Elk River Books will host a reading by some of Park County’s emerging writers as part of the Last Best Fest arts festival on at noon Saturday, September 6 at Elk River Books. Participants include Elise Atchison, Scott Franzen, Justin Post, Myers Reece, Natalie Storey and Ellen Winter.
Elise Atchison lives in an off-the-grid cabin on the edge of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Montana. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Montana Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Jackson Hole Review, An Elk River Books Reader, Cutthroat Journal, Owen Wister Review, Reflections West Radio, and elsewhere, and she recently received an artist grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for her novel-in-progress. Atchison reviews books for Montana Quarterly and is the Executive Director of Elk River Arts & Lectures.
Scott Michael Franzen studied with renowned Montana poet Richard Hugo at the University of Montana in the early 1970s, eventually earning his English/German degree from Rocky Mountain College in Billings. He cites as influences poets e.e. cummings, Langston Hughes, T.S. Eliot, Ishmael Reed, Vachel Lindsay and Emily Dickinson, among others. He does a pretty good impression of “The Canterbury Tales” in Middle English, plays a mean 12-string guitar, and never bluffs at poker, he alleges. He may be found several evenings each week at his job as a Circulation Clerk at the Livingston-Park County Public Library. Franzen grew up in Livingston, where his family operated Franzen-Davis Funeral Home, “failing miserably” in the “comportment” he was expected to display at all times.
Justin Post is a longtime reporter and the current managing editor at the Livingston Enterprise. Post has covered the environment, crime, the outdoors and politics. He grew up along the Mahoning River near Youngstown, Ohio, where he learned to fish and write short-story fiction. Post lived and worked in Butte and Helena before moving to Livingston in 2013 with his wife and their two young sons.
Myers Reece is a freelance writer. His essays, fiction and journalism have been published in newspapers and magazines across the country. He was a founding member of the award-winning Flathead Beacon and most recently was the publication’s senior writer. He lives in Kalispell with his wife, a relentlessly energetic yellow Labrador and a stubby-legged corgi.
Natalie Storey’s writing has appeared in Guernica Daily, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Coldfront, The Rumpus and others. She’s a former Peace Corps volunteer and a Fulbright scholar. She has a MFA from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Montana, where she won a Robert F. Kennedy award and the Mendacious Little Bastard award for newspaper reporting. Myers Reece and part of the Park High football team once got arrested at a toga party at her house in high school. She works as a hack at the Livingston Enterprise.
Ellen Winter’s short stories have appeared in a number of magazines including Fiction, New Letters, The Antioch Review, and Cosmopolitan. Her first collection, The Price You Pay: Stories, was published by Southern Methodist University Press. A second collection is nearing completion, and a novel is also in the works. Awards include fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Bread Loaf.
The reading will take place upstairs at Elk River Books, 120 N. Main St. in Livingston. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 333-2330.