Montana Public Radio

The Write Question

Thursdays 7 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

The Write Question is a weekly literary program that features authors from the western United States, including James Lee Burke, Maile Meloy, Thomas McGuane, Kim Barnes, Robert Wrigley, Jess Walter, Pam Houston, Barry Lopez, and hundreds of others.

The Write Question is hosted by Lauren Korn and produced by Peter Hoag. Executive producer, Michael Marsolek; studio engineer, Beth Anne Austein. The music in some programs was written and performed by John Floridis.

Clocking in at 600 pages, Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle is the epic story of the fictional Marian Graves, a Missoula, Montana-born pilot, whose North-South around-the-world adventure is told painstakingly, achingly, and gracefully. This immense book, which spans multiple centuries and countries, is an enormously pleasurable read. Its generous narratives, pulsing with emotion and wonder, beg the question, “What will you do with your one life?”

What is Claire Boyles’ American West? Lauren and the Colorado-based writer cover a vast landscape of topics—each as wide and far-reaching as the region itself. From the shame and sadness of a lively, sustainable farm gone to seed to caregiving as a radical act, this is a conversation everyone must listen to, Site Fidelity a book everyone must read.

This week on The Write Question, Lauren chats with Missoula-based writer Deirdre “Dee” McNamer about Aviary, a novel based in an unnamed mountain town a lot like Missoula. The novel, which is McNamer’s first since 2007’s Red Rover, centers a neglected retirement community, Pheasant Run, and the aging residents who live there. This is a conversation with one of Montana’s most beloved novelists and writing teachers, and it’s one you won’t want to miss!

This week on The Write Question, Lauren chats with J. Robert Lennon about peculiarity—in his new novel, Subdivision, his new collection of short stories, Let Me Think, and in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks—and encouraging student writers to find the peculiarities in their own experiences, to mine their inner freak.

This week on The Write Question, Lauren speaks with Canadian poet, editor, and community organizer Rebecca Salazar, author of sulphurtongue. The two tackle a number of questions: How is synesthesia an organizing principle of poetry? How can poets care for themselves in public spaces? What’s so funny about survival? What Canadian city closely resembles a moonscape? And just what is it about mouths?

What does ‘autobiography’ mean to poet Allison Cobb? What action(s) should readers consider after reading Plastic: An Autobiography? What do desire, joy, and grief have to do with the plastic industry? Listen now to find out!

This week, join Lauren Korn in a conversation with poet Raymond Antrobus, whose collection The Perseverance examines his D/deaf experience alongside meditations on loss, grief, education and language — both spoken and signed.

Are you more of a Stevie Nicks or a Christine McVie? Join host Lauren Korn (Christine McVie) and essayist Elissa Washuta (Stevie Nicks) as they conjure a conversation about pop culture parallelism and about maintaining control over one’s narrative—as well as being mindful of how and when others choose to share their own narratives, knowledge, and spiritual practices. Dive into these topics—and more!—on this week’s episode of The Write Question.

What is a divinatory poetics? Can texts be haunted? This week, Toronto-based poet Hoa Nguyen dives into the narratives that prompted and sit within her new book of poetry, A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure.

Host Lauren Korn chats with Hoa about the aftermath of the Atlanta shootings, the motorcycle troupe Hoa’s mother was a part of in the 1950s and ’60s, the many ways a text can haunt, and more!

How and when do you divest yourself from an artist? What does it mean that we were all born under a different moon? This week, join host Lauren Korn and poet, essayist, and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib in a conversation about his 2021 must-read, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance.