Montana Poet Laureate to Read From New Anthology at UM

November 22, 2016

Michael Earl CraigMISSOULA – Montana Poet Laureate and University of Montana alumnus Michael Earl Craig will read from the recently published “Poems Across the Big Sky II” anthology at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in the Turner Hall Dell Brown Room at UM.

The anthology was published by Flathead Valley Community College’s Many Voices Press and edited by Lowell Jaeger and Hannah Bissell.

“These Montana poems share the news we need to hear at this moment in our history, our shared lives,” said Ken Egan, executive director of Humanities Montana. “Reading this vivid, engaging, important collection, you will be brought into contact with the physical world time and time again in often surprising ways.”

A 1994 UM graduate in English, Craig has published four books of poems, “Can You Relax in My House,” “Yes, Master,” “Thin Kimono” and “Talkativeness,” as well as the chapbook “Jombang Jet.” Besides appearing in numerous anthologies, Craig’s poetry has been translated into Dutch and Chinese.

The Poetry Society of America named Craig one of “20 New American Poets” in 2003, and he was appointed the Montana Poet Laureate for 2015-17 by Gov. Steve Bullock. He currently works as a farrier and volunteers with creative writing students at Park High School in Livingston.

“As a professional farrier, Earl brings a unique set of experiences to his poetry, frequently combining highly intelligent language with the more down-home imagery of his profession and the Montana landscape where he has worked for well over a decade,” said Greg Keeler, English professor at Montana State University. “The effect is sometimes disturbing, often humorous and always original.”

Craig will read with six other alumni: Bissell, Zan Bockes, David Cates, Sally Cobau, Carla Homstad and Karin Schalm. They will share poems and memories of the Creative Writing Program dating back to the days of Richard Hugo and Madeline DeFrees.

For more information call Schalm, UM Creative Writing Program coordinator, at 406-243-5267 or visit


Contact: Karin Schalm, program coordinator, UM Creative Writing Program, 406-243-5267,