Danell Jones and Tim Lehman Share their Stories at UMW

Danell Jones and Tim Lehman, authors residing in Billings, Mont., read from their new publications as guest authors in the latest “Dances with Words” series event.

UMW student Alayna Uhart (left) and author Danell Jones (right) chat following the “Dances with Words” event.

Danell Jones read from her new book, titled “An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor.” According to a summary of the work, “Jones describes the tragic spiral that pulled Merriman-Labor down the social ladder from writer and barrister to munitions worker, from witty observer of the social order to patient in a state-run hospital for the poor. An African in Imperial London is a rich portrait of a great metropolis, writhing its way into a new century of appalling social inequity, world-transforming inventions, and unprecedented demands for civil rights.”

Tim Lehman is Professor of History at Rocky Mountain College in Billings where he teaches a wide variety of courses in American, Western and Environmental History. Lehman, a longtime Rocky Mountain College historian, recently published “Up The Trail: How Texas Cowboys Herded Longhorns and Became an American Icon.” Cattle drives were the largest, longest, and ultimately the last of the great forced animal migrations in human history. These events “spread longhorns, cowboys, and the culture that roped the two together throughout the American West.”

After the event, Jones passed out bookmarks that she made showcasing her new book, while students and community members had the opportunity to ask questions. A student asked about their inspirations, and Jones lead, saying “I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. If you really have a passion to write, you need to sit down and do it.” Lehman said with a smile, “I like to tell stories, so I write. Danell gives me courage to be a writer. She always says to me, ‘get something down, we’ll fix it later,’ so we do.”

“Dances with Words” is produced by English Professor Alan Weltzien. The series, free and open to the public, provides the community with a unique opportunity to listen to writers reading their own works, including Montana Western student writers.

The next “Dances with Words” event will feature Brett Walker, an author from Bozeman, Mont., who will share readings from his published works on Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in The Cup on the Montana Western campus, including his recent historical memoir titled, “A Family History of Illness.” Walker is Regents Professor of History at Montana State University.

Featured authors’ books at “Dances with Words” are made available for purchase by The Bookstore and Deb Sporich.

For more information about the series, please contact Alan Weltzien by email at alan.weltzien@umwestern.edu or call 406-683-7431.

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