Shakespeare & Co.

An Independent Bookstore

Shakespeare & Co. is an independent full-service bookstore in Missoula, MT.  We sell new books, kids books, gifts, journals, cards, t-shirts, gift certificates and more. Stop by for recommendations and check out our readings and events!

Hours: Mon - Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-5, Sun 12 - 5

Ted McDermott - The Minor Outsider
Jun
27
7:00 pm19:00

Ted McDermott - The Minor Outsider

Tuesday, June 27: Ted McDermott, based in Butte, joins us for a reading on the release day of The Minor Outsider, his new novel set here in Missoula. 7pm.

"The Minor Outsider is a major debut. McDermott's witty and stirring love story tracks so many of the wonderful ways we doom our happiness. It's thrillingly sad! And quite funny." – Sam Lipsyte

"A round of applause for Ted McDermott, please. He's earned it. The Minor Outsider is a spirited, audacious, and drolly funny debut novel." – Patrick deWitt

"Let me tell you what I love about this book: its unflinching honesty. How many books can you say this about? The Minor Outsider may be a first novel, but there's a lifetime of observation behind it. Ted McDermott knows us - all our flaws, all our vanities, and yes, all the little things that make our hearts leap. As humane a new book as I've read in a long, long time." – Peter Orner

“Wry, sharp-eyed, fresh as mountain air.” – Jonathan Trigell

Ed and Taylor, both aspiring young writers, fall in love during a summer of aimless drinking and partying in their university town of Missoula, Montana. Lonely and looking for love, they connect despite their profound differences: Ed is brooding, ambitious and self-destructive, living in denial of a mysterious tumor spreading from his limbs to his brain. Taylor is positive, full of hope and emotional generosity, but like everyone, she has her limits. Their difficult relationship is intense, exciting, yet doomed from the start, complicated further when Taylor becomes pregnant. As Ed resists the harmony she brings to his life, Taylor's need to protect herself and their child also grows, until a dramatic finale.

Ted Mc Dermott's stark book speaks truthfully and with a touch of dark humor for and to today's generation of young people trying to find hope in what feels to many like an existential void. The Minor Outsider will be read as the young literary voice of our dark times.

Ted McDermott's fiction and nonfiction have appeared in VICEThe BelieverThe Portland ReviewThe Minus Times, and elsewhere. In 2009, he was nominated for the Essay Prize. He has been a baker, a mover, a cook, a college instructor, an encyclopedist, and a reporter. He lives in Butte, Montana. The Minor Outsider is his first novel.

Maile Meloy - Do Not Become Alarmed
Jun
28
7:00 pm19:00

Maile Meloy - Do Not Become Alarmed

Wednesday, June 28: Maile Meloy, award-winning author originally from Helena, MT, joins us for a reading from her new novel, Do Not Become Alarmed. 7pm.

"Do Not Become Alarmed is the book that every reader longs for: smart and thrilling and impossible to put down. Read it once at breakneck speed to find out what happens next, and then read it slowly to marvel at the perfect prose and the masterwork of a plot. It is an alarmingly good novel." - Ann Patchett

Do Not Become Alarmed is, on the surface, about what happens when two families go on vacation together and the children go missing. The disintegration of the world the families knew--told from the perspectives of the adults and the children--is both riveting and revealing. The parents, accustomed to security and control, turn on one another and blame themselves, while the children discover resources they never knew they possessed. Do Not Become Alarmed is a story about the protective force of innocence, the limits of parental power, and the privileged illusion of safety. It captivates readers with a fast-paced, gripping plot, while also providing a probing and provocative examination of inequality, empathy, and accidents of birth, and the challenge of living up to our own expectations.

Maile Meloy is the author of the novels Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter, the short-story collections Half in Love and Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (named one of the 10 Best Books of 2009 by The New York Times Book Review), and a bestselling middle-grade trilogy. Her fiction has won the Paris Review's Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award, and the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Meloy was shortlisted for the UK's Orange Prize and chosen as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists.

Meg Moseman - Of Elsewhere: An Exoskeleton
Jul
20
7:00 pm19:00

Meg Moseman - Of Elsewhere: An Exoskeleton

Thursday, July 20: Meg Moseman, writer and illustrator from Missoula, joins us for a reading from her new chapbook, Of Elsewhere: An Exoskeleton. 7pm.

Of Elsewhere: An Exoskeleton is a small chapbook of art, poetry, and short prose that loosely charts the course of the seasons and a character's abusive romance with God.

Meg Moseman lives in Missoula and puts her English degree to work in the children's section of a bookstore. She writes and illustrates fantasy and poetry in her spare time.

Robert Madrygin - The Solace of Trees
Sep
16
1:00 pm13:00

Robert Madrygin - The Solace of Trees

Saturday, September 16: Vermont-based author Robert Madrygin reads from his new novel, The Solace of Trees. 1pm.

“Robert Madrygin’s devastating debut novel tells the story of a Bosnian Muslim war orphan given a second chance in America only to be caught up in the madness of the US-led global War on Terror. If this book doesn’t dispel the myth of American exceptionalism, nothing will.” — L. E. Randolph, editor-in-chief of Ploughshares

The Solace of Trees tells the story of Amir, a young boy of secular Muslim heritage who witnesses his family’s murder in the Bosnian War. Amir hides in a forest, mute and shocked, among refugees fleeing for their lives. Narrowly escaping death in rural Bosnia, he finds sanctuary in a UN camp. After a charity relocates him to the United States, the retired professor who fosters Amir learns that the boy holds a shameful secret concerning his parents’ and sister’s deaths. Amir’s years in the US bring him healing and a loving place in a new family. In college, as a film studies major, he falls in love⎯and he accepts the request of an Islamic Studies professor to work on a documentary film on the plight of Palestinians. 9/11 comes, and with it, the arrest of the professor. As Amir enters adulthood, his destiny brings him full circle back to the darkness he thought he’d forever escaped.

Robert Madrygin spent his early years in postwar Japan, where his father, a US military lawyer, defended the rights of Japanese POWs. Numerous moves followed across the US and Europe. As an adult Madrygin lived with his wife and three children in Ecuador and Barcelona. He built a successful business and yet worked also in India managing a worldwide holistic conference and in post-Tsunami Thailand. In spring 2017 he will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina. He and his wife live in Brattleboro, Vermont.

 

Shakespeare & Co presents: Jane Smiley at the Montana Book Festival (time TBA)
Sep
27
Oct 1

Shakespeare & Co presents: Jane Smiley at the Montana Book Festival (time TBA)

Shakespeare & Co is thrilled to welcome 2017 Montana Book Festival headliner Jane Smiley.

Jane Smiley won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 for her novel A Thousand Acres. She is the author of over a dozen novels, and has also written numerous young adult novels, short stories, and non-fiction works.

In 2001, Smiley was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters. She won the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, and chaired the judges' panel for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize in 2009. She lives in northern California.

 

Shakespeare & Co Presents: Donald Ray Pollock at the Montana Book Festival (time TBA)
Sep
27
Oct 1

Shakespeare & Co Presents: Donald Ray Pollock at the Montana Book Festival (time TBA)

Shakespeare & Co is thrilled to welcome 2017 Montana Book Festival headliner Donald Ray Pollock.

