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".

The American restaurant industry is in freefall. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 110,000 restaurants have closed nationwide. That’s one out of every six, and there are likely more to come. Those restaurants that remain open are struggling with financial sustainability, as they face an industry-wide loss of $240 billion in sales for 2020. Listen now on Can Do as we will explore this subject with two industry pros in two very different positions.

The Cold Millions is something of a hybrid text—fiction, yes, but also history. Combining imaginative storytelling with the lives of real, historical figures, Jess Walter has written a captivating story of Spokane, Washington, a place-based history of the region’s labor movements and of the free speech riots in the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the twentieth century.

'Field Notes:' How 'Moon Dogs' Are Made

Dec 29, 2020
A lunar halo, or moon dog. Ruka, Finland
Timo Newton-Syms (CC-BY-SA-2)

Moon dogs have many names: lunar halos, moon rings, or winter rings. Their scientific name is “paraselenae” and they are made visible by a combination of specific circumstances.

Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day specials on MTPR, 2020-2021

According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, more than 100,000 American businesses that have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic will never reopen. What about the millions of family-run companies? Is their plight as sobering? The situation is less clear for this sector, which accounts for more than 57 percent of the US GNP. 

What are the biggest challenges facing family business? What pitfalls and opportunities are unique to them? And how do family businesses weather the storm of the pandemic? Learn more now on Can Do.

In the second of their two-part conversation, host Lauren Korn and author and cultural critic Anne Helen Petersen continue their chat about Anne’s newest book, Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, from research methodology and mutual aid to hope in the time of COVID.

'Elegy for the Disappeared,' By Forrest Gander

Dec 17, 2020

This week for Honor, Hope and Healing Week, listen to host Lauren Korn read “Elegy for the Disappeared,” by Forrest Gander, which was written in collaboration with Kay Rosen (see “Phantom Limb”). The poem was originally published with the Shelter in Poems initiative on

Courtney Lowery Cowgill On Music, Poetry And Grief

Dec 15, 2020
Courtney Lowery Cowgill's mom Julie went into hospice just as the pandemic was starting and the same week that Montana went under a stay-at-home order. One of the ways Julie's grandkids were able to connect was by way of video chatting.
Courtney Lowery Cowgill

So many of the ways we traditionally grieve a loved one, or bear witness to their death, aren't possible during a global pandemic. Courtney Lowery Cowgill lost her mother to cancer just as the COVID-19 hit the U.S. Her father died eight months later, also of cancer. She and her brother were grateful that they were, unlike many others, able to be with both of their parents in their last days. Like for many, however, their deep personal losses blend into a backdrop of tremendous global loss.

Sue Sinclair
Courtesy Sue Sinclair

This week for Honor, Hope and Healing Week, listen to host Lauren Korn read "Hey Nonny Nonny," by Canadian poet Sue Sinclair.

This week for Honor, Hope and Healing Week, listen to host Lauren Korn read "Winter Field," by former University of Montana professor Joanna Klink. This poem was published both in the Boston Review and in her collection, Circadian, out from Penguin Poets.