Montana Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

Sportswriter Chad Dundas has covered wrestling and mixed martial arts for ESPN, NBC Sports, the Associated Press, Sporting News, and since 2019, full-time for The Athletic. But like many Montanans, he doesn’t hold down just one job: he’s also an acclaimed novelist and short-story writer, a podcaster, and a wrestling promoter. Today on Can Do, we're asking: how does a solo practitioner hop between multiple gigs while keeping track of businessy details like contracts and taxes?

Dates
Pixabay

Looking to cut down on processed sugar when baking and cooking? "Food Guys" Greg and Jon recommend substituting dates, a naturally sweet little fruit from the Middle East that's packed with health benefits.

A moose near Missoula, MT. Moose in Montana are some of the smallest moose in North America.
Josh Burnham

On a sunny June day, I was standing among a group of budding naturalists, sketching the bark of a cottonwood tree. Suddenly, I heard a series of quiet gasps and more than a few titters ripple through our small crowd. Someone had spotted a cow moose and her calf crossing the path just a few feet away from us. We all turned to watch them on their route to the Bitterroot River.

Ana Maria Spagna

Ana Maria Spagna joined us via phone from a tiny closet in her remote cabin in Stehekin, WA.  Before her life as a successful writer & professor, Spagna worked trail crew for 15 years. In this interview, she discusses the friction between commitment and longing as well as her relationship with modern conventions like the internet and chainsaw. Spagna holds these contradictions with grace and humor, a quality that extends far beyond the words on the page.  "Uplake" was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award.

Lazuli bunting, Oakland, CA
Doug Greenberg (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

There are poems on the wing upon the mountainsides – fraught with beauty and peril.  A female bunting with grass in her mouth is one such poem. In May, lazuli buntings return to the mountains and valleys of Montana.  Lazuli – stone of azure, jewel of the sky.  As spring ripens into summer, the males with their blue hoods and russet breast bands sing from atop shrubs and trees, and begin the rite of passion.

'The Food Guys' List Their Favorite Superfoods

May 17, 2020
Raspberries, one of the "superfoods" favored by The Food Guys
Pixabay

Grocery store shelves and website search engines groan under the weight of "superfoods" guaranteed to help you weight less, ache less, and generally perk up. From Food Guys Jon and Greg, here's a list of real superfoods, lurking in un-hyped peripheries of supermarkets and farmers' market tables. They're rich in bioavaiable forms of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.

Milkweed

A hearth is many things: a place for solitude, a source of identity, something we make and share with others, a history of ourselves and our homes. It is the fixed center we return to, and it is just as intrinsically portable. It is, in short, the perfect metaphor for what we seek in these complex and contradictory times—set in flux by climate change, economic emergencies, migration, the refugee crisis, and the dislocating effects of technology.

Host John Floridis catches up with Seamus Egan: teen prodigy, multi-instrumentalist, film composer, bandleader and co-founder of the beloved Irish-American band, Solas. If you've watched the film "The Brothers McMullen" or listened to Sarah McLachlan’s “Weep Not for the Memories,” you've heard Egan's compositions.

Adventures In Pecan Pie - With Recipe

May 10, 2020
Aldon Hynes (CC-BY-2.0)

“It’s refreshing, in some curious way, to know that you can have failures, even though you ARE one of the Food Guys,” says Jon Jackson, after "Baking Wizard" Greg Patent explains why there were "dangerous-looking" pieces of pecan pie strewn around the Patent kitchen recently.

'Field Notes' Takes The Mystery Out Of Mushrooms

May 10, 2020
Mushrooms
(PD)

Throughout the human history of traipsing the earth in search of edibles, mushrooms have undoubtedly been the least understood and most feared flora in the forests of the world. Early Greeks and Romans thought most mushrooms were sinister, evil things. They associated them with dark, damp areas of decay and often depicted mushrooms in the company of snakes or toads, two key ingredients in witches’ cauldrons.

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