WINTER BOOKS Events & Discussions

November/December 2021

Words Out West Fundraiser

Fri., Nov. 12 - 6:30 p.m.

Zootown Arts - Missoula

Words Out West, Montana’s nonprofit literary podcast, presents the WOW Audio Showcase and Fundraiser, offering poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and theatrical readings as well as music from selected WOW writers and performers. The social hour (beginning at 6:30 p.m.) features book signings by eleven WOW authors.

Hosted by Chris Sand, Montana’s Rappin’ Cowboy, the WOW Audio Showcase includes readings by Mark Gibbons, Montana’s new Poet Laureate; Joan Melcher, author of MONTANA WATERING HOLES; Freya Jones, young poet and fiction writer; Caroline Patterson, author of THE STONE SISTER; and Chris La Tray, author of ONE-SENTENCE JOURNAL, as well as a poetry and music performance by Shaun Gant; a short audio play by Jay Kettering; and music by Cole Grant and Spencer Kellum.

Visit ZACC for more information.

Children's Festival of the Book

November 12 - 13

Bozeman Public Library

The 13th annual Children's Festival of the Book will feature children’s author Chris Barton, author/illustrator Don Tate, and local author Janet Fox. Authors will film “Live from the Library” presentations from the Bozeman Public Library to be made available to all elementary classrooms on Fri., Nov. 12 and to the general public on the Library website until Fri., Nov. 19. Chris, Don, and Janet will visit some selected schools in-person on Fri, Nov. 12. Book signings at the Library will be available by appointment on Sat., Nov. 13. For more information and to register for signing events, visit the Children's Festival of the Book page or call (406) 582-2404.

Butch Larcombe

Sat., Nov. 13 - 1 p.m.

The History Museum, Great Falls

GOLDEN KILOWATTS is a journey through the history of the Montana dams owned today and in the past by NorthWestern Energy and the Montana Power Co., from the first on the Missouri River at Black Eagle to later dams that fueled Butte mines and eventually copper smelting operations in Black Eagle and Anaconda.

By 1915, the Montana Power Company was believed to be the largest single distributor of electric power in the U.S. Electricity was a boon to lumber mills, grain elevators, flour mills, street railways and other industrial and commercial operations. Photos in the book document not only the construction of the dams, and amazing engineering feats, but also the communities established near the dam projects that included stores, schools and clinics that supported the workers. Many of the historical photos have not been published before.

Montana journalist Butch Larcombe retired in 2019 from NorthWestern Energy after seven years with corporate communications. Visit The History Museum in Great Falls for more information.

Ken Robison

Sat., Nov. 13 - 1:30 p.m.

Montana Historical Society, Helena

Thurs., Nov. 18 - 2 p.m.

Cassiopeia Books, Great Falls

Home to some of the most powerful nuclear missile systems in the world, Montana played an indispensable role in the war against Communism. Utilizing the Lend-Lease pipeline, Soviet spies ferried stolen nuclear and industrial secrets, loaded in diplomatic pouches, from Great Falls to the Soviet Union. Army nurse Lieutenant Diane Carlson served as “an angel of mercy” at the Pleiku Evacuation Hospital in the Central Highlands in Vietnam. Young Montana smokejumper “Hog” Daniels joined the CIA’s secret war in Southeast Asia, becoming the principal advisor to General Vang Pao in his desperate fight against Communists.

Captain Ken Robison (U.S. Navy, Ret.), award-winning author and Cold Warrior, discusses the tales of Montanans who made their mark during a titanic struggle in history in his new book, COLD WAR MONTANA. Visit the Montana Historical Society for more information.

Poetry Workshop with Melissa Kwasny

Sat., Nov. 12 - 2 p.m.

Online - Lewis and Clark Library

"Poetry provides the one permissible way of saying one thing and meaning another," Robert Frost says in his essay “Education by Poetry."

In a generative workshop, explore forms of figurative language to add surprise and depth to writing as well as imaginative play to daily life. Through in-class writing prompts and the sharing of innovative examples by contemporary poets, participants will come away with an assortment of writing tools as well as the start of a handful of new poems.

Melissa Kwasny is the author of six books of poetry and nonfiction book PUTTING ON THE DOG, which explores the cultural, labor, and environmental histories of clothing materials provided by animals. She is also the editor of two anthologies and shared the position of Montana Poet Laureate with M.L. Smoker.

