Tuesday, December 13th: Poetry. Featured authors Jessica Jones, Heather Cahoon, MaryJane Nealon, Dave Thomas, Saif Alsaegh, Lowell Jaeger, and Shaun Gant will read from Poems Across the Big Sky, an anthology of more than 100 Montana poets. 7pm.
Poems Across the Big Sky, an anthology of more than 100 Montana poets gathers the voices of poets from all corners of the state, including cowboy poets, university poets, street poets, and more than a dozen talented Native American poets. "Our goal in this publishing project," says editor, Lowell Jaeger, "is to give deserving Montana poets an opportunity to be heard and to give readers everywhere a generous sampling of Montana's best poets." The anthology includes many of Montana's most famous writers, such as Richard Hugo, James Welch, Patricia Goedicke, Jim Harrison, Robert Pack, John Haines, Wallace McRae, and Madeline DeFrees. Also included are mid-career poets such as Greg Pape, Sandra Alcosser, Paul Zarzyski, Tami Haaland, Greg Keeler, Roger Dusmore, Melissa Kwasny, Lowell Jaeger, Sheryl Noethe, Ed Lahey, M.L. Smoker, Judy Blunt, and Joanna Klink, and a large number of talented poets who have up until now gone unrecognized. "We are especially proud," says Jaeger, "to showcase the vital voices of a dozen Native American poets and poems in four Native languages."
Whether in Montana classrooms or in solitude, the beauty, complexity, and struggle of lives in Montana have inspired the remarkable variety of voices which comprise Poems Across the Big Sky. The poets included are female as well as male, Native American as well as non-native, gay as well as straight, urban as well as rural. Some of them write in the Native languages of Montana and also in English. Together they provide a portrait of Montana which challenges and prods us to a new, more inclusive and comprehensive understanding of the bittersweet essence of contemporary life in Montana Reservations, cities, small towns, isolated ranches, cabins, prairies, and mountains." Margaret C. Kingsland (former Director of Montana Committee for the Humanities)
Lowell Jaeger teaches creative writing at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana. He is author of five collections of poems: War on War (Utah State University Press, 1988), Hope Against Hope (Utah State University Press, 1990), WE (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2010), and How Quickly What's Passing Goes Past (Grayson Press, 2013). As the editor of Many Voices Press, Jaeger compiled New Poets of the American West, an anthology of poets from Western states. He previously edited an anthology of Montana poets, Poems Across the Big Sky. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize and a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council. He lives in Yellow Bay, Montana on Flathead Lake.