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‘On a Benediction of Wind’: The quiet nature of Charles Finn’s poetry

Charles Finn, co-author of '
Poet Charles Finn; ‘On a Benediction of Wind,’ co-authored with photographer Barbara Michelman.

This week on The Write Question, Lauren speaks with poet Charles Finn about his collaborative collection, On a Benediction of Wind: Poems and Photographs from the American West, a collection of free verse and prose poems, paired with a black-and-white landscape photographs from the Pacific Northwest and the American Southwest taken by photographer Barbara Michelman. Multiple themes are threaded throughout this collaborative work—birds abound, as does a subtle reverence for the natural world as a spiritual and sacred space; and a couple, making their way through these natural spaces, reflect on their experiences together, which makes this collection a full-bodied study on companionship and intimacy.

About Charles:

Charles Finn is the former editor of the literary and fine arts magazine High Desert Journal, and author of Wild Delicate Seconds: 29 Wildlife Encounters. His essays, poems, and non-fiction have been published in journals, magazines, newspapers, and anthologies across the West. He lives in Havre, Montana with his wife Joyce Mphande-Finn and their cat Lutsa.

About Barbara:

Barbara Michelman (not featured in this interview) started in Hollywood and was one of the first women in film lighting. Her photographic work has been widely exhibited, with work in public and private collections here and abroad. Her recent series on the aftermath of fires in the West, Fire on Every Mountain, was awarded Best of Photography at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in California. She currently lives in Missoula, Montana.

Charles Finn recommends:

Human Wishes by Robert Hass (Ecco Press)

Lauren Korn recommends:

The poetry of Mary Oliver

The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (Counterpoint)

The Write Question team for this episode was 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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