Corby Skinner

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Library hosts panel discussion of Montana literature

Liberry

Montana has become known for its rich history of books and writers, but how did that happen? Neighboring states like Wyoming and the Dakotas boast a handful of well-known writers, but with books and stories like “The Big Sky,” “A River Runs Through It” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” Montana established itself early on as a place that produces quality writers. Thursday night, the Billings Public Library will host a panel discussion about some of these writers and books, and panelists will bat around a few ideas of what it is about Montana that inspires such incredible literature. The discussion will start at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s Royal Johnson Community Room, led by local author Russell Rowland. The panel will also feature, High Plains Book Festival founder Corby Skinner, former Montana Poet Laureate Tami Haaland, Last Best News founder Ed Kemmick and MSU-Billings literature professor Rachel Schaffer. Continue Reading →

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For author, High Plains award a welcome affirmation

Canoe

Editor’s note: Patrick Dobson is a writer and historian who lives in Kansas City, Mo. His latest book, “Canoeing the Great Plains,” was honored at the recent High Plains BookFest in Billings. Here’s a short description of the book: “Tired of an unfulfilling life in Kansas City, Missouri, Patrick Dobson left his job and set off on foot across the Great Plains. After two and a half months, 1,450 miles, and numerous encounters with the people of the heartland, Dobson arrived in Helena, Montana. He then set a canoe on the Missouri and asked the river to carry him safely back to Kansas City, hoping this enigmatic watercourse would help reconnect him with his life.” Continue Reading →

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A fine portrait of arts patron Corby Skinner

Corby

Corby Skinner, who has probably done as much to promote the arts and culture as anybody in the history of Billings, is the subject of a justly laudatory article in the new issue of Big Sky Journal. Written by Stella Fong, with photographs by Anna Paige (both of them contributors to Last Best News), the article paints a well-rounded portrait of Skinner. Here’s the gist of it:

“He helped raise the curtains at the landmark Alberta Bair Theater in Billings, gave writers a venue with the Writer’s Voice, and honored authors through the High Plains BookFest and High Plains Book Awards. For his efforts in these various arenas of arts, he received the 2009 Governor’s Humanities Award. These days he is promoting the nascent music venue Tippet Rise in Fishtail, Montana.” Continue Reading →

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