Voices from the Oval

In this episode, we celebrate the fruits of a teacher’s labor. You’ll hear from Professor Robert Stubblefield, along with three of his University of Montana students.

A selection of poems and non-fiction, with Robert Stubblefield, Jade Taylor, Donna Arganbright, and Cass Sissel.

This episode contains some adult language and themes, which may be unsuitable for some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.

A Place in the Sun for Butte

In this episode, writer, geologist and professor Rob Thomas explains how the amazing history of rocks is related to the mining town of Butte finding its place in the sun.

Selections from Roadside Geology of Montana.

This episode is sponsored by Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula’s independent publisher for over seventy years. Mountain Press publishes nontechnical books for adults and children on geology, natural history, western US history, and more. For more information go to mountain-press.com or call toll-free at 800-234-5308.

Why the Village Appears on No Map

In this episode, novelist Claude Alick introduces us to a place of mystery in the island country of Grenada—a village that appears on no map—a place that resides only in wilting memories.

How to Write about Sex and Death and Dreams

In this episode, we pair writers who were born to be storytellers—poet Mara Panich and singer/songwriter Margi Cates, accompanied by guitarist Nick Barr.

This episode contains some adult language and themes, which may be unsuitable for some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.

How Stealing Laundry Leads to Success

In this episode, a struggling writer has a breakthrough when she accidentally steals her neighbor’s laundry. A short play written by Bozeman playwright Greg Owens, directed by Missoula’s own Reid Reimers and read by Missoula actors Hamilton Clement and Az Sacry.

Three Minds Driving

In this episode, writers Chris La Tray, Fred Haefele, and Chris Autio take us on three distinct and heady road trips.

Chris La Tray: Comet (poem)

Three . . . Two . . . One . . . Blast off!

Fred Haefele: excerpt from A Life in 12 Pickups (vehicular memoir)

When a pickup truck transcends mechanical essence, rises to become comrade, ally and intimate.

Chris Autio: Truck Topper (poem)

We go on an archeological dig.

Chris Autio: Bad Auto Points in Augusta (poem)

We find a stranger in a strange land.

I Don’t Understand Snow

In this episode, singer/songwriter Spencer Kellum performs some ‘modern spirituals’ as Separate Circles, with piano accompaniment by Cole Grant.

Much More Than a Bartender

In this episode, Joan Melcher finds her perfect saloon, and chats with the bartender who has the same name as his bar—Moose.

A selection from her non-fiction books Watering Hole: A User’s Guide to Montana Bars and Montana Watering Holes: The Big Sky’s Best Bars.

This episode contains some adult language, themes, and references to alcohol consumption, which may be unsuitable for some listeners. Listener discretion is advised

The Glitter and The Glamour

In this episode, we get up close and personal with Bobby Lee Springfield, a singer/songwriter who gives us the skinny on the ups and downs of show biz.

This episode contains some adult language and themes, with references to alcohol, tobacco and drugs, which may be unsuitable for some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.

This episode is sponsored by The Bell Pipe & Tobacco Shop, located at 215 West Broadway, across from the courthouse in downtown Missoula. Home to the Otis—tobacconist—problem solver.  

A Love Affair With Prison

In this episode, Butte native, Leah Joki, reflects on the twenty years she spent in almost every state prison in California—teaching and performing theatre.

This episode contains some adult language and themes, and depictions of sexual misconduct in a prison setting, which may be unsuitable for some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.

In love with peace — Obliged to war

This episode contains some adult themes, violence and references to combat and war wounds, which may be unsuitable for some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.

The narrator in Sean Gallagher’s short story laments the damage done to his older brother after becoming a soldier — the brother who taught him, “That no one wins a fight.”

Morning Is My Favorite Time, short story from the podcast MT3K

It’s All Just Noise

In Jay Kettering’s audio play Cacophony, we find that Phil and Stacey were never great communicators, so when they recount how they met, fell in love, and ultimately broke up, let’s just say, it gets a bit noisy.

This episode contains some adult language and themes, and sexual references, which may be unsuitable for some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.

Cacophony is performed by Missoula actors Nathan Adkins and Jasmine Sherman with musical accompaniment by Missoula musicians Paul Marshall Allen on violin and Craig Menteer on drums.

A Meditation on Family, Caregiving, and Secrets

This episode contains content which may be unsuitable for some listeners, including descriptions of parents giving up their baby with Down Syndrome to an institution in the early 1950s, . Listener discretion is advised.

In this excerpt from Caroline Patterson’s novel The Stone Sister, the year is 1953 and a young couple is struggling with their decision to institutionalize their baby Lizzie, who has Down Syndrome.

Songs in the Key of Keys

A selection of songs and poems

Caroline Keys and Nate Biehl share their original songs, inspired by small town newspaper police blotters, flight attendants and boats covered in snow. And first poems by Caroline’s young student writers inspired by fast food, Covid-19 and Rock Paper Scissors.

One Sentence At A Time

Chris La Tray doesn’t need many words to tell a damn fine story.

