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)

The Ticking Of The Clock

In this bonus episode, Words Out West’s own Jay Kettering looks back to a time when everything was a mystery—especially time.

Jay Kettering: How I Learned To Tell Time: part 2 of his audio trilogy Notes From the Huntley Project (radio play)

(Dramatic reading by Missoula actors David Mills-Low, Rebecca Schaffer, Will Tilton, Jessica Adam, and Aaron Roos)

Only one thing is for sure—time is on his side.

A Mysterious Relationship

In this episode, our season finale, Words Out West’s own Jay Kettering writes about a mysterious relationship.

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

Jay Kettering: The Position of Mona and Vi (short story)
(dramatic reading by Missoula actors David Mills-Low, Rosie Ayers and Robin Rose)

Two women are passing the time with casual conversation until the topic turns to the question of why they are sharing the same space.

Personal Landscapes

In this episode, Mark Gibbons, Shaun Gant and David E. Thomas explore their own personal landscapes. One ventures to where there are no fences, one observes an explosion of life in her own backyard, while another stays close to the tracks.

Mark Gibbons: Open Country (poem)

You can smell the sage.


Shaun Gant: Waxwing Party (poem)

Words take flight.


David E. Thomas: Early August After A Dry Storm (poem)

A walk across a bridge becomes much more than a weather report.

Fleeting Nature of Time

In this episode, David Allan Cates, Sheryl Noethe and Robert Lee mull over the fleeting nature of time. One takes a nostalgic leap of faith, another explains how life never stops, while another makes a plan for when he’s a ghost.

David Allan Cates: Blue (poem)

A long dive into cold water reveals much more than the impetus for stepping off the cliff.


Sheryl Noethe: Flux (poem)

We get the good news that nothing ceases to exist.


Robert Lee: A Better Idea (poem)

A husband is assigned an impossible task.

Grab Bag

In this episode, we hear from Shane Wheeldon, Freya Jones and Chris Sand, three writers who are hard to put in a box. Therefore, it’s our first installment of the Grab Bag.

Shane Wheeldon: Sumina, The Invincible Spirit (poem)

The hero is tasked with slaying the evil one. Hold your breath and aim for the heart.


Freya Jones: Caged (poem)

The poet takes us in two directions.


Chris Sand: Cow Cow (song)

A song that gives Old McDonald a run for his money.