pea Green Boat" welcomes a director and two actors from the China National Theater for Children. Joining them is the education director of the Missoula Children's Theater. The two theaters have been engaged for a year in a collaboration that has taken Missoula kids to Beijing and now brings Beijing kids to Missoula! The collaborative performance of "The Princess and the Pea" was staged at MCT this past weekend. Listen to the interview to learn more and hear the kids sing songs from the play.

'When God Was A Woman'

Oct 10, 2016
Evan Lavender-Smith / The University of Arizona Press

by Carmen Giménez Smith

When God was a woman,
empire was meh.
When God was a woman,
we built Schools of Listening
and every week we sat quietly
until we could hear
each other's thoughts.

No shadows when God
was a woman. Little girls
had great dominion,
and grandmothers

Guy Raz, TED Conference
FLICKR USER, RYAN LASH (CC-BY-2.0)

Guy Raz, host and editorial director of TED Radio Hour, says we view our world through a series of prisms. If we re-frame our perspectives, we can recognize the possibilities. TED Radio Hour is the fastest growing program in radio history. It explores what it means to be human and new ways of thinking. Raz is also the host and creator of a new podcast, How I Built This, which looks at the a-ha moments and tipping points behind some of the most iconic businesses and brands .

Apricot Jam
FLICKR USER, MICHAEL GEMINDER (CC-BY-2.0)

Winter is coming. Are you ready? The Food Guys recommend preserving the last of the autumn bounty by making jam, pickling, and dehydrating fruits and vegetables — even meat. It's easier than you think. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Montana Supreme Court candidate Dirk Sandefur believes his life experiences provide common sense and  intuitive insights in court, but personal or ideological values of associated groups should not drive legal decisions. Judge Sandefur says, "I have a 14-year career in one of Montana's busiest judicial districts of deciding cases based on the facts and law without any consideration of my personal political views or other philosophical views that I have." Sandefur is one of two candidates running for the Montana Supreme Court, which is tasked with interpreting and upholding the state's constitution.

Golden Islands Of The Western Montana Forest

Oct 8, 2016
Golden islands of western larch in the Gold Creek area near Missoula.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2)

Sitting on the shores of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park last fall, gazing up at the surrounding hillside, I was struck by a unique mosaic of golden splendor against the evergreen background. The largest of its species, the western larch, Larix occidentalis, is indeed a unique kind of tree.

Crissie McMullan, the executive director of Mountain Home Montana, considers the connection between homelessness and the environment. The absence of a warm bed and warm meal can trump the healing potential of time spent in wildness, writes McMullan:

"I first started caring about the natural world in my late teens, a time where I felt confused about who I was and who I wanted to be. Sometimes I was so tangled up inside that I couldn’t breathe. I sought air in the most literal way: outside, among trees, between mountains, beneath a big sky.

You Can't Beat A Babka, Especially If It's Apple

Oct 2, 2016
Babka, a Polish sweet yeast cake
Flickr user, Matt Baume (CC-BY-2.0)

After hearing 'cherry babka' mentioned in a play, Greg Patent was intrigued. Could there be an apple version as well? He looked through all of his cook books, and when he couldn't find any, Patent decided to invent one. From Greg and Dorothy Patent's 1999 book, "A Is for Apple," here's how to make apple babka.

A Rumination On The Mule Deer Rutting Season

Oct 2, 2016
Mule deer buck
FLICKR USER, JON NELSON (CC-BY-2.0)


Soaking up some September sun, I was perched on a rocky outcrop of Wild Horse Island in Flathead Lake. The sweet vanilla scent of Ponderosa pine permeated the air as I watched gulls flying overhead. I sat quietly on a large boulder and waited for the residents of this island ecosystem to resume activity as if I were not there. Across the small gully on the next rocky hilltop, a single female deer grazed in the shade of a pine. By the black tip on the end of her tail, I was able to identify her as a mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus.

Montana Supreme Court Candidate Kristen Juras says she would be the only justice who has irrigated a hay field in addition to filing and defending water rights claims. Juras has 34 years of experience representing farmers, ranchers, small business owners, non-profit organizations and individuals in the daily legal issues they face. She currently teaches at the University of Montana School of Law and says she would "bring an area of expertise that is currently lacking in the court."

"The trouble with giving away a place name is that then we can guarantee someone else will go there," points out poet, Damon Falke. "No matter how remote the dirt road that winds its way to the overlook where the sunsets are eloquently perfect, someone else will seek and find the same road.  When we expedite this process of finding, we (or someone) will begin to advertise our places through a precise network of signs and signals.

What is the oldest branch of the U.S. military? The Army? The Navy? No: it’s the National Guard, founded in 1636, 140 years before our Declaration of Independence. Adjutant General Gene Prendergast knows that. He served in the Montana Guard for 47 years. It is a career marked by innovation, commitment and creativity.

