Martha Houston Weaver Adkins, in fifty short years in southern Park County, has odd jobbed her way as ranch hand, painter, cook and finally learned to make a decent apple pie.
Bryce Andrews is the author of Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West. He has worked on and managed cattle ranches in the high, wild valleys of Montana. He lives happily in Missoula, and is writing a second book.
Elise Atchison lives in an off-the-grid cabin on the edge of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Montana. Atchison’s work has appeared in Montana Quarterly, South Dakota Review, An Elk River Books Reader, Terrain, Cutthroat Journal, Reflections West Radio, and elsewhere, and she was awarded a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for her novel in progress. More information at eliseatchison.com.
Rick Bass is the author of over 30 books of environmental essays, novels and short fiction. He has received O. Henry Awards, numerous Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His latest collection of short stories, For a Little While, is a New York Times Book Review editor’s choice, and he is a board member of the Yaak Valley Forest Council (yaakvalley.org).
Marc Beaudin is the author of Vagabond Song: Neo-Haibun from the Peregrine Journals, The Moon Cracks Open: A Field Guide to the Birds and Other Poems and the play Frankenstein, Inc. He was the editor of the anti-war anthology Jidad bil Qalam: To Strive by Means of the Pen. His work has been seen in numerous journals and is included in the Bangtail Press anthology of Montana writers, An Elk River Books Reader as well as Poems Across the Big Sky, II: An Anthology of Montana Poets. Originally from Michigan, he now lives in Livingston, Montana where he is a bookseller and the artistic director of the Caldera Theatre Company. More at CrowVoice.com.
Frank Carter is the author of Feather Beard: Steps from the Heart of a Solitary Walker. He grew up in Montana and lives in Bozeman with his wife and son. He has years of experience working as an environmental educator (K-12) and a writing teacher at the University of Utah. He has also worked for the Jackson Hole Land Trust and Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. Frank earned a master’s degree in environmental education from Teton Science School in Kelly, Wyoming and a Master’s of Science in environmental humanities at the University of Utah. He is a passionate teacher, naturalist, outdoorsman, author, artist and musician. Most recently, Frank worked for the University of Utah as the regional director of the Taft-Nicholson Center for Environmental Humanities in Centennial Valley, MT. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work to bridge his conservation and education background with a career in therapy and mental health. Learn more at featherbeardmusic.com.
Dave Caserio is the author of, This Vanishing, from CW Books and Wisdom For A Dance In The Street, a CD of poetry and music from Gazoobi Tales. A recipient of a Fellowship in Poetry award from the New York State Foundation of the Arts, Dave works with various community outreach programs, the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau, Arts Without Boundaries, the Billings YMCA/Writer’s Voice “Poets on the Prairie”, and for the Billings Clinic Cancer Center conducting writing workshops for cancer survivors. He is a founding member of the writer’s collective, Big Sky Writing, and Producer of a series of poetry-in-performance events, A Feast For The Hunger Moon, WordSongs, Arc of the Communal, and I Conjure A Stubborn Faith, that combine poetry, music, dance and the visual arts.
John Clayton writes about the history and culture of the American West from his home in Red Lodge. His books include The Cowboy Girl: The Life of Caroline Lockhart and, most recently, Stories from Montana’s Enduring Frontier. A regular contributor to the Montana Quarterly, he has also written for Montana Magazine, Big Sky Journal, and High Country News. This essay is taken from a work-in-progress, a cultural history of Yellowstone tentatively titled Wonderlandscape. Learn more about John at his website, www.johnclaytonbooks.com.
Michael Earl Craig is the current Poet Laureate of Montana. His most recent book of poems is Talkativeness (Wave Books, 2014). He is a farrier, and lives in the Shields Valley near Livingston, Montana.
Award-winning journalist Seabring Davis is the former editor-in-chief of Big Sky Journal and editor emeritus of Western Art & Architecture. Her work has been published in Mountain Living, True West Magazine, Via, Postcards, Montana Quarterly. She is a blogger for TheLastBestPlates.com and the author of five lifestyle books, including, the High Plains Book Award Culinary winner, A Taste of Montana, as well as A Montana Table: Recipes from Chico Hot Springs Resort.
A fourth generation descendant of Cornish tin miners and Irish copper miners, Butte native Edwin Dobb is the co-producer and co-writer of the documentary film Butte, America. He writes for National Geographic, among other publications, and teaches at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Charlotte McGuinn Freeman is the author of Place Last Seen. Since 2002 she has made her home in Livingston, where she gardens, forages for mushrooms and raises backyard chickens. She writes at livingsmallblog.com and other places about food, gardens, wilderness and the Anthropocene.
