Double Book Debut with Shann Ray

May 25, 2019 | Events

Award-winning author Shann Ray returns to his hometown to read from his two latest works, a short story collection and book of poetry, on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019.

The short story collection, Blood Fire Vapor Smoke, “considers the human myth of regeneration through violence, and the aftermath of loneliness, love, and yearning found in a more merciful expression of human existence. Violence is caught by love, changed, transcended, and transformed into a yearning for restoration, atonement, and the fusion embodied in greater humanity.”

Montana native and author Joe Wilkins, in praising the poetry collection, Sweetclover, writes that “Shann Ray is one of the most vital, necessary writers at work today, and whether novel or poem his project, I am beginning to understand, is nothing less than finding for himself and those he loves, as well as all the rest of us, ways of being whole in the body and whole in the world.”

Ray also is the author of the novel, American Copper, and the short story collection, American Masculine, which received the American Book Award, the High Plains Book Award, and the Bakeless Prize from the Breadloaf Writers Conference. His poetry collection, Balefire, won a 2015 High Plains Book Award as well. His work has been published in Esquire, Poetry, McSweeney’s, Narrative, Montana Quarterly and Salon, and he’s the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

He grew up fishing the waterways of Montana and Alaska, and spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. He played basketball at Park High, Montana State University, and Pepperdine University, and played professionally in Germany. He lives in Spokane, WA, with his wife and three daughters, where he teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University.

The free event will begin 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.

Elk River Arts & Lectures is a nonprofit organization that brings writers to Livingston for free public readings, and provides opportunities for those writers to interact with local public school students. It also maintains the Community to Classroom directory, matching local arts and business professionals with Livingston educators for in-class presentations and workshops. For more information, call 333-2330 or visit