Donald Ray Pollock is an American writer. Born in 1954 and raised in Knockemstiff, Ohio, Pollock has lived his entire adult life in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he worked at the Mead Paper Mill as a laborer and truck driver until age 50, when he enrolled in the English program at Ohio State University. While there, Doubleday published his debut short story collection, Knockemstiff, and the New York Times regularly posted his election dispatches from southern Ohio throughout the 2008 campaign. The Devil All The Time, his first novel, was published in 2011. His work has appeared in various literary journals, including Epoch, Sou’wester, Granta, Third Coast, River Styx, The Journal, Boulevard, Tin House, and PEN America. His newest book, a novel called The Heavenly Table, was published in July, 2016.


Caroline Patterson - Ballet at the Moose Lodge: Stories
Jun
24
1:00 pm13:00

Caroline Patterson - Ballet at the Moose Lodge: Stories

Saturday, June 24: Montana author Caroline Patterson reads from her collection of stories, Ballet at the Moose Lodge. 1pm.

“Caroline Patterson writes with grace and grit, stories that light up both the real Montana landscape and the imagined. She is a savvy and gleeful interpreter of the lightning-strike epiphanies that comprise our daily lives.” -- Susanna Sonnenberg, author of She Matters: A Life in Friendships

Caroline Patterson makes her home in Missoula, Montana, with her husband, writer Fred Haefele, and her two college-aged children, Phoebe and Tobin. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she is the executive director of the Missoula Writing Collaborative.

 

 

Lynsey G - Watching Porn and Other Confessions of an Adult Entertainment Journalist
Jun
23
7:00 pm19:00

Lynsey G - Watching Porn and Other Confessions of an Adult Entertainment Journalist

Friday, June 23: Lynsey G, Missoula-based author, reads from her new memoir, Watching Porn and Other Confessions of an Adult Entertainment Journalist. 7pm.

Tantalizing, eye-opening, and witty, Watching Porn is a provocative book about an average girl’s foray into the porn industry and the people who make it what it is, both in front of and behind the camera. Often laugh-out-loud funny and thought provoking, Watching Porn is a wildly entertaining and surprisingly relatable memoir that will spark conversation about the intersection of pornography, sex, relationships, consumerism, and what it means to be a feminist today.

Signed 1st edition: Watching Porn and Other Confessions of an Adult Entertainment Journalist
27.95
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“A young, vivacious, sexually-repressed feminist gets a job watching porn. Hijinks ensue . . . A valuable and insightful contribution to our ongoing dialogue about the role that porn holds in society today, and what role we believe it should hold, in a responsible and ethical formulation of modern sexuality.” — David Ley, PhD, Author of Ethical Porn for Dicks

Lynsey G. is a reviewer, interviewer, critic, documentary filmmaker, and blogger. Her work has appeared in Refinery29, BUST, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Bitch magazine, MEL Magazine, Luna Luna Magazine, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and others. After many years of doing battle with the New York City subway system, she now resides in Missoula, Montana.

Sean McDaniel & Alec Cizak
Jun
21
7:00 pm19:00

Sean McDaniel & Alec Cizak

Wednesday, June 21: Billings novelist Sean McDaniel will read from his new book, Criminal Zoo. He will be joined by Missoula's own Alec Cizak, reading from his new novella Down on the Street. 7pm.


"Criminal Zoo is a chilling narrative into the mind of a serial killer. This book is terrifying, not the creepy 'who's behind the door' scary, but disquieting, in the way the reader is immediately brought into the killer's world. Sean McDaniel does a great job of giving the reader an insight into the thoughts, actions, and justifications of the villian through a first person chronicle. McDaniel has created a standout novel. Good character development, a twisting plot complete with a couple of 'didn't see that coming' moments, and a crucial social issue all contribute to making this a must read." —Larry Kennedy, owner of The Book Cellar

Sean McDaniel, born in Durango, CO, grew up on the plains of southeastern New Mexico. At the age of twenty-five, he founded Plaza Fitness Health Club, and is also a contributing editor for MuscleMag International. He lives in Billings, MT


Alec Cizak.jpg

“Alec Cizak demonstrates in Down on the Street that he remains among the top fiction writers alive, regardless of genre. This is a crime story, but it’s so much more. Words like sharpened blades cut out the reader’s heart, emotionally and otherwise. I read this novella in a burst. A week later, I’m still absorbing it.” —Rob Pierce, author of Uncle Dust and With the Right Enemies.

Alec Cizak is a writer and filmmaker from Indianapolis. He is the author of Between Juarez and El PasoManifesto Destination, and a collection of short stories, Crooked Roads. He is also the editor of the fiction journal Pulp Modern.

Christine Carbo - The Weight of Night
Jun
8
7:00 pm19:00

Christine Carbo - The Weight of Night

Thursday, June 8: Christine Carbo, Whitefish-based author, reads from her latest novel, The Weight of Night. 7pm.

On most days, the wilderness gave me peace. But not tonight.

In a land sculpted by glaciers, the forest is on fire. Thick smoke chokes the mountain air and casts a twilight glow over the imposing mountains and vistas of the Crown Jewel of the Continent. When firefighters are called in to dig fuel line breaks near the small town bordering the park, a crewmember is shocked to unearth a shallow grave containing human remains.

The Weight of Night is Christine Carbo’s latest novel in an award-winning series which “paints a moving picture of complex, flawed people fighting to make their way in a wilderness where little is black or white” (Publishers Weekly). It is a gripping tribute to the power of redemption, set against one of America’s most majestic and unforgiving landscapes.

Christine grew up in Gainesville, Florida – the same town her main character in The Wild Inside grows up in – then moved to Kalispell, Montana when she was twelve. At first, she hated leaving her friends and the beaches of Florida, but after a few months of living in the Flathead Valley, which is surrounded by beautiful lakes, mountains, wildlife and a ski resort, she quickly came to love the area. 

Christine received a Masters in English/Linguistics from the University of Montana. After, she began teaching English courses at Flathead Valley Community College in her hometown of Kalispell. The endeavor of writing has been an amazing journey for Christine, filled with all the necessary binary operations in life: self-doubt and self-belief, pain and joy, frustration and contentment, sadness and happiness, defeat and hope… the list goes on. Throughout this process, Christine has come to realize that writing is even more fulfilling when she stays involved with other writers. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Authors of the Flathead, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, Outdoor Writers Association of America, and Montana Women Writers. 

Currently, Christine and her husband, Jamie, live in Whitefish with three kids, one dog and a cat. When Christine’s not teaching Pilates or writing suspense, she’s enjoying all that living in Northwest Montana has to offer.

John Kratz - Hiking Waterfalls in Montana
Jun
1
7:00 pm19:00

John Kratz - Hiking Waterfalls in Montana

Thursday, June 1: Missoula-based author, educator, and adventurer John Kratz joins us for a reading from his new guide, Hiking Waterfalls in Montana. 7pm.

Hiking Waterfalls in Montana includes detailed hike descriptions, maps, and color photos for some 100 of the state’s most scenic waterfall hikes. Encompassing state and national parks, forests, monuments and wilderness areas, this guide includes history, local trivia, and GPS coordinates, leading hikers to remote corners to view spectacular waterfalls.

