The Montana House is hosting guest author David Stanley for a presentation and evening reading from “The Glacier Park Reader” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the Kintla Camp event room.
As the first anthology of key writings about Glacier National Park, this collection ranges from Native American myths to early exploration narratives to contemporary journeys, investigations of the park’s geology and biology, hair-raising encounters with wild animals, fires and mountain peaks.
Soon after the park was established in 1910, visitors began to arrive, often with pen in hand. They included such well-known authors as mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart, historian Agnes C. Laut, fiction writer Dorothy Johnson, humorist Irvin S. Cobb, poet Vachel Lindsay, and artist Maynard Dixon — all featured in the book. Readers will encounter colorful characters who lived in and around the park in its early days, including railroad magnate and conservationist Louis Hill, renegade ranger and poacher Joe Cosley, bootlegger Josephine Doody, and old-time cowboy guide Jim Whilt. Blackfeet and Kalispel myths and legends, descriptions by early explorers such as John Muir and George Bird Grinnell, and full-color reproductions of the illustrated letters of cowboy artist and Glacier resident Charles M. Russell are also included.
Stanley is a former trail-crew laborer in Glacier National Park, where he worked for six summers during the 1960s. In those years, he worked at St. Mary, Red Eagle, Gunsight, Many Glacier, West Glacier and the North Fork. Before he retired from teaching, he was an English professor at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, where he specialized in American literature and folklore and also chaired the college’s Environmental Studies Program. There he taught many classes on environmental literature and writing, focusing on works pertaining to the natural world, wilderness, the preservation movement, and the national parks. He also initiated the National Park Readers series being published by the University of Utah Press, which includes the newly released Glacier Park Reader.
Stanley is now retired from teaching and spends his time hiking, camping, and traveling with his wife Nan, as well as continuing with research, writing, and editing. He and Nan live in Salt Lake City and — like all former Glacier Park Trail Crew — he returns to Glacier Park often.
A reception will follow the reading Sept. 13. The public is welcome to attend this free event, but reservations are requested by calling 406-888-5393 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.