Dances with Words Event

On Dec. 7, 2017, at 7:30 pm, author Caroline Patterson will visit the University of Montana Western for a reading as part of the “Dances with Words” series. Each performance in the series takes place at The Cup, Montana Western’s coffeehouse located below the library on campus.

“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.

Patterson is an award-winning author and former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She is also the executive director of The Missoula Writing Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that teaches creative writing to underserved students. She makes her home in Missoula, Mont. where she lives with her family.

“Ballet at the Moose Lodge” is her latest work, consisting of 16 short stories that “explore what it is to grow up female in the American West.”

The Drumlummon Institute, publishers of her new book, stated, “As her narratives reveal the lives of travelers, homemakers, radio show announcers, mothers, teachers, dancers, shop clerks, and the subterranean world of girls, they take the reader from a ferry dock in Resurrection Bay, Alaska, to a two-room school in the Bitterroot Valley, from brash, backpacking college students to young new mothers on the edge, from the 1920s to the 1990s.”

Kim Zupan, author of “The Ploughmen,” wrote of these stories, “The emotional breadth of these heart-wrenching yarns is vast, the characters within them fragile yet counterintuitively rugged and complex. Here are stories that explore the darkest recesses of the soul and will resound in your head like the ring of an ax long after you put this wonderful book aside.”

For more information, please contact Alan Weltzien by email at or call 406-683-7431.