David Thomas headlines Elk River Books’ 6th anniversary party

Feb 18, 2017 | Events

Elk River Books will celebrate its sixth anniversary with a reading featuring poetry by Missoula icon David E. Thomas, who will be joined by Iraqi poet Saif Alsaegh, on Thursday, May 18.

The event as well caps off Livingston’s year long participation in Humanities Montana’s Hometown Humanities program, in which the organization sponsored more than 30 humanities-related events throughout the community, including this one.

David Thomas grew up on the Hi-Line, graduated from the University of Montana then found himself on the streets of San Francisco where he began his literary education. Economic realities drove him to work on railroad gangs and on construction projects like the Libby Dam. The author of four books of poems, Thomas has been published in anthologies including The Last Best Place, Poems across the Big Sky and New Poets of the American West, and periodicals including Blue Collar Review and the Cedilla literary journal. His essay “Gothic Days” appears in The Complete Montana Gothic, which also features Thomas’s earliest published work. Most recently he has published poems and an interview in Talking River and poems in San Pedro River Review.

Originally from Iraq, Saif Alsaegh currently is a film student in Missoula. His work has appeared in Witness, The Great Falls Tribune, The Legendary and other venues. His first book, Iraqi Headaches, was published in 2013. Alsaegh’s appearance at the event is sponsored by Humanities Montana.

HM organizer Sarah Kahn says some of her favorite programs in the last year involved students at the middle and high schools. One class made a film about teen dating, abuse and assault. Another hosted a talk on what it’s like to be a Muslim in America. “Kids went from knowing nothing about Islam and having some negative connotations to becoming engaged and curious about topics like prayer … and the spiritual significance of fasting,” Kahn says.

The free event begins at 7 p.m. upstairs at Elk River Books, 120 N. Main St. in Livingston, and will be followed by a book signing and reception. For more information, call 333-2330.


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