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The politics of “we,” part 2: Terry Tempest Williams on our life in pieces

Zoë Rodriguez Photography

In June, Terry Tempest Williams visited Missoula, Montana, to take part in the 2022 “In the Footsteps of Norman Maclean” literary festival, which was held at the Wilma Theater. In the second of a two-part conversation, host Lauren Korn and Terry, a beloved writer and activist, talk about the festival—but also about sisterhood and Terry’s preoccupations with fragment, fracture, and beauty. Listen to the first part of this conversation here.

About Terry:

Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks; Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; Finding Beauty in a Broken World; and When Women Were Birds, among other books. Her work is widely taught and anthologized around the world. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is currently the Writer-in-Residence at the Harvard Divinity School and divides her time between Cambridge, Massachusetts and Castle Valley, Utah.

Terry Tempest Williams recommends:

On Beauty and Being Just by Elaine Scarry (Princeton University Press)

Hole in the Sky by William Kittredge (Vintage Books)

Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling (Milkweed Editions)

This America of Ours: Bernard and Avis DeVoto and the Forgotten Fight to Save the Wild by Nate Schweber (Mariner Books)

Bring Your Own Brigade by documentarian Lucy Walker (CBSN Films)

Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief by Victoria Chang (Milkweed Editions)

Lauren Korn recommends:

Finding Beauty in a Broken World (Vintage Books), Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place (Vintage Books), and Erosion: Essays of Undoing (Picador USA) by Terry Tempest Williams

Almost Beauty: New and Selected Poems by Sue Sinclair (icehouse poetry, from Goose Lane Editions)

This America of Ours: Bernard and Avis DeVoto and the Forgotten Fight to Save the Wild by Nate Schweber (Mariner Books)

Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World by Lisa Wells (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction by Michelle Nijhuis (W. W. Norton & Company)

The Overstory by Richard Powers (W. W. Norton & Company)

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions)

The World as We Knew It: Dispatches from a Changing Climate edited by Amy Brady and Tajja Isen (Catapult Books)

The team for this episode of The Write Question included Lauren Korn, host and co-producer; and Chris Moyles, co-producer, editor, and sound engineer.

The Write Question logo and brand (2022) was designed by Molly Russell. You can see more of her work at and on Instagram @iamthemollruss. Our music was written and recorded by John Floridis.

Funding for The Write Question comes from Humanities Montana; members of Montana Public Radio; and from the Greater Montana Foundation—encouraging communication on issues, trends, and values of importance to Montanans.

The Write Question is a production of Montana Public Radio.

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Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. A former bookseller and the former Director of the Montana Book Festival, she is now an Arts and Culture Producer at Montana Public Radio and the host of it’s literature-based radio program and podcast, ‘The Write Question.’
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