Apples: A Munch Is More Than Bliss

Sep 25, 2016
Apple bounty
FLICKER USER, ALEXANDER LYUBAVIN (CC-BY-2.0)

Food Guy Jon Jackson waxes poetic about apples while Greg Patent discusses varieties to try this fall. Patent recommends that pie makers combine different types of apples. A mix of taste and texture will create a more interesting pie.

Sagebrush near San Luis, CO.
Flickr user Jeff B (CC-BY-2.0)

I’ve always been impressed by survivors, especially here in the arid, unforgiving West. No species better demonstrates this survival instinct for me than does the lowly Artemisia tridentata, better known as big sagebrush. And few other species come as close to communicating such a significant part of the nature of the landscape.

Tell Us Something Radio, Episode 2

Sep 21, 2016

Marc Moss hosts Tell Us Something Radio, in which you'll hear five stories recorded during live Tell Us Something events held in Missoula.

The stories in this program include dysentery in Indonesia, war protests, a strip club, river rafting, and a life-changing rescue, stories told by Reid Reimers, Kristi Hager, Joshua Daidone, Stephanie Wing, and Steve Saroff.

"I have no deep physical roots to a particular place, nor did my parents before me," writes anthropologist Sally Thompson in her manuscript, True North at the Third Pole: Exploring the Indian Himalayas. "The graves of my ancestors lie unremembered in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Connecticut.

"Years ago I served as an expert witness for archaeology in the Taos Pueblo water rights case. After I presented a status report of my research, the governor of the Pueblo stood up and said he wanted to note a significant difference between my culture and his: curiosity. Euro-Americans want to dig things up, dissect them and verify everything. Indian people already know who they are and they don’t need the physical evidence of the past to prove it.

'Snowize and Snitch': Logan Reviews

Sep 20, 2016

Snowize and Snitch, a book for young readers written by Karen Briner is an exciting book that captured my attention as I read. The main character is Ever, a girl who doesn’t know who her parents are. Ever is courageous, smart, and compassionate.

'For Which It Stands'

Sep 19, 2016
Peter Miller

By Gregory Pardlo

For a flag! I answered facetiously. A flag of tomorrow,
fluent in fire, not just the whispers, lisps, not just the still there
of powdered wigs, dry winds. Who wants a speckled
drape that folds as easy over smirch as fallen soldier?
This is rhetorical. Like, "What to the Negro
is the fourth of July?" A flag should be stitched with a fuse.

From Cake To Tart, Zucchini Has A Place At The Table

Sep 19, 2016
Herbed Zucchini, Summer Squash and Ricotta Tart
Flicker user, Teeny Tiny Kitchen (CC-BY-2.0)

An abundance of zucchini can leave gardeners and cooks overwhelmed at the end of summer. Stories abound of neighbors dropping off excess zucchini late at night, but the Food Guys recommend getting creative. From sautéed side dishes to chocolate cake, zucchini is highly versatile. Greg suggests the zucchini cheese tart recipe below.

Stressed? Science Says Take A Walk In The Woods

Sep 19, 2016
More and more research reveals time spent outdoors relieves stress and improves physical and emotional well-being.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-NC-2)

I feel the stress from the week lift off my shoulders as I breathe in the scent of ponderosa pine. Today, I have no papers to write, tests to take, or meetings to attend. This is my time to relax in the Montana wilderness. Even though I know that spending time in nature always makes me feel better, I don’t always take the time to immerse myself in it. And I’m not the only one. It seems fewer people escape from the human world while, ironically, more and more research reveals time spent in nature relieves stress and improves physical and emotional well-being.

The grizzly bear is Montana’s state mammal, famous for its size, strength and intelligence. Grizzlies have been hunted for centuries by first peoples to obtain mythic power and by farmers and ranchers to protect livestock. In large swaths of the U.S., market hunters exterminated the great bear for its fur. With the grizzly off the endangered species list, should Montana allow trophy hunting? Dan Vermillion, chair of Montana's Fish & Wildlife Commission, joins us to discus on this episode of "Home Ground Radio."

Gallagher
Wikipedia, Nightscream (CC-BY-3.0)

Stand-up comedian Gallagher has smashed about 20,000 watermelons during his career, and he's not likely to stop anytime soon. Gallagher is coming to the West with BIRTHDAY BASH! Gallagher The Joke's On You Comedy Tour With Special Guest Artie Fletcher.

The Montana Book Festival runs from September 20 - 25 in Missoula.
Montana Book Festival

The Montana Book Festival celebrates storytelling under the big sky with over 100 events and 200 authors. Executive director Rachel Mindell says it's difficult to choose what she is looking forward to the most. From the Literary Death Match with four authors and three celebrity judges to a Pop-up Book workshop, there's something for everyone. The festival runs from September 20 - 25 in Missoula.

The 62nd season of the Helena Symphony begins with music from Korngold and Rachmaninoff, two composers whose music "drip[s] with silver and chocolate sauce." "A Symphony Spooktacular" sets a haunting backdrop to the season while "¡Flamenco!" brings some Spanish culture to Montana.  Allan R. Scott, music director and conductor for the Helena Symphony, shares upcoming highlights.

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