Amanda Fortini has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, the New Republic, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Wired, Slate and Salon, among other publications. She is currently a contributing editor at Elle Magazine, and has been the William Kittredge Visiting Professor at the University of Montana. Her essays been widely anthologized, including in Best American Political Writing and Best of Slate, and she was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award.
Tami Haaland is the author of two books of poetry: When We Wake in the Night, and Breath in Every Room, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Prize. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies and have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and American Life in Poetry. Recently her work was included as part of a collaborative film installation in England, and her prose has appeared in American Art Review and These Living Songs, an anthology focused on Montana’s historic and contemporary poets. She teaches at Montana State University Billings and was Montana’s fifth Poet Laureate.
During his legendary writing life, Jim Harrison (1937-2016), published thirty-nine books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including Legends of the Fall, The Road Home, and Dalva, with a posthumous volume of food-related essays, A Really Big Lunch, forthcoming from Grove Atlantic in 2017. His work is translated into twenty-seven languages, and an extensive literary archive is housed at Grand Valley State University. With a fondness for open space and anonymous thickets, he divided his time between Paradise Valley, Montana, and the mountains of southern Arizona.
William “Gatz” Hjortsberg has published twelve books and is the author of numerous screenplays (notably Legend, directed by Ridley Scott). His novels include Alp, Gray Matters, Nevermore, Falling Angel (translated into 19 languages and made into the film, Angel Heart), and his most recent, Mañana. He wrote the definitive biography of Richard Brautigan, Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan. His work has appeared in Playboy, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Penthouse, Men’s Journal, the Cornell Review and other periodicals. Born in New York City, Hjortsberg has been a Montana resident for more than 40 years and lives in Livingston with his wife, landscape artist Janie Camp.
John Holt’s latest novel, Death in a Live Forest, was just published by New Pulp Press. His novel Where Paradise Lay based on the proposed Seven-Up Pete goldmine in the upper Blackfoot River drainage will be published by Absolutely Amazing eBooks in Spring 2016. He and his wife, Ginny, fish and hang out in sparsely-populated country, mainly the remoteness found on northern high plains in Montana and connected country that runs north into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. They’ve completed articles for magazines including The Flyfish Journal, Crossroads, Men’s Journal, and Big Sky Journal.
Greg Keeler has published two memoirs, Waltzing With the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan (Limberlost) and Trash Fish: a Life (Counterpoint). Limberlost also published Almost Happy, his latest of seven collections of poetry. Three of his poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writers’ Almanac, and NPR’s Car Talk aired his song “WD-40 Polka.” He illustrated Jim Harrison’s chapbook, Livingston Suite, and his paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Bozeman, Livingston and Butte and have appeared in such magazines as FlyFish Journal, Big Sky Journal, and Distinctly Montana.
Alan Kesselheim has lived in Montana since the early 80s. His freelance career has followed his passions, not the least of which has been the Yellowstone River. His latest books are Montana: Real Place, Real People and Let Them Paddle.
Joan Kresich is a long time educator now working to bring restorative justice and sustainable practices to her community. She is the co-founder of HOOP Community Circles in Livingston MT, and Transition Town Livingston. She is the chair of Yellowstone Bend Citizens Council. Joan’s poetry and prose have appeared in Adanna Literary Journal, Chrysalis Reader, HeART Online, Albatross, CounterPunch, and Snowy Egret, among others. She lives in Livingston, Montana and Berkeley, California, in one place listening to the cries of wild geese, and in the other, the tumble of urban dialects.
Ken McCullough was born in Staten Island, grew up in Newfoundland, and considers the mountains of Montana and Wyoming to be his spiritual home. He returns every year to hike the backcountry. He lives now in Winona, Minnesota, where he is Winona’s Poet Laureate. Broken Gates, his most recent book of poetry, is his eighth. McCullough has also collaborated with Cambodian poet U Sam Oeur, a Pol Pot survivor, on a bilingual edition of U’s poetry, Sacred Vows, and a memoir, Crossing Three Wildernesses. McCullough is married to playwright Lynn Nankivil.
Brant Oswald is a fly fishing guide and instructor based in Livingston, Montana. He has written extensively for fly fishing periodicals—as a columnist for both The Angler’s Journal and Wild Trout Journal, and as a contributor to Big Sky Journal, Fly Fishing Retailer, Rod & Reel, and Wild on the Fly, as well as Tight Loop and Flyfisher, both Japanese fly fishing magazines. Brant has been active with conservation groups, including CalTrout, the Joe Brooks Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Park County Environmental Council, and he served on the Governor’s Upper Yellowstone River Task Force from 1997 to 2003.
