Praise for the 2015 Montana Book Festival

The Montana Book Festival is one of the greatest literary festivals I’ve been to lately—wonderful readers and panels, engaged audiences, and a great range of events: from whiskey and pie to queer women writing the West!
— Alexandra Teague - Author of two books of poetry, The Wise and Foolish Builders (Persea, 2015) and Mortal Geography (Persea, 2010), winner of the 2009 Lexi Rudnitsky Prize and the 2010 California Book Award for Poetry. She is the recipient of a Stegner Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the 2014 Missouri Review Editors’ Prize. Alexandra is Assistant Professor of Poetry at University of Idaho and an editor for Broadsided Press. 

The revival of the Montana Book Festival brought home the comfort of community and the neighborly comradery of the West. The variety of events kept the audience laughing, sobbing, and captivated at the poems and stories presented in panels, at readings, and at author events. I was honored to be a participant and thrilled to be in the audience. No matter the way in which you participated, the Montana Book Festival was a gift to all.
— Chelsia Rice - Co-founder of HALA! Helena Area Literary Arts

If there were any hitches to overcome this year under new organization, they must have happened behind the scenes because the Montana Book Festival was every bit as excellent as it’s ever been. For me, a first time participant rather than just as a “fan” wandering from panel to panel between hemorrhages of cash at the bookstore, it was a fantastic experience. This festival keeps Missoula a big star of merit on the national– no, international!– literary map.
— Chris La Tray - Short Fiction Author whose work has been published in various crime, noir and pulp collections and anthologies.

The Montana Book Festival is an impressive gathering of authors and book lovers—and one of the best I’ve attended as both author and participant. In a single day, I spoke on a panel of debut authors, enjoyed lunch in a brew pub listening to Smith Henderson, attended a lecture at the college from Charlie D’Ambrosio, and caught a one-man show from Ira Glass of This American Life. It doesn’t get much better than that.
— Jan Ellison - Best selling author of A Small Indiscretion, an Oprah Editor’s Pick and a San Francisco Chronicle Book Club Pick.

My first experience at the Montana Book Festival was amazing. It was such a pleasure to meet other authors, offer and attend a variety of panels, and of course, buy new books! From the awesome volunteers to the wonderful gatherings and the Missoula experience, it’s definitely a “must” in my fall schedule.
— Jess E. Owen - Founder of Five Elements Press and memeber of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the Authors of the Flathead

The best year yet, of one of my favorite festivals around!
— J. Robert Lennon - Author of two story collections, Pieces For The Left Hand and See You in Paradise, and seven novels, including Mailman, Familiar, and Happyland. Currently co-hosts the podcast Lunch Box with poet Ed Skoog and teaches writing at Cornell University.

The Montana Book Fair is located in the quirky and engaging city of Missoula which was an added perk to a lively festival! Rachel Mindell and the other festival staff and volunteers went above and beyond to make participants feel as comfortable as possible.
— KMA Sullivan - Co-founded Vinyl Poetry and founded YesYes Books. Received fellowships in poetry and creative non-fiction from Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Summer Literary Seminars.

The Montana Book Festival was a joy and an impressive feat. The Festival took full advantage of this literary town and I left feeling deeply connected to the west and to the writers who are drawn here. I didn’t want to leave.
— Megan Kruse - 2015-16 Visiting Writer for Eastern Oregon University's low-residency MFA program and author of the acclaimed novel Call Me Home (2015 Hawthorne Books). She has been the recipient of residencies from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska and New York Mills in Minnesota, as well as an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship.

The Montana Book Festival has new life! So glad it is rescued. The readings are superb—and fun! And it’s a chance for those who love literature in Montana, who are usually dispersed far and wide, to talk with and see each other in person and not just on the page.
— Melissa Kwasny - Author of five books of poetry, including Pictograph (Milkweed 2015) and The Nine Senses (Milkweed 2011), as well as a collection of literary essays, Earth Recitals: Essays on Image and Vision (Lynx House Press 2013). Reading Novalis in Montana was named one of the top ten books of 2009 by the Huffington Post.

The Montana Book Festival is a great event that brings together a diverse array of writers from around Big Sky country and the nation at-large. It has a fantastic energy that highlights the strength of the Missoula community. Montana has long had a unique literary tradition, and the book festival helps celebrate and continue that important legacy.
— Michael Dax - Author of Grizzly West: A Failed Attempt to Reintroduce Grizzly Bears in the Mountain West.

The Missoula Festival of the Book continues to stand out as one of the best showcases for authors from all over the western part of the United States. We have been very fortunate to be able to host such an outstanding event every year here in Montana.
— Russell Rowland - Author of In Open Spaces chosen for the San Francisco Chronicle’s bestseller list and named among the “Best of the West” by the Salt Lake City Tribune. The Watershed Years and High and Inside were both finalists for the High Plains Book Award for Fiction. His latest book, Fifty-Six Counties: A Montana Journey, is his first non-fiction effort.

The Montana Book Festival was such a treat. I loved Missoula, I loved the people I met, and nothing can beat those big Montana skies.
— Sarah Hepola - Author of the bestselling memoir, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times magazine, The Guardian, Elle, Glamour, The New Republic, Slate, and Salon, where she was an editor for many years.

Missoula, you put on an incredible book festival packed with events! At the Montana Book Festival, readers, writers, and pie & whiskey lovers come together as a welcoming community. People kept mentioning bear spray, but I never needed it. What I should’ve brought? An extra suitcase for new books.
— Sarah Layden - Winner of the Allen and Nirelle Galson Prize for fiction and an AWP Intro Award. Trip Through Your Wires is her first novel. She teaches writing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana Writers Center.

The Montana Book Festival was an outstanding opportunity to hear from many different authors from a variety of genres. The Children’s portion of the Festival was an energizing and fun part of the festival activities. I was thoroughly impressed with the young people who participated as readers and writers.
— Theresa Nichols Schuster - Author of We Are the Warriors, named 2015 USA Regional Excellence Book Awards Finalist. Theresa is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.