The UMW English Department’s longstanding visiting writers series, titled “Dances With Words” (and named by a former colleague a decade or more ago), has been bringing visiting writers to the UMW campus for approximately fifteen years. During this time we have hosted over fifty writers, most coming from Montana or the Northern Rockies region.
“Dances With Words” supplements UMW’s creative writing minor and brings to the campus and the Dillon community ‘live’ writers in several genres: poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, primarily. Usually three-four times a semester, students and other have the chance to hear, in UMW’s The CUP, professionals who have published extensively and provide real-time lessons in the craft of writing.
Organized and hosted by Dr. O. Alan Weltzien, a longtime personal essayist and poet and senior member of UMW’s English Department, UMW’s longest series dedicated to visiting ‘speakers’ brings a range of vibrant voices and styles to our campus.
In academic year 2016-17, “Dances With Words” hosted poets Richard Robbins, a poet from Mankato State University; Michael Czarnecki, (Kanona, NY), travelling poet and owner/published of FootHills Publishing; O. Alan Weltzien (Dillon, MT), poet and nonfiction writer; Rick Bass (Troy and Bozeman, MT), well-known short story writer and novelist; Lowell Jaeger (Kalispell, MT), one of Montana’s best-known poets and editor of Many Voices Press; and Shann Ray (Spokane, WA), short story writer and novelist (American Copper, 2016).
“Dances With Words” is committed to bringing a range of writers and talents to our campus and community”