Podcast by Freeflow Institute
1.3 Hal Herring (part two): On making art, defining citizenship, and loving dogs
This is part two of producer Rick White’s conversation with Hal Herring, who led the first-ever Freeflow Institute course on the Missouri River in 2018. Rick and Hal rendezvoused on forested public land near Augusta, Montana in September 2020. Throughout the episode, Hal reads excerpts from his essay “Seasons with Bear,” about sharing a few years of his life with a beloved hunting dog. The conversation is far-reaching and expansive. Hal talks about life in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, as well as anarchism, citizenship, and public lands. He discusses activism, advocacy, communication, and creative work; making a living with stories (and how true hunger is often a distraction from creativity, rather than a driving force toward it); and the dissolution of ego in journalists – a function of the volume of failures and rejections that writers must endure. Rick and Hal touch on Larry Brown and Cormac McCarthy. They settle on the hard truth that artists must be sensitive enough to create something beautiful, while also being strong enough to withstand the brutality of the world.
1.2 Hal Herring (part one): Woods work + pathological reading
Producer Rick White speaks with Hal Herring, one of our all-time favorite writers and thinkers. Rick met up with Hal near Augusta, Montana in September 2020 to chop wood and chat about the exquisitely agonizing work of writing. Their conversation uncovers some of Hal's history: his migration West, his forays into fiction writing, and his formative work in the woods. Hal is the host of the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers podcast, a contributing editor at Field & Stream, one of the most dedicated researchers of our time, and a fierce protector of public lands. Hal reads excerpts from his 2011 High Country News essay on white bark pine; an old fiction piece called "Vacation"; and his astounding 2016 account of the Bundy occupation at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge - arguably one of the greatest pieces of environmental reporting to come out of the last decade.
1.1 Chris La Tray: Notes on the Sacred Art of Dog Walking
This is the first episode of The Freeflow Podcast, wherein producer Rick White speaks with friend and Freeflow Institute instructor, Chris La Tray. Rick walked with Chris on snow-covered trails through Council Grove State Park, just west of Missoula, Montana, on a February morning in 2020. Chris La Tray is a Métis writer and storyteller, a walker, observer, poet, teacher, and pillar of the Montana literary community. His first book, One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large (2018, Riverfeet Press) won the 2018 Montana Book Award and a 2019 High Plains Book Award. His next book, Becoming Little Shell, will be published by Milkweed Editions in Spring 2022. Chris is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.