Michael Earl Craig & Anna Elkins

Former Montana poet laureate Michael Earl Craig, and poet and painter Anna Elkins will read from and discuss new collections of their work on Thursday, July 25, at Elk River Books, 120 N. Main St. in Livingston.

Craig is from originally from Dayton, Ohio, and received degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University, the University of Montana and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is the author of five previous collections of poetry. He was the 2015-2017 poet laureate of Montana, and lives in the Shields Valley, where he runs a full-time farrier practice.

Of his newest book, Woods and Clouds Interchangeable, publisher Wave Books, notes, “Craig delivers a fresh set of tableaux that have us squinting aslant at the ordinary. Dexterously constructed, the scenes, conversations, letters, instructions, stories, bios, and little fables … twist the comedic into shapes of startling seriousness, making us laugh at the same time they widen the dimensions of the world we live in.”

“He turns words on edge like jazz, writes Grace Cavalieri in the Washington Independent Review. “His juxtapositions are ludicrous and illuminating, [and] he delights that part of us which hungers for fresh stark originality and the spirit that lofts it.”

Elkins earned a bachelor’s degree in art and English, a master’s of fine arts in poetry and a Fulbright Fellowship to write in Germany. She has worked as a journalist, ghostwriter and editor from the Swiss Alps to the Spanish seas, and has written, painted and taught on six continents. She is the author of four books including the poetry collection The Space Between, which received honorable mentions from book festivals in San Francisco, New York and Paris. It was also a finalist for the Readers’ Favorite Book Award and the National Indie Excellence Awards.

Bil Howard writes, “In The Space Between, Anna Elkins paints a portrait which bridges the space between dreams, striving, and reality. Inspiring, thought-provoking and vivid, the portrait painted by The Space Between is a masterpiece formed from the colors of a verbal palette.”

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

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