Two Montana poets and educators will showcase their new work at Elk River Books on Thursday, March 16. Hailing from Billings, Cara Chamberlain will read from her latest book To Gaze Upon Their Loveliness, and O. Alan Weltzein travels from Dillon to read from three new titles: Through the Basement of Time, When the Smiles Stopped and On the Beach: Poems 2016 – 2021.
“Chamberlain pairs lyric poems with provocative science facts in an exploration of the sex lives of chickadees and hawks, earthworms and ants, elk and jaguars, butterflies and jellyfish” writes Janine DeBaise, author of Body Language. “She sets before us beauty and violence, dying oceans and human greed, the lasciviousness of nature’s creatures, and a human love song to the earth.”
Chamberlain is the author of Hidden Things, The Divine Botany, and Lament of the Antichrist in a Secular World. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Nimrod, Boston Review, The Southern Review and Poetics for the More-Than-Human World: An Anthology. She holds degrees in English and creative writing from the University of Utah and Purdue University, and has taught writing and literature for over 25 years in Wyoming, Maine, Canada, Florida and Montana.
Weltzien, professor emeritus of English at the University of Montana Western, retired in 2020, closing out forty years of full-time teaching. He is the author of 10 books and four chapbooks, including The Norman Maclean Reader, Savage West: The Life and Fiction of Thomas Savage, A Father and an Island and Exceptional Mountains: A Cultural History of the Pacific Northwest Volcanoes.
Brady Harrison, author of The Term Between, writes, “A scholar, memoirist, and biographer, Weltzien, as On the Beach amply demonstrates, is also a major Montana poet. Just as Norman Maclean knew rivers and family, Weltzien knows mountains and shorelines, steep pitches and snow, what it means to be a son, a husband, and a father. Deeply moving, and deeply felt, On the Beach stands with the finest poetry and nature writing ever produced in the Treasure State.”
Elk River Books is located at 122 S. 2nd St. in downtown Livingston. The free event begins at 7 p.m., and a book signing and reception will follow.