John Kratz is originally from Pocatello, Idaho and currently lives in Missoula, MT.  When he’s not out adventuring in the mountains, he spends his time playing music around town and working as a Spanish immersion teacher at Missoula International School.  Hiking Waterfalls in Montana is John’s first published hiking guide.

Theodore Waddell: My Montana - Book Signing with Rick Newby at the Montana Art Museum
May
31
4:00 pm16:00

Theodore Waddell: My Montana - Book Signing with Rick Newby at the Montana Art Museum

Wednesday, May 31: Join us at the Missoula Art Museum for a book signing of THEODORE WADDELL: My Montana—Paintings and Sculpture, 1959–2016 with author Rick Newby. 4pm.

Heavily illustrated with the artist’s own work, as well as images from his personal archive, Theodore Waddell: My Montana traces Waddell’s influences, ranging from the Cezannesque works of Montana rancher and teacher Isabelle Johnson to the abstract expressionism of Robert Motherwell, the expressionist figuration of Robert DeNiro Sr., and the classic western paintings of Karl Bodmer, Charles M. Russell, Frederic Remington, Thomas Moran, Joseph Henry Sharp, and Maynard Dixon. 

With access to Waddell’s journals and letters and an extensive oral history recently completed, author Rick Newby offers unprecedented insight into Waddell’s first years as an avowed artist and his period of struggle and disciplined creativity. Newby portrays Waddell’s decades as a practicing rancher and the years of his success— when his sculptures and vast canvases have found homes in leading museums.

Rick Newby has contributed major essays to the exhibition catalogs A Ceramic Continuum: Fifty Years of the Archie Bray Influence and The Most Difficult Journey: The Poindexter Collections of American Modernist Painting. He is the editor of In Poetic Silence: The Floral Paintings of Joseph Henry Sharp, by Thomas Minckler.

Rachel Mindell & Jenny Montgomery
May
25
7:00 pm19:00

Rachel Mindell & Jenny Montgomery

Thursday, May 25: UM alumna and outgoing Montana Book Festival director Rachel Mindell and Missoula Renaissance woman Jenny Montgomery join us for a poetry reading. 7pm.


Rachel Mindell is writer and teacher originally from Tucson, Arizona. Her chapbook, A Teardrop and a Bullet, was released last year by Dancing Girl Press. Individual poems have appeared in Pool, DIAGRAM, Bombay Gin, BOAAT, and elsewhere. 


Jenny Montgomery will read new work as well as poems from the chapbook, Hatch, exploring a child's near-death experience and exuberant embrace of life and language. The poems free us to lighten up about death and disability, even as we confront their mysteries.

Jenny Montgomery has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Barrow Street, Tar River, CALYX, Unsplendid, the New York TimesGathering of the Tribes, and the Cairo Times. Her poetry installations have been shown at galleries in Montana and Washington. She was educated at the Evergreen State College and Columbia University. She resides in Missoula, where she owns a distillery with her husband, Ryan.

 

J. Robert Lennon - Broken River
May
23
7:00 pm19:00

J. Robert Lennon - Broken River

Tuesday, May 23: J. Robert Lennon joins us from Ithaca, New York, for a reading of his new novel Broken River. 7pm.

“An intimate portrait of the violence we do to each other, about family and art and the scars of unspeakable acts. Broken River blisters and rips and ultimately soars. I loved it.” —Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

Broken River is a novel with multiple identities: it's a ghost story, a crime story, a coming-of-age story, a story about love and family and fiction itself. What is astonishing is how well all these elements work together, how they intertwine as seamlessly as the fBroken River ates of Lennon's characters. As good as fiction gets.”—Ben Winters

“Like a Coen Brothers film, Broken River is a strange world unto itself—it does not seek you out, but waits for you, beating on without and even despite you. It is the work of one of today's great unheralded masters of fiction writing at his most compelling and most innovative yet. Somehow, Lennon has achieved something ingenious and unimaginable: he has made the reader complicit in a tangled narrative of cause and effect, a witness to a double homicide, bystander to troubled lives, and co-conspirator in the worst revenge plot imaginable. All the while, you, guilty reader, are helplessly bound by your own reality, forever separated by the page from the world within this book that is as near perfect a literary thriller as could ever be written.” —Andrew Unger, Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park

J. Robert Lennon’s cinematic, darkly comic novel Broken River opens with a terrifying scene: in the middle of the night, a couple and their child flee their modest home in upstate New York. But it’s already too late for them. As this violent panorama unfolds, a spectral presence—the Observer—watches with cold and mysterious interest. Before long, the house lies abandoned and falls into disrepair, until years later a new family moves in.

Karl, Eleanor, and their daughter, Irina, arrive from New York City in the wake of Karl’s infidelity to start their lives anew. While Karl tries to stabilize his flailing art career, Eleanor, a successful commercial novelist, eagerly pivots in a new creative direction. Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Irina becomes obsessed with the brutal murders that occurred more than a decade earlier. As the ensemble cast grows to include Louis, a hapless carpet salesman who is haunted by his past, and Sam, a young woman newly reunited with her jailbird brother, secrets surrounding the unsolved murders come to light. All the while the Observer looms—a gradually awakening consciousness—as the narrative threads of this brilliant psychological thriller weave dangerously together.

J. Robert Lennon is the author of eight novels, including Familiar, Castle, and Mailman, as well as two story collections. His fiction has appeared in the Paris Review, Granta, Harper's, Playboy, and the New Yorker. He lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches writing at Cornell University.

Natalie Peeterse - Dreadful : Luminosity, Letters
May
20
1:00 pm13:00

Natalie Peeterse - Dreadful : Luminosity, Letters

Saturday, May 20: UM alumna Natalie Peeterse joins us for a reading of poetry from her new chapbook, Dreadful : Luminosity, Letters. 1pm.

“Natalie Peeterse’s Dreadful : Luminosity is painful, precise, physical, powerful, timeless, full of the kinds of detail that make this love this love, this life this life, and so sharp that it is a deep & nourishing breath to exist here in these poems, in the smallness of ‘arms outstretched and while we do this with our hours it is easy to forget what was before we dove / down into that smallness’. But lest you think these poems to Peeterse’s young daughter are sheltered by a kitchen fort of love: no. The whole world dwells here, roaming, seeking, reaching for one another. So full of feeling, it is the work of the world and all of us who live in it to be here together. ‘Don’t look away, I tell us both. Not yet.’” —Ellen Welcker

Dreadful : Luminosity is a sequence of poems about what it means to live in this world with all of its shine and dread. The poet addresses her daughter, drawing a lyric map to the highways, chapels and alleyways where she might find the answers to the questions she will have as she grows into a woman.

Natalie Peeterse has an MFA from the University of Montana. She is the editor of Verde Te Quiero Verde: Poems after Federico Garcia Lorca. Her poetry has appeared in MagnoliaBlackbird, and Sonora Review among other journals. She was included in I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights. Her chapbook Black Birds : Blue Horse, An Elegy won the Gold Line Press Poetry Prize in 2011. She has been a fellow with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, a participant at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and an artist in residence at the Caldera Institute. She is a recipient of the 2013 Artist Innovation Award by the Montana Arts Council.

