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Chris Dombrowski

Poet and author Chris Dombrowski discusses his new memoir, "The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water."

Chris Dombrowksi takes a break from fishing Western Montana’s Clark Fork River to discuss his new book, The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water, at Elk River Books on Thursday, Nov. 17.

The River You Touch opens with a timely question: ‘What does a meaningful, mindful, sustainable inhabitance on this small planet look like in the Anthropocene?’ The answer comes by listening to rivers and the land they pulse through in Dombrowski’s adopted home of Montana. Transplants from the post-industrial Midwest, he and his partner, Mary, assemble a life based precariously on her income as a schoolteacher, his as a poet and fly-fishing guide.

“Moving seamlessly from the quotidian—diapers, the mortgage, a threadbare bank account—to the metaphysical—time, memory, how to live a life of integrity—Dombrowski illuminates the experience of fatherhood with intimacy and grace. Spending time in wild places with their children, he learns that their youthful sense of wonder at the beauty and connectivity of the more-than-human world is not naivete to be shed, but rather wisdom most of us lose along the way—wisdom that is essential for the possibility of transformation.”

Author Rick Bass notes, “You won’t soon read a more beautiful book, nor one so earthy, wise, delicious, and alive. This is not a book about fish or rivers or Montana or parenting. This is a book, to paraphrase another poet, plain and simple, to break open the frozen sea within.”

Dombrowski is the author of the poetry collections By Cold Water, Earth Again and Ragged Anthem. His nonfiction debut, Body of Water: A Sage, A Seeker, and the World’s Most Alluring Fish, was described as “finely wrought and profoundly life-affirming” in a starred Publishers Weekly review and was named to numerous Best Books of 2016 lists. His essays and poems have appeared in over 100 publications and anthologies including Poetry, Orion, Outside, The Southern Review, The Sun, Michigan Quarterly Review, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Guernica, and Gulf Coast.

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.

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