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Montana Festival of the Book 2013


Montana Festival of the Book 2013 — October 10-12, Missoula was a success. We celebrated the literature of the West with over 80 authors and viewed a couple of independent films, attended workshops, got our favorite books signed, listened to  readings, and enjoyed a Cajun lunch.

Our indie multi-genre writer,  (and my friend) Ann Bodle-Nash drove from Washington to Missoula specifically for the festival of the book.

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Our first stop  was to be the Top Hat, at 6:00 pm for the storytelling event, Tell Us Something.  This was the kick off of the festival with all true stories that last only 10 minutes.  Ann stood in line for tickets to well known Native American author Sherman Alexie’s opening performance at the Wilma, while I  got a belly-laugh in and possibly a tear or two.  I admit it (between the two of us), I’m the crier. Our next stop was what Ann has been waiting for, an evening in the company of the National Book Award-winning, best-selling, Sherman Alexie.

At 8:00 pm he  read from two decades of his stories to a standing-room only crowd and signed books for his fans afterwards.

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Alexie Sherman is a performer. He not only read from his work but kicked things off with an extensive monologue which slammed a list of events and people including: Columbus Day ( he proposed Indigenous Peoples Week instead), Santa Cruz, CA and yoga instructors (complete with a very visual pantomime), Blackfeet women (perhaps some tribal rivalary?), people who take photos at his father’s grave perhaps believing it is his grave as they share the same name (Alexie is a junior),  and few in the audience were spared some jab. Being a good storyteller is exhaustive work.


Three time International poetry slam winner and prose writer Buddy Wakefield also did not disappoint. At a table in the exhibition foyer he talked a good game of explanation about his “book posing as a magazine,” Henhouse, calling it a riff on Penthouse–complete with 4 fold-outs of the chicken varietyHis first trip to Missoula required a climb up to the M on Mt Jumbo and other busy tourist venues. He like many others before discovered some new love for our fair city.

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Friday night we attended a sell out crowd at the Roxy Theatre  to view the long awaited literary-novel-by-James-Welch-turned-film: Winter In The Blood. Finally. Welch was from Missoula in the end, and a revered Montana  author.

And now we resume our original Post:

During the day, Friday and Saturday, there will be various workshops and readings.  Check here for a full Festival of the Book schedule.

On Friday Evening at 5:30 pm in the Missoula Art Museum will be the  Annual Readers & Writers Reception. There will be  hors d’oeuvres and refreshments and a chance to meet new authors and see old friends.  This event does have a charge of  $25.Kendra Potter & Joseph Grady_WIB

After the reception Ann and I can see a viewing of one of the offered indie films: Winter in the Blood at 7:00 or 9;00pm, or Shepard & Dark at 7:15 or 9:15.  Both films will be aired on Friday and Saturday night at the Roxy Theater, $5-$7, tickets at the door.

Now, here is where it can get dicey: Neither of us have seen Winter in the Blood and really want to. My guess is that will be our first choice; however, I gather it will be a sell-out crowd and we will need to arrive very early in order to acquire seats.  Our other film option, Shepard & Dark, I have seen before and have a VERY strong opinion about this documentary.  I have wanted to be vocal about it, write about it, and rant about this show for some time now.  Hence, dicey.  Either way, Ann and I can see both independent films if we chose to.  Ann may get an earful if we see Shepard & Dark or YOU the READER may get an eyeful if I take the time to write on it,  or we shall bask in the glory of finally seeing Winter in the Blood.  We shall see….

Other Top Hat Lounge events:

Friday, October 11th, 7:30 pm is the Poetry Slam.  Tahj Kjelland  hosts the annual Festival poetry throw-down: Go three rounds and earn the glory that comes with being a Festival Slam Champ! With special guest judges and an appearance by three-time International Poetry Slam winner Buddy Wakefield (author of Henhouse: The International Book for Chickens and Their Lovers).


event_burkeSaturday, October 12th at 12:00 noon is the Cajun Louisiana Lunch with James Lee Burke.  Come celebrate the latest Dave Robicheaux novel Light of the World at a special luncheon with author James Lee Burke and UM Media Broadcast Center director William Marcus.  The cost of the luncheon is $35 which includes a three-course Cajun lunch, a free James Lee Burke book, and a $10 coupon redeemable at the festival bookstore.



2013 festival sponsors include:  National Endowment for the Humanities,  National Endowment for the Arts, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and The Missoulian.

“Humanities Montana is the state’s independent nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1972, Humanities Montana has provided services and grants to hundreds of Montana organizations in support of public programs in history, literature, values, and public issues. Among its many programs are its grants, Montana Conversations: Speakers Bureau and Speakers in the Schools, the Humanities Montana Festival of the Book, Letters About Literature, and the Governor’s Humanities Awards.”  Source:  programs, October 10th, 2013.


















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Category: Indie It Books

About the Author: Leisa Greene’s passions include writing about music, theater, film, food, art, family and friends -- all of which are supported by the community of Missoula and an IV line of dark-roasted iced coffee. She is the English Department’s Administrative Associate of Graduate Admissions at her alma mater, University of Montana; the editor-in-chief of Indie It Press; and the author of a memoir manuscript currently titled EARLY OUT. Her other writing consists of short essays (Brother Townsend and A Jamboree Family), playwriting (The Beckett Syndrome) and screenwriting. “The only regret you will ever have is if you never write it. So, go write it Mom. “ – Dustin Nelson, my son

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