S. Brian Willson - Blood on the Tracks
May
19
7:00 pm19:00

S. Brian Willson - Blood on the Tracks

Friday, May 19: S. Brian Willson joins us from Portland, Oregon to read from his memoir, Blood on the Tracks. 7pm.

"Brian Willson's courage, integrity, and dedication to peace and justice and to a sustainable society have been an inspiration to all of those who seek to change the course on which we are lurching towards destruction. His memoir should be read and pondered, and its lessons should be taken to heart by those who hope to create a more decent world." —Noam Chomsky

"Brian Willson has lived one of the more interesting and inspiring lives of any peace activist in recent American history. His story deserves to be read and absorbed by people of all persuasions: militarists as well as anti-militarists." —Peter Dale Scott, author of The War Conspiracy

"No one has gone deeper into the heart of American militarism and moral despair than Brian Willson, paying an immeasurable cost, only to come out intact on the other side. His brilliant extendedreflection not only gives us light but also hope:  this is what it means to be an upright human being in a world of violence and lies.  He can't be stopped! Thank God Brian Willson has written his story:  we Americans need it desperately." —Mark Rudd, author of Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen

After serving in the Vietnam War, S. Brian Willson became a radical, nonviolent peace protester and pacifist, and this memoir details the drastic governmental and social change he has spent his life fighting for. Chronicling his personal struggle with a government he believes to be unjust, Willson sheds light on the various incarnations of his protests of the U.S. government, including the refusal to pay taxes, public fasting, and, most famously, public obstruction. On September 1, 1987, Willson was run over by a U.S. government munitions train during a nonviolent blocking action in which he expected to be removed from the tracks. Providing a full look into the tragic event, Willson, who lost his legs in the incident, discusses how the subsequent publicity propelled his cause toward the national consciousness. Now, 23 years later, Willson tells his story of social injustice, nonviolent struggle, and the so-called American way of life.

Eden Solas & Nora Justice
May
18
7:00 pm19:00

Eden Solas & Nora Justice

Thursday, May 18: Eden Solas, originally from California, will read from her collection of short stories, Tender Tinder Tarot Teacher. University of Montana alumna Nora Justice will read from her new poetry and art collection, Second Puberty. 7pm. Join us ahead of time for tarot readings from Eden at 6pm.

Eden Solas

Tender Tinder Tarot Teacher chronicles a year of Eden Solas' daily encounters with the new age, the desert dating scene, economic hardships, and small everyday trials and triumphs through her role of payday loan attendant. Solas’ short stories touch intimately on the breadth of lives in the High Desert region. 

Eden is from Fontana, California, a former steel town where her parents worked as nurses at the first Kaiser Permanente hospital.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California and recently received the Truman Capote scholarship to
attend the University of Montana’s Creative Writing Graduate program.

 

Nora Justice

Nora Justice has been writing and publishing poetry since her teens, but recently published her first collection Second Puberty, an intimate collage of art and poetry. She writes about relationships, her years working in animal rights activism, her lifelong struggle with her Catholic identity, mortality, sexuality, queer politics, coming out as a trans-woman, birds, hauntings, and the ghostly vibes of the Pacific Northwest. She has worked extensively in activism, politics and alternative media, toured the nation playing in various bands, has had several visual art gallery showings in Missoula and holds degrees in both Native American Studies and Irish Studies from the University of Montana. Currently she is working on a project to help publish the poetry of those confined to mental health facilities and is an active member of four local bands: Preachy, Wilhelmina, Holy Lands, and her solo project False Teeth. 

Mark Gibbons - The Imitation Blues
May
10
7:00 pm19:00

Mark Gibbons - The Imitation Blues

Wednesday, May 10: UM alumnus Mark Gibbons reads from his new poetry collection, The Imitation Blues. 7pm.

At times weary, at times sparkling with wonder, The Imitation Blues is a fierce meditation on what is lost, what is found. The poems here are burly, flexing, but there is grace in all the musculature. Political, but never indulgent; profound, but never ephemeral. These poems are deeply rooted. A tough guy eye on mortality, but a tender heart revealed as he squints. “This losing is what we do,” Gibbons professes, but this collection is a gift you will find meaning in, again and again. —Richard Fifield, author of The Flood Girls

Mark Gibbons, a poet from western Montana, has lived and worked here his entire life. He is the author of eight collections of poems. Gibbons' work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. His most recent book, Shadowboxing, 2014, is available from
FootHills Publishing. An MFA graduate from the University of Montana, Mark received the Artist Innovation Award in 2013. He lives in Missoula with his wife and two cats where he continues to write, teach, and eke out a living. Mark has worked for the Missoula Writing Collaborative for two decades.

Jenny Forrester - Narrow River, Wide Sky
May
9
7:00 pm19:00

Jenny Forrester - Narrow River, Wide Sky

Tuesday, May 9: Jenny Forrester will read from her new memoir, Narrow River, Wide Sky. 7pm

"Jenny Forrester has hit the mother lode." - Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water

"This is a voice of the American West." - Ariel Gore, author of The End of Eve

On the Colorado Plateau among slot canyons and rattlesnakes, Jenny Forrester grew up with her mother and brother in a single-wide trailer proudly displaying an American flag. Forrester’s powerfully eloquent story reveals a rural small town comprising God-fearing Republicans, ranchers, Mormons, and Native Americans. With sensitivity and resilience, Forrester navigates feelings of isolation, an abusive boyfriend, sexual assault, and a failed college attempt to forge a separate identity. As young adults, after their mother’s accidental death, Forrester and her brother are left with an increasingly strained relationship that becomes a microcosm of America’s political landscape. Narrow River, Wide Sky is a breathtaking, determinedly truthful story about one woman’s search for identity within the mythology of family and America itself.

Jenny Forrester has been published in a number of print and online publications including Seattle’s City Arts MagazineNailed MagazineHip Mama, The Literary KitchenIndiana Review, and Columbia Journal. Her work is included in the Listen to Your Mother anthology, published by Putnam. She curates the Unchaste Readers Series.

Jayel Draco - The Great Nations of Rendaraia
May
5
5:00 pm17:00

Jayel Draco - The Great Nations of Rendaraia

Friday, May 5: Missoula-based artist and author Jayel Draco joins us for a multimedia reading, including music and visuals, of his new fantasy art novel, The Great Nations of Rendaraia. 5-8pm.

The Great Nations of Rendaraia have stood for centuries as strongholds of culture, magical arts, scientific knowledge, and military strength. When, one by one, the Nations fall—each destroyed in a day, with no time for word or warning—the intrepid scholar Jan’Ka’Zian sets out to find the reason and record a vanishing world.

Join Jan’Ka’Zian on his quest to document a network of intertwined cultures on the edge of destruction. From mighty airships powered by bioluminescent microorganisms to a city of gleaming towers built around colossal trees, the Great Nations of Rendaraia exist in a fully realized fantasy world as complex and inventive as those of Tolkien and Lewis.

Jayel Draco’s gorgeous illustrations present a vivid picture of elaborate cityscapes and mountain vistas, vast skyfaring fleets, and fantastic flora and fauna. While epic in its own right, Jan’Ka’Zian’s tragic story is one small thread in a larger tapestry: a tale of destruction, rebirth, magic and transformation told in the world of Children of Gaia.

