MTPR

Sarah Aronson

Sarah Aronson is the host and producer of "The Write Question" on Montana Public Radio.

"I always think every word, or every new idea, is either a firecracker or a pebble. If it’s a pebble, then it’s just sitting there doing its job of making it progress, but if it’s a firecracker, it could be an inspiration. It could send you in a different direction."  -- Jane Smiley 

Missoula Writing Collaborative

On August 20, 2018 at 4:30 p.m., board members of the Missoula Writing Collaborative installed the kiosk stand and laptop containing the Missoula Children’s Poetry Map in the children’s section of the Missoula Public Library. The digital map features more than 500 poems written by fourth-grade students about places in Missoula. Accompanying the poems are colorful drawings and recordings by the students. The poems cover well-known Missoula landmarks: the M and L trails, the North Hills, as well as lesser-known areas, such as Skyview Park, Rainbow Hill or Moose Can Gully. 

The map was a collaboration between Caroline Patterson, executive director of the Missoula Writing Collaborative, Ken Wall and Kyle Balke, President of Geodata Services, and Greg and Chris Robitaille of Xplorer Maps. It was funded by a $25,000 National Endowment Our Town Grant as well as a $10,000 grant from the Llewellyn Foundation. The Missoula Public Library and Missoula County Schools were also partners.

The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado’s headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. Learn more from David Owen on this episode of The Write Question.

From mountain streams in the west to rolling prairies in the east, Montana’s habitats and natural resources offer an abundance of culinary possibilities. The mountains provide the necessities for a delightful elk tenderloin with huckleberry demi-glace, while the prairie contributes to rattlesnake cakes with roasted red pepper remoulade. And gardens and farms statewide produce the makings of Aunt Lois O’Toole’s rhubarb strawberry pie. Chef Barrie Boulds and author Jean Petersen present locally sourced epicurean dishes that exude Montanan charm.

"The point I was at when I was writing a lot of these stories, let’s face it, I was in my mid to late twenties. I had a cheating heart, still do. That personal aspect of it, I think, most of the men I know, it’s something they’ve struggled with in their life, so to make it any other way would not be true to my reality. In a collection of stories I do think you have a duty to try to show your breadth as a writer and so as a criticism it’s pretty legit because if I am portraying a certain aspect of my characters in a repetitive manner, that’s something I definitely don’t want to do. So I would probably agree with your assessment of that, which is one of the things I did like about my decision to put a longer story at the end from a female perspective just to kind of show I’m more than maybe just a one-trick pony. Hopefully." -- Callan Wink

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