Arts & Culture

  • Our Interview With Craig Johnson, Author of the "Longmire" series

    By Joseph Shelton
    "When they first started entertaining the thought of the TV show Longmire, the executives floated the idea of taking the Walt from my books and making him younger, but rapidly came to the conclusion that the world-weary twenty-six-year-old might be more than viewers could bear."
  • Our Interview with C.J. Box

    By Zuzu Feder
    I grew up reading every book I could set in the Mountain West, specifically Montana and Wyoming settings. Although often beautifully written, I found many of those books to have an outsider’s point of view. (There are plenty of books written today that have the same problem.)
  • An Old, Broke Montana Rancher's Thoughts On "Yellowstone"

    By Gary Shelton
    I’m old enough to remember the golden age of TV Westerns, when shows like The Rifleman, Have Gun, Will Travel, and Gunsmoke filled the few channels we did get. Hell, I’m old enough to remember getting our first television, an enormous humming Philco...
  • Our Interview With Author James Lee Burke

    By Joseph Shelton
    Burke has lived in Missoula for decades now, and both Robicheaux and the Hollands have found themselves in the Treasure State. His most recent novel, Another Kind of Eden, tells a searing story of violence and mysticism among the changing times of the 1960s.
  • Our Interview With Author Gwen Florio

    By Lindsay Dick
    Distinctly Montana spoke with Florio about her favorite places in Montana, works-in-progress, what she’s reading, and eating camp stove ramen on book tours. It was a lively and funny conversation that underscored how much she has to offer readers who crave the fast-paced and gritty stories that she tells so well.
  • BEYOND WORDS: C.M. Russell's Real Montana Winters

    By Robert Rath
    The phrase "words can't describe it" is often used when a person is trying to articulate something either extremely good or extremely bad. And mere words definitely could not describe the extremely bad winter of 1886-87 for the Montanans who experienced it.
  • "I Await the Devil's Coming": Mary MacLane, Butte's Prodigal Daughter

    By Lindsay Dick
    From her family’s house on North Excelsior Street, MacLane could see the Anselmo headframe and watch the miners change shifts. In "I, Mary MacLane," she explains her relationship with language in a way that recalls both the synesthesia of the poetic mind and the laborious process of mining.
  • Montanan You Should Know: David Mirisch

    The thing I love most about Montana is: the warmth and friendliness of the people no matter if they live in a small town like where I live (Superior) or Missoula (where we lived for four years)
  • Wild West Words: "Pasty"

    By Chrysti the Wordsmith
    For centuries, the traditional meal of Cornish tin miners was the pasty. Made daily by wives and mothers, pasties were the perfect portable meal: a miscellany of vegetables and meat encased and baked in a D-shaped pastry shell. 
  • Artist Carol Hartman's Heritage

    Montana's rich heritage is near and dear to my heart. My desire to learn about that history through the early inhabitants of the land leads to the opportunity to help tell the story of the growth of our society in the West. Reflecting upon the difficulties early peoples faced as they developed a civilization helps tell the story of 19th and 20th century America.
  • Wild West Words: Cast, Eddy, & River

    By Chrysti the Wordsmith
    Cast was first printed in an English document as long ago as 1230, borrowed from an Old Norse verb kasta, “to throw.” This original sense carries through in our modern phrases cast the first stone, cast a net, cast the dice.
  • Shin-Plasters and Brass Checks

    By Lyndel Meikle
    The mine’s employees were often paid in “shin-plasters” and “brass checks.” A shin plaster was a derogatory name for paper scrip. Often of absurdly low denominations, they had the reputation of being as worthless as any slip of paper the men used as padding in their socks to keep their boots from rubbing on their shins.
  • The Landscapes of Norman Maclean: Forest, Mountains, Water

    By Bryan Spellman
    Norman Maclean was not born in Montana, nor did he die here. His published work is slim, especially when compared to A.B. Guthrie or Ivan Doig. But I wager that if you asked people what piece of writing best exemplifies Montana, many would respond A River Runs Through It. 
  • Montana Baseball History

    By Skylar Browning & Jeremy Watterson
    Never mind that Frank James Burke — most often referred to as “Brownie and best known for standing just four feet, seven inches — started out as a mascot. Despite his small stature, the Marysville native ended up making a big impact on the national pastime.