Jayel Draco is a multimedia visual artist from New York City. The world of Children of Gaia is the result of his decades-long collaboration with fellow artist Chris Covelli, which began shortly after they first met in seventh-grade social studies class. Since then, the desire to bring Children of Gaia to life has guided his career as an artist, fueling his dedication to honing his creative skills. In 2003, he earned his BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, later branching out into animation, costume and prop design, photomanipulation, motion graphics, and VFX. During his time as a freelance artist, Jayel’s fashion designs have been featured at trade shows including Project and Pool, and his animation work has appeared in Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men at MarvelFest New York City and in Wagner’s Die Walküre at the New York Metropolitan Opera. For several years he worked under the close tutelage of renowned comic book artist Neal Adams. In 2014, Jayel teamed up with writer Lynsey G to found Oneshi, an independent publishing company dedicated to bringing immersive graphic storytelling projects to life. Today, Jayel lives and works in Missoula, Montana, where he can generally be found living in harmony with the wildlife, enjoying a beer from a local microbrew, and immersed in his artwork.

Jean Hanff Korelitz - The Devil and Webster
May
1
5:30 pm17:30

Jean Hanff Korelitz - The Devil and Webster

Monday, May 1: Jean Hanff Korelitz joins us from New York City for a reading from her new novel, The Devil and Webster. 5:30pm.

“Korelitz’s new novel is a smart, semi-satire about the reign of identity politics on college campuses today…The Devil and Webster is wittily on target about, among other things, social class and privilege, silencing and old-school feminist ambivalence about power." - Maureen Corrigan, NPR

From the New York Times bestselling author of You Should Have Known and Admission, a twisty new novel about a college president, a baffling student protest, and some of the most hot-button issues on today’s college campuses. Naomi Roth is the first female president of Webster College, a once conservative school now known for producing fired-up, progressive graduates. So Naomi isn’t surprised or unduly alarmed when Webster students begin the fall semester with an outdoor encampment around “The Stump”-a traditional campus gathering place for generations of student activists-to protest a popular professor’s denial of tenure. A former student radical herself, Naomi admires the protestors’ passion, especially when her own daughter, Hannah, joins their ranks. Then Omar Khayal, a charismatic Palestinian student with a devastating personal history, emerges as the group’s leader, and the demonstration begins to consume Naomi’s life, destabilizing Webster College from the inside out. As the crisis slips beyond her control, Naomi must take increasingly desperate measures to protect her friends, colleagues, and family from an unknowable adversary. Touching on some of the most topical and controversial concerns at the heart of our society, this riveting novel examines the fragility that lies behind who we think we are-and what we think we believe.

Jean Hanff Korelitz is the author of the novels You Should Have Known, Admission, The White Rose, The Sabbathday River and A Jury of Her Peers. Her sixth novel, The Devil and Webster, was published in March 2017.

She has also written a novel for children, Interference Powder, and a collection of poetry, The Properties of Breath. From November 2016 – January 2017, her immersive adaptation (with Paul Muldoon) of James Joyce’s “The Dead”, THE DEAD, 1904, was produced for the Irish Repertory Theatre at the American Irish Historical Society.

Born and raised in New York City and educated at Dartmouth College and Clare College, Cambridge, Korelitz lives in New York City with her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon, and their children. She is the founder of BOOKTHEWRITER, a New York City based service that connects authors and book groups.

Sayantani Dasgupta, Elizabeth Sloan & Alicia Mountain
Apr
29
1:00 pm13:00

Sayantani Dasgupta, Elizabeth Sloan & Alicia Mountain

Saturday, April 29: Non-fiction writer Sayantani Dasgupta and memoirist Elizabeth Sloan, both Idaho residents, are joined by Denver-based poet and UM alumna Alicia Mountain. 1pm.


"Sayantani Dasgupta brings together past and present as she considers childhood, violence, safety, family, monsters, goddesses, and the concept of home. These beautiful essays move between India and America, between selves and versions of selves, as Sayantani considers what is real and what is story or indeed, how the two are ever different." — Bich Minh Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha's Dinner

Sayantani Dasgupta is an essayist, a short story writer, and the author of collection of essays Fire Girl: Essays on India, America & the In-Between, which is a finalist for the Foreword Indies Book of the Year, and the chapbook The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood.

Born in Calcutta and raised in New Delhi, Sayantani received a BA in History from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, an MA in Medieval History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, , New Delhi, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho. She has lived in the United States since 2006.


"With innovative narrative structure and a lively cast of characters, Elizabeth Sloan's When Songbirds Returned to Paris weaves a powerful family history set against the backdrop of world war. Sloan's impressive research reminds us that with enough digging, remarkable, true stories can rise from the dead." – Buddy Levy, author of Geronimo, Conquistador, and River of Darkness

When Germany invades France in 1940, Cecily Lefort can’t imagine how the aristocratic comforts of life as a French doctor’s wife are about to disappear. A return to native England eventually leads Cecily back to France, this time as a secret agent. Cecily is one of 13 female Special Operations Executive (SOE) spies who do not survive to tell their story. The intuitive conversation between Elizabeth and Cecily–based on war documents, letters, and interviews–spins an international web of intrigue that captures the raw emotions of love and war.

Elizabeth Sloan lives in Moscow, Idaho, where she writes, makes book art, and works as a university instructor. She’s an enthusiastic presenter of art and writing workshops—most notably on Book Art and “Writing from Photo to Finish.”


Alicia Mountain is a PhD candidate at the University of Denver. Her work has been well received since finishing the MFA program at UM, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her manuscript was a semifinalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award and was a notable manuscript for the BOAAT Book Prize. Her poems have been published in Prairie Schooner, jubilat, Guernica, Pleiades, Witness, and elsewhere. She has received an Academy of American Poets College Prize and an Idyllwild Arts Fellowship. 

Neltje - North of Crazy
Apr
28
7:00 pm19:00

Neltje - North of Crazy

Friday, April 28: Neltje joins us from Wyoming to read from her memoir, North of Crazy. 7pm.

She was born Neltje Doubleday, yet for years she has used no last name and goes solely by Neltje. Her grandfather started Doubleday & McClure Company, which over the years became Doubleday Publishing. Her father Nelson, Doubleday, expanded the company and hoped his son Nelson would follow his father’s passion. At eighteen Neltje married John Sargent, Sr. who would go on to become the President and Chief Executive of Doubleday. Years later her brother Nelson Doubleday took the company helm. The life she recounts in her memoir NORTH OF CRAZY is one of great passion, sadness, determination, and courage.

Robert Wrigley - Box
Apr
27
7:00 pm19:00

Robert Wrigley - Box

thumbnail_Bob (in Repose w Books).jpg

Thursday, April 27: Award-winning poet Robert Wrigley joins us from Moscow, Idaho for a reading from his new collection, Box. 7pm.

