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".

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?

Saffron-tinged risotto alla Milanese
Conger Design (Pixabay)

Food Guys Greg and John react to a September 2018 article by J.M. Hirsch on the Milk Street blog titled "In Risotto alla Milanese, Speed Is a Key Ingredient."  Saffron-flavored risotto alla Milanese is a golden-colored dish that at its best is both creamy and al dente -  but that demands either vigorous stirring or nonstop hovering from the cook.

Richard Fifield is a master storyteller and fierce defender of arts in Montana. In addition to being a novelist, he designs spaces for underrepresented voices to be heard. For silence to be broken. In this conversation, Richard describes his process for writing his latest young adult novel, The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton, a book which explodes the genre with a “rural approach that’s not condescending.” Pulling from his own life of growing up gay in small-town Montana, Richard’s messages are passionate and heartfelt. He wants the forthcoming generations to know their worth, make their voices heard, resist the common run, and burn it down.

Snow-Making 101

Mar 1, 2020
Flickr user, Dawn Perry (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

Few things brighten a typical Montana winter day like a little snowfall. Right when you feel that you can't take another grey day, a couple of inches of heaven fall to raise your spirits. But just how do these floating flakes come to be? Snow obviously comes from clouds, but not just any cloud.

Kittidet Ratchata (Pixabay)

"The revival of ancient varieties of wheat is inspiring a new movement of agronomists, farmers, millers and bakers in the UK. They are coming together to develop and grow new kinds of wheat that do not need dousing with chemicals, to mill the grain in such a way as to keep taste and nutrition intact, and to bake loaves that are delicious and healthy."  - Wendell Steavenson

Chris La Tray

Recently named one of the Best Undiscovered Comedians in America by Thrillist, Sarah Aswell is another Montana gem. Her brand of humor seamlessly blends disarming authenticity and searing social commentary. As a community member, Sarah strives to make comedy accessible and inclusive by running workshops for women and non-binary folks and supporting the representation of historically marginalized groups on stage. In this interview, Sarah explains her comedic philosophy, in addition to sharing some humor writing and a stand-up bit.

Recipe: Italian Cannellini, Chard And Barley Soup

Feb 23, 2020
Lebensmittelfoto (Pixabay)

While surfing the Internet for Italian recipes, Food Guy Greg Patent came across a Purgatorio beans and barley soup recipe by Marcella Hazan, the doyenne of traditional Italian cuisine. His eyes popped open at the word “Purgatorio.” Purgatory beans? What are they?

How To Eat Lunch, Not Be Lunch: Safety In Numbers

Feb 23, 2020
Ryan Hagerty, U.S.F.W.S.

Horses, bighorn sheep and mule deer all coming together in the same place, using the same trails. What is so special about this place? This little patch of ground, where trails converge, is where the need to avoid predators comes into balance with the need to eat.