Doug Peacock is the author of Grizzly Years, ¡Baja!, Walking It Off: A Veteran’s Chronicle of War and Wilderness, and co-author (with Andrea Peacock) of The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears. A Vietnam veteran and former Green Beret medic, Peacock has published widely on wilderness issues ranging from grizzly bears to buffalo, from the Sonoran Desert to the fjords of British Columbia, from the tigers of Siberia to the blue sheep of Nepal. A friend of the late author Edward Abbey, Peacock was the model for Abbey’s infamous character, George Washington Hayduke. He was named a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2011 Lannan Fellow for his work on his latest book, In the Shadow of the Sabertooth: Global Warming, the Origins of the First Americans and the Terrible Beasts of the Pleistocene. More at DougPeacock.net.
Ilona Popper is the author of the poetry book, Break. Her poems have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, the Antietam Review, and other journals, and she has performed her poetry in theaters. Ilona also writes articles about wildlife and teaches and coaches writers. She’s active in the grassroots Montana environmental group, Bear Creek Council. Her website is ilonapopper.wordpress.com.
Bernard Quetchenbach’s writings have appeared in a variety of books, journals, and anthologies. His work has recently been published, or is forthcoming, in The Ecopoetry Anthology, Yellowstone Color It Wild, and Thinking Continental: Writing Local in a Global World. He was a 2015 Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation Artist-in-Residence and is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers. He has published two books and two chapbooks of poetry, the most recent of which is The Hermit’s Place, published by Wild Leaf Press. His essay collection The Music of Circumstance is forthcoming from Oregon State University Press. He teaches literature and writing at MSU Billings.
Shann Ray grew up in Montana. He spent some of the best years of his life in Paradise Valley, walking the mountains, body floating the Yellowstone, jumping off bridges into clear water. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, his poetry and prose have been honored with the American Book Award, the High Plains Book Award in poetry and fiction, and the Bakeless Prize. He is the author of Balefire: Poems, American Masculine: Stories, the novel American Copper and Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity. He teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University and has served as a visiting scholar in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Because of his wife and three daughters, he believes in love.
Myers Reece is a writer and editor based out of Whitefish, Montana. His journalism, essays and fiction have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, including USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, The Drake, Montana Quarterly, Whitefish Review, Big Sky Journal and more. He was a founding member of the Flathead Beacon, where he was previously senior writer and now is an editor. He also writes for and edits Flathead Living, an award-winning quarterly magazine. He completed his first novel manuscript in the summer of 2016 and, at last observation, was waiting for the pile of pages to morph into a published book. His website is myersreece.com.
Russell Rowland is a third generation Montanan, born in Bozeman in 1957. He completed a BA in Music Education at Pacific Lutheran University in 1980, with plans of becoming the next Elton John. These plans were derailed by lack of motivation and talent, and until he discovered Raymond Carver, Russell had very little idea what he wanted to do in life. After deciding to become a writer at the age of 28, he gave himself one year to get published. Fifteen years later, In Open Spaces hit the bookshelves, making a fairly big splash with a New York Times review and a week on the San Francisco Chronicle’s bestseller list. His second and third novels, The Watershed Years and High and Inside were both finalists for the High Plains Book Award. His latest book is Fifty-Six Counties: A Montana Journey. He lives in Billings, where he teaches writing workshops and does private consultation with other writers.
Toby Thompson is the author of five books of nonfiction: Riding the Rough String: Reflections on the American West, Metroliner, Saloon, The ’60s Report and Positively Main Street: Bob Dylan’s Minnesota. He has written for magazines as diverse as Vanity Fair, Esquire, Playboy, Men’s Journal, Outside, Big Sky Journal and the New York Times. He teaches nonfiction in the creative writing program at Penn State, but lives part of each year in Livingston. He first visited Montana in 1959, working as a ranch hand near West Yellowstone. That summer he stepped off the train at Livingston, saw the town and its mountains, and hasn’t stopped coming back.
Richard Wheeler is a retired newsman, book editor, and novelist who has lived in Montana most of his adult life.
Todd Wilkinson, who lives in Bozeman, has been writing about the environment for 30 years. He is a correspondent for National Geographic and The Christian Science Monitor and his work has appeared in dozens of prominent magazines and newspapers with assignments that have taken him around the world. He also is author of several acclaimed and award-winning books, including the recent Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek, An Intimate Portrait of 399, the Most Famous Bear of Greater Yellowstone and Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet.
Terry Tempest Williams has been called “a citizen writer,” a writer who speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. Her most recent book is The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks. Past books include Refuge, When Women Were Birds, and The Open Space of Democracy. She is co-editor of the anthology Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness, which was instrumental in the creation of Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. More at CoyoteClan.com.