“[A] historian of the present. His smart, moving poems are attuned to the drama of the moment, and his honest, musical language lifts real experience daily into art.”—Billy Collins

 

“When he gave me the box, I asked my father / what’s this for? And he responded, ‘Anything that will fit. / Anything you can imagine.” These are the lines that end the title poem of Robert Wrigley’s eleventh collection, Box, a book of poems obsessed with containment and written with verve, alacrity, and attuned lyricism. A Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and Poets’ Prize winner and recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, Wrigley has become one of the most accomplished poets of his generation, renowned for his irony, power, and lucid style.

Robert Wrigley’s previous collections of poetry include Anatomy of Melancholy (2013), winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award; Beautiful Country (2010); Earthly Meditations: New and Selected Poems (2006); Lives of the Animals (2003), winner of The Poet’s Prize; and Reign of Snakes (1999), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He lives with his wife, the writer Kim Barnes, in the woods near Moscow, Idaho.

Gwen Florio - Reservations
Apr
20
7:00 pm19:00

Gwen Florio - Reservations

Thursday, April 20: Missoula's own award-winning journalist and author Gwen Florio reads from her new novel Reservations. 7pm.

“Florio captures the culture and poverty on reservations still suffering from greed and mismanagement in a ripped-from-the-headlines story with a shocking ending.”—Kirkus Reviews

"Compelling, realistically flawed characters and a timely story line, especially in the wake of the protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline, make this one of Florio's hardest-hitting mysteries yet." —Library Journal (starred review)

"Packed with surprises, Reservations sends reporter Lola Wicks on a trip that sets a new standard for vacations from hell. Gwen Florio uses the stark isolation and rugged landforms of the Navajo reservation to help build tension to an explosive climax. Another winner from a first-rate writer."—Anne Hillerman, New York Times bestselling author

Journalist Lola Wicks would much rather pursue a story than spend time with people she barely knows. So when an eco-terrorist bombing escalates the controversy surrounding a new coal mine on Arizona’s Navajo Reservation, she’s almost relieved to have a distraction from meeting her in-laws.

But as the violence gets worse and Lola digs deeper, she can’t escape the feeling that her husband’s family is somehow involved—a suspicion that jeopardizes not only her marriage, but also her life.

Award-winning journalist Gwen Florio has covered stories ranging from the shooting at Columbine High School and the Oklahoma City bombing trials, to the glitz of the Miss America pageant and the more practical Miss Navajo contest, whose participants slaughter and cook a sheep. She’s reported from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, as well as Lost Springs, Wyoming (population three). Her journalism has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and her short fiction for the Pushcart Prize. She turned to fiction in 2013 with the publication of her first novel, Montana, which won the Pinckley Prize for Debut Crime Fiction and a High Plains Book Award. Reservations (March 2017) is the fourth novel in the Lola Wicks series, termed “gutsy” by the New York Times. A fifth is scheduled for 2018.

Truth to Power: Writers Respond to the Rhetoric of Hate
Apr
11
7:00 pm19:00

Truth to Power: Writers Respond to the Rhetoric of Hate

Tuesday, April 11: Montanans Sherwin Bitsui, Rick Bass, Megan McNamer, and Christin Rzasa will join us for a reading from a newly-released collection of prose and poetry, Truth to Power: Writers Respond to the Rhetoric of Hate and Fear

Other contributors to the collection include Joy Harjo, Martin Espada, Natalie Diaz, LeAnne Howe, Wendell Berry, Heid Erdrich, Marvin Bell, Aliki Barnstone, Pam Houston, and over a hundred other high-caliber writers. Pamela Uschuk is Editor-in-Chief.
 

"If you, like so many of us, are seeking an antidote to Trump’s America, take heart and take refuge in Truth To Power: Writers Respond To The Rhetoric Of Hate And Fear, an anthology of searing nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Faster than a speeding NRA bullet after the election, Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts, assembled and published this collection of works, as powerful, compelling, and incisive as they are timely. Individually and collectively, they trumpet a stirring call to action on today’s most crucial issues. Although President Trump is the primary focus, he serves as a prism for these inflamed issues, but is hardly the sole theme of Truth To Power. Pace yourself while reading this intense and intensive 340-page anthology so you can savor the works, and not be overwhelmed. You’ll want to refer to Truth To Power often throughout the next four, or eight years, and beyond." - Marsha Dubrow, Consequence Magazine

Richard Fifield - The Flood Girls - the paperback celebration/event!
Apr
6
7:00 pm19:00

Richard Fifield - The Flood Girls - the paperback celebration/event!

Thursday, April 6th: Montana author Richard Fifield reads at Shakespeare & Co for the first time! Join us for selections from his first, acclaimed novel, Flood Girls, now in paperback7pm.

"THE FLOOD GIRLS is a wild and crazy debut novel by a talented young writer. Edgy and original, it's worth the trip." - Jackie Collins, New York Times bestselling author

“[The Flood Girls] includes barfights and AA meetings, a parade, a wedding, and a black bear, all of which Fifield juggles beautifully...The Wild West earns its name all over again in this lovable chronicle of small-town insanity.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Welcome to Quinn, Montana, population: 956. A town where nearly all of the volunteer firemen are named Jim, where The Dirty Shame—the only bar in town—refuses to serve mixed drinks (too much work), where the locals hate the newcomers (then again, they hate the locals, too), and where the town softball team has never even come close to having a winning season. Until now.

Rachel Flood has snuck back into town after leaving behind a trail of chaos nine years prior. She’s here to make amends, but nobody wants to hear it, especially her mother, Laverna. But with the help of a local boy named Jake and a little soul-searching, she just might make things right.

In the spirit of Empire Falls and A League of Their Own, with the caustic wit of Where’d You Go, Bernadette thrown in for good measure, Richard Fifield’s hilarious and heartwarming debut will have you laughing through tears.

Richard Fifield lives in Missoula, Montana, where he has spent years working in case management and direct care for adults with developmental disabilities. He teaches creative writing at the University of Montana, volunteers with the Zootown Arts Community Center and the Western Montana Gay & Lesbian Community Center, coaches softball, and directs hip hop videos. His writing has been published in Cedilla, The Global City Review, Teacup, and Outwords, and his stage plays have been performed at the University of Montana and the Crystal Theater. Most recently, his short story “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was shortlisted for The Bristol Prize, and published in their anthology. He is the father of three rescue dogs, who, he says, rescue him on a daily basis.

Native American Race Relations and Healing Symposium
Apr
1
10:00 am10:00

Native American Race Relations and Healing Symposium

Saturday, April 1: Missoula's first Native American Race Relations and Healing Symposium will be hosted here at Shakespeare and Company. 10am-3pm.

This event will start at 10 a.m. and will feature two panels, the first focusing on tribal sovereignty, with speakers Adrian Jawort, John Robinson and Meg Singer.

The second panel will discuss some of the hot topics of the day, including the events at Standing Rock, the issue of blood quantum, and the efforts to keep Native American languages alive. This panel will feature Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, Robert Hall, Francis Bauer and April Youpee-Roll.

In the most recent installment of the Native American Race Relations and Healing Lecture Series at the Billings Public Library, on Feb. 9, the ACLU’s Meg Singer, standing, was the main speaker.

In the most recent installment of the Native American Race Relations and Healing Lecture Series at the Billings Public Library, on Feb. 9, the ACLU’s Meg Singer, standing, was the main speaker.

