Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The People Are Dancing Again

New from the University of Washington Press, The People Are Dancing Again: The History of the Siletz Tribe of Western Oregon, by Charles Wilkinson
"This book is well researched and beautifully documented, and is most accessible to the general reading public. It is, in many respects, a picture of the entire history of Native American policy."

- Rennard Strickland (Osage/Cherokee), author of Tonto's Revenge: Reflections on American Indian Culture and Policy

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Poems: "The Brodie" - by Ripley Hugo


High above the Clearwater River, first class
of the day, this sophomore student fiddles
with his pencil, unhappy in the front row.
Poems glide down the papers on desks
all around him. "You can't get started?"
I ask softly. "I have to think of something
else right now," he says miserably. When
I wait, he says, "This morning I spun a brodie
in the parking lot. My dad's pickup slammed
the concrete wall. I don't know how
it happened." I ask, "What was it like
when you spun the brodie?"
He writes in firm cursive:

The wheel was a world
I spun with a finger
so the school above,
the river below,
changed sides.

*     *     *

Ripley Hugo was born in Michigan and raised on the east side of the Continental Divide in Great Falls, Montana. After twenty years of teaching at universities and colleges across the country, she returned to Montana in 1973, married the poet Richard Hugo, and taught literature and creative writing at the University of Montana. She also worked for twelve years for the Montana Poets in the Schools program. "The Brodie" was published in Ripley Hugo's collection, On The Right Wind (2008 Cedar House Books).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dan O'Brien writes reality into fiction

Stolen Horses takes place in McDermot, Nebraska, where, as has happened in many other communities in the West, outsiders have moved in, seeking refuge from their hectic city lives. The conflicts that arise from this mix of cultures and attitudes is nothing new. But there's something about O'Brien's interpretation ...

The Native Americans who grazed their horses in the Pawnee Valley were pushed out by the white cattlemen in the late nineteenth century, who also took their horses. Now, descendants of the cattlemen are feeling pushed out of the same valley by modern outsiders. And everyone is feeling the insidious effects of modern medical practices that discriminate against clients without money. Things escalate after a journalist discovers a medical scandal that epitomizes the issues in this factionalized community.

Of course, there's romance (between people young and not-so-young) and horses and the excitement of unpredictable weather.

The prose is strong, the story moves forward without racing, breathless, toward a giant climax (although the ending will surprise and leave you with much to ponder), and, as John Nichols (author of The Milagro Beanfield War) said, "Dan O'Brien is a beautiful and sensitive writer."

Hear Dan O'Brien on The Write Question, Thursday evening at 6:30 (YPRadio.org) or 7:30 (MTPR.org).

Click here to get more information about Dan O'Brien and LISTEN ONLINE.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thomas McGuane, Driving on the Rim

Tom McGuane has a wicked sense of humor. And he knows how to make accessible stories from words like "fulminate" and "divagation" and "sangfroid." He's written nine novels, three works of nonfiction, two collections of stories, and several screenplays, including “Rancho Deluxe” and “Tom Horn.”

McGuane’s new book is a darkly humorous picaresque novel titled, Driving On The Rim.

Find out which story-telling family members were role models for young Tom, why he cut his successful screenplay-writing career short, and who was responsible for the influx of writers to southwest Montana.

Hear all that, plus a conversation about Driving on the Rim, during The Write Question, Thursday evening at 6:30 (YPRadio.org) or 7:30 (MTPR.org).

Get more information about McGuane, read reviews, and listen online: http://www.mtpr.net/program_info/2010-11-04-541