On the road, and in authors’ kitchens, with Rick Bass

“The Traveling Feast,” by Rick Bass. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 288 pages.

Consider the subtitle of Rick Bass’s non-fiction account of traveling the country — and flying overseas — to serve meals to his writing mentors: “On the Road and at the Table with My Heroes.”

Feeling the weather, just like old times


Last evening, when I glanced at my phone, a new notification snagged my attention. It went something like this: “Light rain in 9 minutes. Ending in 24 minutes.”

Wow. That was a first. Rain was coming in nine minutes? Not 10? And, really, the radar could predict the precise minute the pitter-patter would taper off? My initial sense of wonder was quickly obliterated by a different sense of wonder. Are we really so out of touch? Continue Reading →

Two of state’s best poets release new books

“What Does Not Return,” by Tami Haaland. Lost Horse Press, paperback, 65 pages. $18.

“The Bluebird Run,” by Greg Keeler. Elk River Books, paperback, 193 pages. $15.

So quickly do I click through stories on the internet that I often find myself clicking past a story before I have even grasped what was in it. In such a world, can the slow, patient reading that a book of poetry requires possibly thrive? Continue Reading →

A world of opportunities in online journalism


When I imagined writing this column just a few days ago, before announcing the impending shutdown of Last Best News, I saw myself in a calm, cool frame of mind, making a short and rational case for keeping independent journalism alive in Billings.

Well. The past two days have been such a whirlwind of emotions and have seen the dawn of so many new possibilities that I hardly know where to begin. Continue Reading →