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".

Carlo Nassise

Part 1 of our special series on documentary filmmakers features Carlo Nassise and Eva Rendle, two brilliant artists who screened their work at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Though distinct in their content, each film explores relevant socio-cultural themes in the west. In this interview, we'll discuss the craft of cinematography, including story arcs, filmmaking techniques, surprising scenes, and the unique relationships between the filmmakers and subjects. 

How Sarah Calhoun Is Working To Revive Rural America

Mar 23, 2020
Sarah Calhoun is the founder of a Red Ants Pants apparel company, a foundation and a music festival.
Gil Stober, Peak Recording

A trailblazer is a pioneer, an innovator–someone who blazes new tracks through wild country. If you’re looking for a modern day trailblazer, look no further than Sarah Calhoun.

Born in Connecticut, Sarah was inspired to relocate small-town Montana by author Ivan Doig’s memoir, This House of Sky. After falling in love with the writer and his work, Sarah found herself living in his rural hometown of White Sulphur Springs.

Jupiter and one of it 79 moons, Io, whose shadow eclipsed the sun, September 2019

As I get my first view through the eyepiece, I am met by a dazzling brightness. I am now looking not up but down onto the cloud tops of another world. My eye adjusts to the bright image and I begin to perceive the tan belts and gray wisps of the stormy Jovian atmosphere. Then I see it. It is what I had hoped to witness tonight, and it explains why only three of Galileo's moons are visible.

angel food cake
Quinn Kampschroer (Pixabay)

Food Guy Greg Patent writes about angel food cake: "If you want to create pure baking magic, and have an air-raising experience, make an angel food cake.  Air, and air alone raises it to cloud-like puffiness. How to manage that?  Read on to find out!

Jeremy Pataky overwinters in Anchorage, Alaska, before spending early spring through late fall in McCarthy, Alaska. In this urban-rural migration, Jeremy maintains an impressive resume, publishing poems, essays, as well as Edible Alaska magazine. He also directs 49 Writers, a literary nonprofit in the 49th state. In this conversation, Jeremy addresses the nature of his ice-obsessed poetry, and what it means to listen to voices of the north, as we grapple with a rapidly changing and uncertain world.

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash And Brussels Sprouts

Mar 15, 2020
Butternut squash
Nick Collins (Pixabay)

About the melding of sweet and sour flavors in this recipe, Food Guy Greg Patent writes: "Roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, with a red onion sweet and sour sauce. It’s a terrific side dish to serve with a main dish meat or vegetable - and you make it ahead! I’m a big fan of sweet/sour dishes because they deliver a big punch of flavor. Just about every cuisine features something that’s sweet and sour. Think Chinese sweet and sour chicken, shrimp, or pork; or German Sauerbraten; or Italian agrodolce, where vinegar and sugar unite to bump the flavor of a dish up to new heights.

The Raven's Labor-Saving Device: A Squirrel

Mar 15, 2020
common raven
Alexas Fotos (Pixabay)

Staring out a window while avoiding my to-do list for the day, a squirrel and a raven presented me with a peculiar sight. I observed the squirrel going from spot to spot, digging up seeds in the snow with a raven following close behind. As the squirrel worked its way through the snow, the raven would follow it and move in to inspect the squirrel’s findings. The raven had realized that a squirrel digging through the snow means food, and it was using the squirrel as its personal food finder.

In her best-selling memoir, This Is Not the Story You Think It Is, Laura Munson modeled a vulnerable, fearless approach to the page—one that resisted simple narratives and tidy endings. Now, Laura’s first published novel, Willa’s Grove, brings her back to her first love: fiction. In this earnest and inspiring interview, Laura describes the deeper undercurrents of her work, perspectives on success and failure, and her commitment to community.

Mike Steinberg

What’s the common thread between wildlife conservation, performing arts and independent cinema? That would be Mike Steinberg, a gifted leader in community non-profit entrepreneurship in Montana. Mike is Executive Director of both the International Wildlife Film Festival and Missoula’s Roxy Theater.

Hibernating ladybugs (Coccinellidae)
Flickr user, Jason (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Every autumn I begin to wonder: where do all the bugs go? Unlike people, and other warm-blooded critters that can maintain a consistent internal temperature, insects cannot. So, you might wonder, what do insects do to survive the cold?