April's Native American Race Relations and Healing Symposium is part of a series of events created by Montanan Russell Rowland. This event is brought to Missoula through funding from Humanities Montana.

Kevin Canty - The Underworld
Mar
31
7:00 pm19:00

Kevin Canty - The Underworld

Friday, March 31: Kevin Canty, one of our own University of Montana Department of English faculty, will read from his new novel, The Underworld. 7pm.

“This brittle, compassionate story tells of a mine fire that devastates a small Idaho town. . .  Canty has a keen eye for details in this setting and suitably dry, spare prose. . . . Canty does a fine job of showing how disaster can lacerate a place or people without utterly destroying hope.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A dead-honest encounter with the hearts and minds of working-class America, The Underworld by Kevin Canty stands there beside Island by Alistair MacLean and A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin and damned near anything you might think of by Raymond Carver.” —William Kitteridge

The Underworld is a beautifully plotted (in other words page-turner) story visiting the immediate and after effects of a small-town disaster. It is also a timely reminder of the tremendously complicated questions communities in the American West face. And faced. And will face. These are superbly drawn people in an impeccably told tale, a perfect storm and novel.” —Antonya Nelson

Master storyteller Kevin Canty returns with The Underworld, a lyrical, haunting novel about a hardscrabble small town in Idaho and the disaster that comes to define it. Inspired by a disastrous mine fire in the early 1970s, The Underworld gracefully imagines a community shattered, and ultimately altered and rebuilt, by tragedy.

Kevin Canty is the author of four novels and three short story collections and has been published in The New YorkerEsquireGQ, and the New York Times Magazine. He currently teaches at the University of Montana in Missoula.

Beth Judy - Bold Women in Montana History
Mar
14
7:00 pm19:00

Beth Judy - Bold Women in Montana History

  • Shakespeare & Co.

Tuesday, March 14th: Young Adult. Beth Judy will read from Bold Women in Montana History, a series of compelling portraits of historic heroines in the Treasure State written here in Missoula. 7pm.

From the Blackfeet warrior Running Eagle to the stereotype-smashing librarian Alma Jacobs, the eleven women portrayed in this engaging book were indeed bold– breaking down barriers of sexism, racism, and political opposition to emerge as heroines of their time. The sixth in Mountain Press's state-by-state series for teen readers, Bold Women in Montana History reveals the feminine side of the Treasure State's storied past.

Within these pages are stories of fearless femmes who dared to dream and resolved to take action. Among them we meet Annie Morgan, a Philipsburg homesteader whose mysterious life is only now coming to light; the bronc-riding Greenough sisters, Alice and Marge, who became rodeo stars during the sport's heyday; and Elouise Cobell, champion of Native American rights.

Perfect for school or home, this collection of short but informative biographies is both a valuable resource and entertaining read. For readers young and old, Bold Women in Montana History proves what women can accomplish when they dare to be bold.

"Bold Women in Montana History offers a rare series of well-researched, compelling, intimate portraits. Beth Judy has assembled a stellar cast of fascinating women that includes trail-blazing Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, talented actress Myrna Loy, and the remarkable bronc-busting Greenough sisters. But in addition to these famous women, Judy explores new territory. African American librarian Alma Jacobs, the unconventional Jewish sisters Frieda Fligelman and Belle Winestine, and Blackfeet tribal elder Elouise Cobell are not household names. Their stories, however, are no less intriguing and their legacies no less significant. The reader will discover that Judy's individual portrayals not only underscore Montana's broad cultural diversity but also reveal the true mettle of Montana women.

– Ellen Balmier, PhD, Interpretive Historian, Montana Historical Society

"This valuable historical resource fills a role in educating Montana's youth about their state's history and women's contributions to it, passing these important stories down to future generations. In this book, Beth Judy makes history accessible and relatable, creating a great addition to any Montana history curriculum."

– Penny Redly, Executive Director, Museum of the Beartooths

 

Beth Judy grew up near Chicago and currently lives in Missoula. After receiving a BA from Harvard University, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she worked in public health, the arts, and later, writing and publication services. In 1992, she moved to Missoula and earned a MFA in creative writing at the University of Montana. From 1994 to 2014, she was a producer at Montana Public Radio, where she was known for her medicinal-plants program, "The Plant Detective." As a freelance writer, Beth has written for "Prairie Home Companion" and Montana Magazine, among other publications. She loves history, traveling, nature, and her home in Montana.

Mark Sundeen - The Unsettlers
Feb
27
7:00 pm19:00

Mark Sundeen - The Unsettlers

  • Shakespeare & Co.

Monday, February 27: Prize-winning author of The Man Who Quit Money, Mark Sundeen, will read from his book, The Unsettlers, a compelling and immersive exploration into America's quest for the simple life. 7pm.

The Unsettlers

Today's Americans are looking to escape: faced with drastic increases in climate change, the rise of the One Percent, and a suffocating 24/7 work culture that seems to be keeping an entire population chained to their smart phones, it comes as no surprise that we are now, more than ever, yearning for "the simple life." Organic eating continues to gain popularity and minimalistic Tiny Houses seem to be  popping up every direction– but why? And is it actually possible not only to walk away from the modern conveniences on which we've become so paralyzingly dependent but to adopt– even model– a truly sustainable, ethical and authentic way of life?

In The UnsettlersIn Search of the Good Life in Today's America, Mark Sundeen follows a diverse group of Americans on their complicated quest for a simpler life in modern times, raising fascinating and subversive questions about the way we live, eat, and work. We asked Sundeen what led him to write The Unsettlers and he replied, "So many people have anxiety about the state of the world– climate change, extinction, financial inequality– but so few have an idea of what they can actually do to extract themselves from the system, much less change it. This book illuminates those who are trying with all their might."

"Rigorously reported and utterly enthralling. With candor, wit, and live-voltage curiosity, Sundeen profiles pioneers who have developed better ways to live in our overdeveloped world." Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

"With his chronicles of modern-day American visionaries and iconoclasts who have opted out of the mainstream culture, I've come to think of Mark Sundeen as our poet laureate of a new era of alternative lifestyles." Bob Shacochis, author of The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

There is no better writer to tell this story than Sundeen, whose writings on off-the-grid movements have appeared in the New York TimesOutside Magazine, The Believer, National Geographic Adventure, and McSweeneys. His previous book, The Man Who Quit Money, was a sleeper hit, earning rave reviews from readers and critics– the Seattle Times deemed it "captivating," and Outside hailed it as a "critique that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt remorse on the treadmill of getting and spending"– cementing Sundeen's reputation as one of the preeminent translators of alternative communities and movements to the mainstream.

With the lively writing-style of Barbara Kingsolver and on-the-ground savvy of Michael Pollan, Mark Sundeen simultaneously explores and contextualizes the fascinatingly complex history of simple living throughout American history– from the Founding Fathers to the present moment in which, among the other subjects he profiles, Detroit natives Olivia Hubert and Greg Willerer set out to revitalize their city by farming it. 

Grace "Betsy" Bonner
Feb
16
7:00 pm19:00

Grace "Betsy" Bonner

Thursday, February 16: Poetry. Grace "Betsy" Bonner will read from her first book of poems Round Lake. Openers Kevin Canty and David Gates will melt ice with their sweet blues covers and old-time music. 7pm.

