Author Talk with Shann Ray

Friday, October 18, 2019 - 6:00pm

We are extremely excited to welcome poet and novelist Shann Ray back to the Country Bookshelf to share his two newest books, Blood Fire Vapor Smoke - a collection of stories and Sweetclover his newest collection of poetry. 

More about Blood Fire Vapor Smoke

A cycle akin to the seasons of a life, Blood Fire Vapor Smoke asks questions of the ancient struggle between life and death amidst landscapes new and old. Does ultimate forgiveness answer to ultimate violence in the world? What is the nature of grace? A collection of stories opening upon the inner world with the abandon and gravity involved in personal and collective responsibility, the book responds to the collapsing binary of two hungers: violence and forgiveness. Blood Fire Vapor Smoke considers the human myth of regeneration through violence, and the aftermath of loneliness, love, and yearning found in a more merciful expression of human existence.  Violence is caught by love, changed, transcended, and transformed into a yearning for restoration, atonement, and the fusion embodied in greater humanity.   

More about Sweetclover

Grounded in the physical while asking metaphysical questions, the poems in Sweetclover detail love, wilderness, fracture, and fusion. They speak of wildflowers, the slant of a collarbone, the flight feathers of predatory birds, and the eye of winter. American Book Award–winner Shann Ray’s affinity for Montana landscapes and the intimate heart of the beloved challenges the age of enragement with delight in those we are graced to know.  Sweetclover is an honoring of marriage through individual and collective interpretations of the body in movement, silent, vocal, ethereal, muscular, transcendent.  The fellow travelers in these poems cross mountain ranges to behold the intricacy of blue-capped tree swallows.  Humbled by the heavens, the sequences in Sweetclover speak of walking hand in hand with the beloved, listening, and giving oneself sacrificially to better understand each other.  Sweetclover posits the marriage bed beyond nihilism, where God speaks and lovers believe in absorbing the shadow, and finding their way to new life.


More about Shann Ray

Poet and novelist Shann Ray's work has appeared in Poetry, Esquire, McSweeney’s, Poetry International, Narrative, Montana Quarterly, and Salon. He grew up fishing the waterways of Montana and Alaska, and spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in southeast Montana.  Honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the High Plains Book Award, and the American Book Award.  He lives with his wife and three daughters in Spokane, Washington and teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University.  He is the author of Sweetclover, Blood Fire Vapor Smoke, American Masculine, American Copper, Balefire, Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity, Atomic Theory 7, the libretto The Garment of Praise, and a novel in progress, Where Blackbirds Fly.  

Event Guidelines

This event is free and open to the public. Most of our events are held upstairs, but we do not have an elevator. Please contact us with any accessibility concerns. To join the signing line and have books signed by the author at this event, please consider purchasing your copy of either (or both!) Blood Fire Vapor Smoke, or Sweetclover from Country Bookshelf, either in-store, over the phone, or online [insert link]. By purchasing your book from Country Bookshelf, you are not only supporting a locally owned, independent business, but you are also showing publishers that they should continue sending authors to Country Bookshelf. The author's previous titles will be available for purchase at the event as supplies last. 

Video recording, audio recording, and/or live-streaming during author appearances and signings is not possible without prior written permission from the publisher and Country Bookshelf.

Can't make it to the event, but still want to purchase an autographed or personalized book? Place your order below, enter "signed copy" plus any personalization details in the comments section of your order, and we'll have the author sign your books and ship them to you after the event!

Blood Fire Vapor Smoke By Shann Ray Cover Image
ISBN: 9781950730186
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Unsolicited Press - June 4th, 2019

Sweetclover By Shann Ray Cover Image
ISBN: 9780999199459
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Lost Horse Press - April 1st, 2019

Event address: 
Country Bookshelf
28 West Main Street
Bozeman, MT 59715