In this episode featuring Métis storyteller Chris La Tray, we celebrate words, and the way even very few words, in the right hands, can capture the wonder in every single day.

(from One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large and Descended from a Travel-Worn Satchel: Haiku & Haibun, as well as other poems.)

You Hate These Roads

This episode contains some adult language and themes and graphic descriptions of a fatal car crash, which may be unsuitable for some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.

In this episode, novelist Richard Fifield puts us in a car going way too fast up a narrow mountain road, and that’s only the beginning of our troubles.

(from the anthology: Evergreen: Grim Tales & Verses from the Gloomy Northwest)

Take a deep breath, and hold on tight.

Episode sponsor: Murphy-Jubb Fine Art, located at 210 North Higgins Avenue, Suite 300, in downtown Missoula. The gallery features the works of nationally renowned artists including watercolorist Kendahl Jan Jubb. To learn more about their artists and workshops, go to: www.kendahljanjubb.com or their facebook page at Murphy/Jubb Fine Art.

Words Out West Season 2 Launch Party

Featuring the WOW Poetry Jam, hosted by Teresa Waldorf

To celebrate the launch of its second season, WOW is throwing a party! Join us May 15 for poetry, music, free nibbles, a cash bar with wine and beer, and more at the way-cool West Side Theater. Starting at 7:30 p.m. some WOW poets from seasons 1 and 2 will take you on wild word-rides at the Poetry Jam, like a poetry slam but noncompetitive, hosted by Missoula’s sweetheart, Teresa Waldorf. After that, stay for the music with Separate Circles and Jesse, The Ocelot. Suggested donation is $10, taken at the door.

Words Out West thanks its production partner, Montana Public Radio; its event partner, West Side Theater; The Prop Foundation; and many individual contributors.

The nonprofit literary podcast Words Out West (WOW) was launched in February 2021 by Cole Grant and Jay Kettering, in partnership with Montana Public Radio. Spotlighting both established and emerging writers from Montana and the western U.S., Words Out West offers listeners a wide range of literary forms, genres, and styles. In each episode, our talented writers present poems, fiction, nonfiction, radio plays, songs, and other modes of verbal expression. Our goal is to bring to our listeners distinctive stories and fresh perspectives as we celebrate the tradition of writing in the West.

WOW Audio Showcase

A fundraiser for the literary podcast Words Out West

Words Out West (W.O.W.), Montana’s new nonprofit literary podcast, launched in February of 2021 by Cole Grant and Jay Kettering, in partnership with Montana Public Radio.

Thanks to you and our other devoted listeners, we got off to a great start and are now focusing on production of Season Two.

To raise money to cover production costs for its second season, W.O.W. is hosting the WOW Audio Showcase on Friday, November 12, at the Zootown Arts Community Center (the ZACC) at 216 W. Main St., Missoula, Montana. A social hour at 6:30 pm will feature book signings by eleven local (W.O.W.) authors and other activities, with beer and wine available at the ZACC bar. The showcase, featuring readings, music, and a short play, all by W.O.W. podcast participants, starts at 7:30 pm.

Hosted by the delightful Chris Sand, Montana’s Rappin’ Cowboy, the showcase presents readings by Montana’s new Poet Laureate Mark Gibbons, author of In the Weeds; Joan Melcher, author of Montana Watering Holes; young poet and fiction writer Freya Jones; writer and storyteller Chris La Tray, author of One-Sentence Journal; and Caroline Patterson, author of The Stone Sister, plus a poetry and music performance by Shaun Gant and friend; a short play by Jay Kettering;and music from Cole Grant and Spencer Kellum.

Tickets are $15 at the door or in advance at https://showroom.zootownarts.org.

If you are unable to attend, but would still like to contribute to our Season Two production costs, please go to the Donate page and THANK YOU!

Words Out West thanks its production partner, Montana Public Radio; itsevent partner, Zootown Arts Community Center; its episode sponsors, Mountain Press Publishing Co., Murphy-Jubb Fine Arts, and The Bell Pipe & Tobacco Shop; its event sponsors, Rockin’ Rudy’s, Fact & Fiction Books, Gallery 709 (Montana Art and Framing), Shakespeare & Company, Montana Book Company, and Bernice’s Bakery; and many individual contributors.

Love And Gunpowder

In this bonus episode, Words Out West’s own Jay Kettering writes about a kid who’s willing to blow up his world for love.

Jay Kettering: The Church of Pancakes: part 3 of his audio trilogy Notes From the Huntley Project (radio play)

(Dramatic reading by Missoula actors David Mills-Low, Anne-Marie Williams, Reid Reimers, Cody Hyslop, and Teresa Waldorf)

In this battle between emotion and ethics—ethics doesn’t stand a chance.

Who Is My Dad?

In part one of his radio play trilogy, My Dad and Pre-Socratic Thought, Jay recalls the crazy stories his father told him in an attempt to find meaning.

Jay Kettering: My Dad and Pre-Socratic Thought: part 1 of his audio trilogy Notes From the Huntley Project (radio play)
(Dramatic reading by Missoula actor Bernie O’Connor)