Montana author

Trinity University Press

About the book:

In Crossing the Plains with Bruno, Annick Smith weaves together a memoir of ther ravel and relationship, western history and family history, human love and animal love centering around a two week road trip across the Great Plains she and 95 pound chocolate lab, Bruno, took in the summer of 2003. It is a chain of linked meditations, often triggered by place, about how the past impinges on the present and how the present can exist seemingly sans past.

Traveling from her rural homestead in Montana to pick up her nearly 100-year-old mother from her senior residence on Chicago’s North Side and bring her to the family’s beach house on a dune overlooking Lake Michigan, Smith often gets lost in memory and rambling contemplation. Bruno’s constant companionship and ever present needs force her to return to the actual, reminding her that she, too, is an animal whose existence depends on being alert to the scents, sights, hungers, and emotions of the moment.

Hard As Nails
by Ken Von Eschen

Beaver Creek Road travels south out of Havre, Montana, and into the Bear Paw Mountains. This narrow, two-lane highway bisects a plain of wild sage brush; the soil too alkaline to raise wheat. The silver-gray sage is aromatic, herbal.  Too often, leaves are stained with blood sprayed from the lacerated arteries of a dying young man or woman who drove this narrow road too fast.

"Song, with Angus

Oct 5, 2015

The cat with his underbite looks like a bony old man
without teeth. Not
Grendel who tortures blind rodents and once
that rabbit, meek
as Christ.

"Moment: Grand Canyon"

May 18, 2015
Grand Canyon National Park Service

We have just arrived.
We are standing on the south rim
looking down, feeling our bodies slip

and fall away from us past the cliff face
into that deep space below. We feel light
and small now, our equilibrium shaken, as we watch

the raven riding thermals, its sleek black feathers
shining in the sun as it glides just above the rim
then drops down again. Out across the chasm

Shiva's Temple rises above a moat
of mist and seems to float. Someone aims
a camera, someone puts his hand in his pocket