Register in advance for this workshop.

Catherine Raven

Sat., Nov. 13 - 2 p.m.

Cassiopeia Books, Great Falls

Catherine Raven reads from her bestselling book, FOX AND I, a solitary woman’s memoir about the transformative power of her unusual friendship with a wild fox.

Raven is a former national park ranger at Glacier, Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Voyageurs, and Yellowstone national parks. She earned a PhD in biology from Montana State University, holds degrees in zoology and botany from the University of Montana, and is a member of American Mensa and Sigma Xi. Her natural history essays have appeared in American Scientist, Journal of American Mensa, and Montana Magazine.

Chris La Tray

Sun., Nov. 14

Clark Chateau - Butte

Chris La Tray is a Métis writer and storyteller. His first book, ONE-SENTENCE JOURNAL won the 2018 Montana Book Award and a 2019 High Plains Book Award.

Spend 90 minutes with La Tray in a discussion of his writing life on Sun. Nov. 14 at the Clark Chateau in Butte. In addition to featuring poetry written during his Dear Butte residency, La Tray will also discuss his writing processes and the spiritual pursuit involved in crafting poetry.

For more information, visit Clark Chateau or Dear Butte.

Chaotic Storytime with Christopher Paolini and Friends

Mon., Nov. 15 - 7:30 p.m.

Online - Country Bookshelf, Bozeman

Christopher Paolini tasks three unsuspecting authors with a quest: to entertain him with a story set in a world of his own making: the Fractalverse. Join Paolini, author of TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS and ERAGON, for an event that celebrates all the possibilities space holds...and the chaos!

Writers Christopher Buehlman (THE BLACKTONGUE THIEF), Ryka Aoki (LIGHT FROM UNCOMMON STARS), and Cat Rambo (YOU SEXY THING) improvise their way to creating a story from the plot twists and turns Storymaster Paolini throws their way. And of course, all authors will discuss their craft and inspirations and answer audience questions.

Information about the event and titles listed can be found at Country Bookshelf.

David Sedaris

Mon., Nov. 15 - 7:30 p.m.

Helena Civic Center

Tues., Nov. 16 - 7:30 p.m.

Dennison Theatre, Missoula

Best-selling author, NPR contributor and one of America's preeminent humor writers, David Sedaris will headline the Dennison Theatre in Missoula and the Helena Civic Center with sardonic wit and incisive social critiques.

In celebration of the launch of the writer's two new books, THE BEST OF ME and A CARNIVAL OF SNACKERY, Sedaris will share all-new stories and host an audience Q&A and book signing.

Amy Leach

Amy Leach

Thurs., Nov. 18 - 7:30 p.m.

Online - Country Bookshelf

Are you feeling dismay, despair, disillusion? Need a break from the ho-hum, the hopeless, and the hurtful? Feel certain that there's a version of our world that doesn't break down into tiny categories of alliance but brings everybody together into one clattering, sometimes discordant but always welcoming chorus of glorious pandemonium?

Country Bookshelf and Books in Common present Whiting Award-winning author and essayist Amy Leach in a virtual conversation sharing her new book, THE EVERYBODY ENSEMBLE, a celebration of an oddball interconnected world.

Ryan Busse

Tues., Nov. 18 - 7 p.m.

Fact and Fiction Books, Missoula

A long-time former executive at one of the country’s top gun manufacturers, author Ryan Busse has traveled a long, circuitous path along the American gun journey. As an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and conservationist–all things that the firearms industry was built on–he rose to the highest ranks of the rapidly growing, multibillion-dollar firearms industry. But replacing self-imposed decency with rampant fear-mongering, racism, hardline conservative politics, massive profits from semi-automatic weapons sales, and McCarthyesque policing drove Busse to do something few other gun executives have done: end his 30-year career in the industry to tell its secrets.

GUNFIGHT is an insider’s call-out, a voice-driven tale of personal transformation, and a ride through wild times and colorful characters that populate a much-speculated-about, but little-known industry.

Fact and Fiction Books will host a book signing and discussion with the author in their bookshop in Missoula. For more information, visit the event page online.

University of Montana MFA Poetry Readings

Tues., Nov. 30 - 7 p.m.

