These Living Songs

Reading Montana Poetry

Edited by Lisa D. Simon and Brady Harrison

These Living Songs is the first book dedicated solely to the study and lively appreciation of Montana poetry. Bringing together contributors from across the state—and farther afield—this collection offers essays on a wide range of writers and subjects. Here, readers will find analyses of poetry from the early twentieth century to the present, close considerations of forms ranging from cowboy poetry to Modernist lyrics, and finely tuned studies of poems from every region of the state, from the mines of Butte to the bison ranges of the Flathead, and from trout streams to the ranch table. Readers will find new looks at old friends such as Grace Stone Coates, Richard Hugo, and James Welch, analyses of contemporary poets such as Sandra Alcosser, Melissa Kwasny, Ed Lahey, and Mandy Smoker, and considerations of poets some readers may not know, but should. More, these essays are written in an open, accessible manner that should appeal not only to scholars, but to all readers interested in the richness, variety, and superabundance that is Montana poetry.

8 black and white photographs

300 pages, 5 3/4” x 9”

book cover with photo of birds taking flight from a leafless tree

ISBN: 9780989403177

ISBN: 9780989403191

The Editors

Lisa D. Simon is a humanities scholar, a poetry activist, a recent recipient of the “Humanities Heroes” award in Montana, as well as, recently, co-owner of the art gallery Radius in Missoula. She created and produces “Reflections West,” a five-minute radio program that celebrates the literature and culture of the American West.

Brady Harrison is a Professor of English at the University of Montana-Missoula. He is the author of Agent of Empire (2004), editor of All Our Stories are Here (2009), and co-editor of Punk Rock Warlord: The Life and Work of Joe Strummer (2014).