Round Lake

“After great pain,” Emily Dickinson wrote, “a formal feeling comes—.” The speaker of the poems in Round Lake knows the feeling and the form: she has lost her entire family, and must recover her own voice after the silence of grief. Parts of this book are set in Greece, connecting personal tragedy with images of stark, beautiful ruins. The short, truncated lines fuse the landscape with the speaker’s breath: “Words scale / and fall in a / similar way, / like hands letting // one field lie / fallow to favor / another.” These poems carry simultaneously the weight of myth and of the all-too-real word.

"Lamentation and praise are the two presiding emotions of this vibrantly elegiac book. I find the balance between them original and enticing, as new growth continually emerges from the black earth's crevices." - Henri Cole

"Conner's voice is crystalline with song even where loss has shattered the windows and hidden the sun. The possibility of love still streams through these poems-- such is the power of their tenderness and ferocity. Love by way of witness, dream, memory, by making music out of ache. Lakes and roads and childhoods can (must) be escaped and escaped to. Every image is gorgeously precise and everyone is alive in this collection: a book of how to live with ghosts, how to endure and accept life's refracting, reflective beauty when we are inconsolable." - Brenda Shaughnessy

Grace "Betsy" Bonner holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Round Lake is her first book of poetry, published in September 2016 by Four Way Books. She is a MacDowell fellow, and the former Director of the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center. She has taught literature and creative writing at the Pierrepont School in Westport, CT and in Paros, Greece. Her poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Quarterly, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Parnassus, Poetry Daily, The Southampton Review and in other publications. She has written a memoir, Ghost Tracks, which Amy Hempel described as "stunning". She is a mentor in PEN’s Prison Writing Program.

James Hamblin - If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining A Human Body
Jan
27
7:00 pm19:00

James Hamblin - If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining A Human Body

Friday, January 27: Nonfiction. Health and Science. James Hamblin, staff writer and senior copy editor at The Atlantic, and host of their original web series "If Our Bodies Could Talk," will read from his new book, named after the web series. 7pm.

Praise for If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body:

“If you want to understand the strange workings of the human body, and the future of medicine, you must read this illuminating, engaging book.” —Siddhartha Mukherjee, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Gene and The Emperor of All Maladies

“This book answers all the questions you ever had about your health—plus a whole lot of questions that never occurred to you but should have. Even if you don’t care about your health you should read it, because Hamblin is such a delightfully amusing writer.”
—Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Innovators and Steve Jobs

“Fascinating… Challenging what one interviewee calls the ‘scientific misinformation and marketing-based ‘facts’' we are bombarded with daily, this book will be a useful tool for helping people get in touch with their own bodies.”
Publishers Weekly

In 2014, James Hamblin launched a series of videos for The Atlantic called “If Our Bodies Could Talk.” With it, the doctor-turned-journalist established himself as a seriously entertaining authority in the field of health. Now, in illuminating and genuinely funny prose, Hamblin explores the human stories behind health questions that never seem to go away—and which tend to be mischaracterized and oversimplified by marketing and news media. He covers topics such as sleep, aging, diet, and much more: 
 
• Can I “boost” my immune system?
• Does caffeine make me live longer?
• Do we still not know if cell phones cause cancer?
• How much sleep do I actually need?
• Is there any harm in taking a multivitamin?
• Is life long enough?
 
In considering these questions, Hamblin draws from his own medical training as well from hundreds of interviews with distinguished scientists and medical practitioners. He translates the (traditionally boring) textbook of human anatomy and physiology into accessible, engaging, socially contextualized, up-to-the-moment answers. They offer clarity, examine the limits of our certainty, and ultimately help readers worry less about things that don’t really matter.

If Our Bodies Could Talk is a comprehensive, illustrated guide that entertains and educates in equal doses.

James Hamblin is a writer and senior editor at The Atlantic magazine. He hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk, for which he was a finalist in the Webby awards for Best Web Personality. He is a past Yale University Poynter Fellow in journalism, and he has lectured at Harvard Medical School, Wharton Business School, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and SXSW, among others.

His writing and videos have been featured in/on The New York TimesPolitico magazine, Bon Appétit, Comedy Central, NPR, BBC, MSNBC, New York, and The Awl, among others. Time named him among the 140 people to follow on Twitter, Greatist named him among the most influential people in health media, and BuzzFeed called him "the most delightful MD ever," though he is not as delightful as William Carlos Williams.

After medical school at Indiana University, he did three years of residency before joining The Atlantic to develop a health section and, at least for now, work entirely in media. More on that at Columbia Journalism ReviewJournal of the American College of Radiology, and Capital New York. He's based in Brooklyn.

Dana Fitz Gale - Spells for Victory and Courage
Dec
17
1:00 pm13:00

Dana Fitz Gale - Spells for Victory and Courage

  • Shakespeare & Co.

Saturday, December 17th: Fiction. University of Montana MFA alum, Dana Fitz Gale, will be reading from her debut collection, Spells for Victory and Courage, winner of the 2016 Brighthorse Prize for short fiction. 1pm.

The characters in Spells for Victory and Courage, winner of the Brighthorse Prize in short fiction, search for love and belonging in all the broken places. A teen-age girl takes care of her ex-jockey father. A retired professor befriends the local shepherd. A carnival clown picks a fight with the wrong customer. And a door-to-door saleswoman peddles dreams of grandeur in the shadow of a defunct lumber mill. Although their circumstances differ, these characters all share one thing: their quest for connection in a lonely and fragmented world. Spells for Victory and Courage is funny, smart, rich, and strange; and Dana Fitz Gale is a writer who grabs you by the scruff of the neck and won't let go.

"Dana Fitz Gale's voice is buoyantly distinctive but her range of themes and forms is so impressive– soulful, clever, edgy, heartfelt, ironic– that this debut collection constitutes an almost magical contradiction: it's deeply archetypal and profoundly original. Every story depicts those human moments that crystallize our perennial longing to love and live with others while staying true to our inexplicably quirky selves. Spells for Victory and Courage shifts masterfully between the traditional and the experimental, and it's one of the finest collections of stories I've read in years." Debra Monroe, author of My Unsentimental Education

"Burrow down in your seat for a great read. Dana Fitz Gale is a masterful storyteller. With poetic prose that doesn't dally and a hunter's eye for the subtle human acts that change lives, Spells for Victory and Courage is gritty, and more than a little thrilling. Fitz Gale's stories are compassionate and tough. A collection reminiscent of Annie Proulx's best stories." Debra Magpie Earling, author of Perma Red

Dana Fitz Gale has won the Arts & Letters Prize, the Writers at Work fellowship, the Charles Johnson Award, and the New Letters Prize. Her short stories have appeared in Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, New Letters, Quarterly West, Mid-American Review, Arts & Letters, Crab Orchard Review, Tampa Review, New South, and Hudson Review, among other places, and have received several Pushcart nominations. Spells for Victory and Courage is her first book, and was a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award and the Ohio State book prize. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana and lives in the Bitterroot Valley with her husband, two sons, and assorted dogs, cats, and horses.

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