Zootown Arts, Missoula

Hosted by current candidates in poetry at University of Montana’s MFA program Madeline Tecmire and Kate Garcia, this event will feature poetry readings by undergraduates enrolled in the University’s "Intro to Poetry" classes. Enjoy poems from students who have been working in the past semester to develop skills as poets. This event is appropriate for all ages, however, please be aware that some poems may contain adult themes and language. Masks are required for attendees for all Show Room events at this time. For more information, visit the Zootown Arts event page online.

Pat Kittelson

Wed., Dec. 1 - 10:30 a.m.

Fact and Fiction Books, Missoula

Join Fact and Fiction for a morning of a children's reading circle with local author Pat Kittelson, author of BIXLY BAINES AND THE LITTLE SWEATERS – the tale of a disastrous oil spill and how a global community knits sweaters to rescue little blue penguins in Australia. For more information, visit the event page online.

Ann Patchett

Thurs., Dec. 2 - 7 p.m.

Virtual Event - Fact and Fiction Books

Widely published as a short-story writer and essayist, Ann Patchett became best known for her novels. Her first novel, THE PATRON SAINT OF LIARS, tells the story of a young pregnant woman who leaves the husband she does not love to travel to a home for unwed mothers.

In the author's newest work, THESE PRECIOUS DAYS, the New York Times bestselling author reflects on home, family, friendships and writing in a deeply personal collection of essays. Attendees for the exclusive online event at Fact and Fiction Books will receive access to the Crowdcast invite for Thurs., Dec. 2 with purchase of THESE PRECIOUS DAYS, available for preorder on their website.

Lailani Upham

Lailani Upham

Sat., Dec. 4 - 11 a.m.

Traveler's Rest - Virtual Event

Lailani Upham presents a program, "Connecting to land through a Tribal Lens."

How can Indigenous stories and ways of knowing elevate others in their understanding of identity? Indigenous stories offer a unique way to understand the power of the natural world and our human connections to the land. Through discussion about indigenous peoples’ ways of life, value systems, tribal languages, and stories created long before Montana was established in 1889, participants learn about a personal relationship to the natural world an can better understand how these elements sustain identity through history and in modern times.

Upham is an Amskapi Pikuni (Blackfeet Nation) tribal member, and a descendent from the Aaniih, Nakoda, and Dakota tribes and a journalist, educator, and business developer in indigenous stories and culture. Register online at Travelers' Rest State Park.

A Longmire Christmas

Sat., Dec. 4 - 6 p.m.

Billings Public Library

Join the creator of LONGMIRE, Craig Johnson, on December 4 at 6 p.m. at the Billings Public Library for a reading of an original Walt Longmire Christmas Story. Johnson will also sign autographs and share stories of Sheriff Longmire. Masks will be encouraged at this event.

Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series "Longmire." He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction and the Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association's Reading the West Book Award for fiction. His novella "Spirit of Steamboat" was the first One Book Wyoming selection.

For more information, visit Billings Public Library.

Candi Zion

Sat., Dec. 11

The History Museum - Great Falls

Author Candi Zion will discuss IN BETWEEN PEOPLE: THE METIS OF CENTRAL MONTANA, a historical documentation of the Métis people fleeing persecution by the Canadian government over land and political issues and the journeys that brought them to settle Central Montana beginning in 1979.

Zion interviewed descendants of the early Métis settlers and others who shared personal accounts and discussed family histories, revealing untold stories about their ancestors and themselves. From their devout Catholic faith, subsequent involvement with Louis Riel and petitions for land grants, to the Métis role in establishing Lewistown, Zion reveals a history of strong work ethics, tough living, tragedy, elders close-mouthed about the Native lineage, education, an unmarked mass Métis grave, military service as well as the origin of the Métis people.

Zion worked as the Missoula Historic Preservation Officer, managed historic facilities program for the Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Departments, worked as an independent consultant documenting and surveying numerous neighborhoods and historic buildings, and has conducted archaeological surveys and oral interview projects.

Visit The History Museum in Great Falls for more information.

John Fraley

Wed., Dec. 15 - 4 p.m.

Northwest Montana History Museum, Kalispell

Author and historian John Fraley will be on hand at the annual Open House to sign copies of his newly released book WILD RIVER PIONEERS and chat about his books, including RANGERS, TRAPPERS and TRAILBLAZERS, A WOMEN'S WAY WEST, and HEROES OF THE BOB MARSHALL WILDERNESS. For more information, visit the Northwest Montana History Museum event page.

Contact or to submit book and author events.

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