MTPR

Richard Hugo

"You don’t really know a place until you have seen the heartbreak behind it, and sometimes that heartbreak makes the picture a little less pretty. . . The confines of my small town, the heaviness of the stories of the people within it, was something I thought I could erase if I ran far enough away. " -- Elsie Wipplinger

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.

Poetry’s been around a long time. Jazz, on the other hand, is a relatively recent American original. So why would jazz composer Wayne Horvitz write music in honor of a poet? Specifically, about Richard Hugo, perhaps Montana’s most renowned practitioner of the art? Wayne Horvitz explains on this episode of "Home Ground Radio,” listen now.

Tess Fahlgren & Richard Hugo: Montana's Other Face

Jun 26, 2015
Richard Hugo
Poetry Dispatch

Tess Fahlgren knows that art can thrive in the isolated prairie towns of Eastern Montana. "Driving Montana," by Richard Hugo, is a poet's tribute to Montana's small towns and open vistas, and the creativity that connects them.

Micah Fields & Richard Hugo: Taking Stock

Apr 1, 2015

In the poetry of Richard Hugo, Micah Fields recognizes his own fascination with the ways that suffering is portrayed in art:

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