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Friday, September 13 • 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Natural Perspectives: Four Writers, Four Different Approaches to Writing the Natural World

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Four different writers who deal with the natural world in their work come together to discuss their process and muse.

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and photographer. His freelance writing and/or photography has appeared in various regional and national anthologies and periodicals. His first book, One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large won the 2018 Montana Book Award. Chris is Chippewa-Cree Métis, and is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He lives in Missoula, MT.

Heather Durham is the author of Going Feral: Field Notes on Wonder and Wanderlust, an examination of a life of wandering in wild nature. With the scientific knowledge and observation skills of an ecologist and the existential inquiry of a philosopher, Heather immerses readers with all their senses in adventures, wanderings, and musings in wild places around the United States. She faces solitude on a deserted island in Maine, spelunks in bat caves in New Hampshire, chases herons on the Florida Gulf coast, and hides out with flamingos in urban Utah. She locks eyes with a cougar in Colorado, traps and bands hawks in Nevada, surveys owls in Oregon, and communes with coyotes in Washington.

As a nomadic and often reclusive introvert, Heather grapples with discomfort among her own kind and resists traditional paths to fulfillment. It is ultimately her intimate bond with the natural world wherever she roams that offers meaning, solace, and a sense of belonging both within and apart from human communities. Part reverential nature writing, part soul-searching memoir, Going Feral is the story of a human animal learning to belong to the earth.

Heather Hansman, Downriver

The Green River, the most significant tributary of the Colorado River, runs 730 miles from the glaciers of Wyoming to the desert canyons of Utah. Over its course it meanders through ranches, cities, national parks, endangered fish habitats, and some of the most significant natural gas fields in the country, as it provides water for 33 million people. Stopped up by dams, slaked off by irrigation, and dried up by cities, the Green is crucial, overused, and at risk, now more than ever.
Fights over the river’s water, and what’s going to happen to it in the future, are longstanding, intractable, and only getting worse as the west gets hotter and drier and more people depend on the river with each passing year. As a former raft guide and an environmental reporter, Heather Hansman knew these fights were happening, but she felt driven to see them from a different perspective—from the river itself. So she set out on a journey, in a one-person inflatable pack raft, to paddle the river from source to confluence and see what the experience might teach her. Mixing lyrical accounts of quiet paddling through breathtaking beauty with nights spent camping solo and lively discussions with farmers, city officials, and other people met along the way, Downriver is the story of that journey, a foray into the present—and future—of water in the west.

Antonia Malchik has written essays and articles for AeonThe AtlanticOrionGOODHigh Country News, and a variety of other publications. Her first book, A Walking Life, about the past and future of walking’s role in our shared humanity, is published by Da Capo Press, a division of Hachette. She lives in northwest Montana.​

avatar for Chris La Tray

Chris La Tray

Chris La Tray is a Métis storyteller. His first book, One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large (2018, Riverfeet Press) won the 2018 Montana Book Award and a 2019 High Plains Book Award.His second book, a collection of haiku and haibun poetry called De... Read More →
avatar for Heather Durham

Heather Durham

Heather Durham is an essayist, nature writer, and naturalist with a master of science in environmental biology from Antioch New England University and a master of fine arts from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Her first book of nature essays is titled Going Feral: Field... Read More →
avatar for Heather Hansman

Heather Hansman

Heather Hansman is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Outside, California Sunday, Smithsonian, and many others. Her first book, DOWNRIVER came out in 2019. After a decade of raft guiding across the United States, she lives in Seattle.
avatar for Antonia Malchik

Antonia Malchik

Antonia Malchik's first book, A Walking Life, about the past and future of walking's role in our humanity, was published by Da Capo Press/Hachette in May 2019. A fifth-generation Montanan, she lives in Whitefish, Montana, with her family. She has written essay and articles for Aeon... Read More →

Friday September 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm MDT
Montgomery Distillery