with Aaron Parrett
author, professor at The University of Great Falls
This presentation offers an introductory overview of important Montana literature that exists outside the canon of place-narratives. This introduction avoids academic jargon and the language of literary criticism, although it does welcome a discussion of canon-formation and how works gain entry into the list of “Montana Literature.” The presentation begins with a brief overview of the place-narrative and the history of mainstream "Montana literature." Parrett explores how influential the anthology The Last Best Place has been, and contrasts it with Howard’s earlier Montana Margins, and encourages people to seek out marginalized Montana literature. A list of the works discussed includes I Await the Devil’s Coming (Mary MacLane), The Burning Women of Far Cry (Rick Demarinis), and Montana Gothic (Dirck Van Sickle).