Lecture Series


April 14th

Richard Powers

April 14, 2022

Elks Lodge


7 pm

Widely acclaimed novelist Richard Powers kicks off Elk River Arts & Lectures’ Spring 2022 Lecture Series with a discussion of his 2021 novel, Bewilderment.

Richard Powers is the author of thirteen novels, including The Overstory and Orfeo, and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award. He lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Powers’ work draws on his extraordinary facility with science and technology, producing very human stories entangled with very specialized topics—genetics, artificial intelligence, musical composition, botany, and more. In his latest novel, Bewilderment, Powers delves into astrobiology and neuroscience.

“With its soaring descriptions of the natural world, its tantalizing vision of life beyond, and its account of a father and son’s ferocious love, Bewilderment marks Richard Powers’s most intimate and moving novel.” Kirkus Reviews called Bewilderment a “[A] taut ecological parable…. A touching novel that offers a vital message with uncommon sympathy and intelligence.” 

The Los Angeles Times described Powers as “an essential member of the pantheon of writers who are using fiction to address climate change.”

Power’ visit is made possible by the very generous support of the Park County Community Foundation. During his time in Livingston, Powers will visit a Creating Writing class at Park High School. The free public lecture, which will take place at the Elks Lodge, will include a book signing.

May 19th

Shane Doyle & megan Kate Nelson

May 19, 2022

Dulcie Theatre, Shane Lalani Center for the Arts 


7 pm

Commemorating Yellowstone’s 150th: An Evening with Shane Doyle & Megan Kate Nelson

Elk River Arts & Lectures is thrilled to be teaming up with the Park County Environmental Council to co-host this event acknowledging Yellowstone’s complicated history. 

Seating is first come, first serve. Doors open at 6pm, event starts at 7pm.

We are very honored to host these two guests!

Dr. Shane Doyle, Apsáalooke, is an educational and cultural consultant who hails from Crow Agency, MT. Shane is an educator, archaeological and genetic researcher, curriculum designer, environmental advocate, performance art producer, and Plains Indian-style singer. Currently, Shane is helping to lead the commemoration of Yellowstone’s 150th birthday with the installation of an All Nations Teepee Village near Gardiner in August of 2022. Shane lives in Bozeman with his wife Megkian and their 5 children.


Critically-acclaimed writer and historian Megan Kate Nelson will speak about her new book, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America. Saving Yellowstone puts the history of the world’s first national park in a wider historical context that includes national division, racial violence, railroad expansion, and Indigenous resistance. Booklist calls Saving Yellowstone “A fresh, provocative study of the origins of Yellowstone National Park.” Nelson’s 2020 book The Three-Cornered War was a Pulitzer finalist.

Apsáalooke educator and advocate Shane Doyle will speak about Yellowstone from an Indigenous perspective. Doyle has been a leader on various local Native and environmental initiatives, including the All Nations Teepee Village installation that will be part of official YNP 150th Anniversary events this summer. Doyle told Essential West Magazine, “What we’re hoping to accomplish with a teepee village is a presence for Native historians and tour guides so that they can speak to the tourists about their tribe’s history [in Yellowstone] and their continued presence.”

Please join us in learning more about our next door neighbor and the ongoing efforts to grapple with YNP’s history. The event will take place at the Shane Center’s Dulcie Theater with the generous support of the Park County Community Foundation.


If you’re interested in donating to the All-Nations Teepee Village Fund, visit this page: https://pcec.salsalabs.org/teepeevillage/index.html




Megan Kate Nelson is a historian and writer, with a BA in History and Literature from Harvard and a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa. Her previous book, The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner 2020) was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History. She writes about the Civil War, the U.S. West, and American landscapes for The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, and TIME. Scribner published her most recent book, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America, on March 1, 2022 – the 150th anniversary of the Yellowstone Act.


Gene & Bev Allen


Elk River Books
122 S. 2nd St.
Livingston, MT 59047


7 pm

Longtime fixtures on the antiquarian book scene, Helena authors Gene and Bev Allen’s discussion of the work of Montana photographer L.A. Huffman’s work has been postponed due to health issues. Details will be posted when this event is rescheduled.

The Allens are the world experts on Huffman’s work, and have produced two books about it: The Collotypes of L. A. Huffman: Montana Frontier Photographer and The Postcards of L. A. Huffman.

Huffman’s work chronicled the rapid changes taking place in the Montana territory from the late 1800s to the early part of the 20th century:

They write, “Hostilities between early settlers and Native Americans were drawing to a close and reservation life was beginning. The demise of the great buffalo herds was near, clearing the way for large scale cattle ranching. The railroad arrived in Miles City in 1881 and changed everything. … During all of this, Huffman was there taking photographs — landscapes, animals, early ranches, street scenes and, especially, people doing their work.

“His photos of buffalo hunting taken between 1880-83 are some of the few that exist and are among the most historically significant images he produced.

“Huffman approached his work with the eye of an artist and the perspective of an historian, a rare combination. Western historian J. Evetts Haley perhaps said it best “For sheer versatility of significant and historic subject matter close to the range of the grass, (Huffman’s collection) surpasses them all.” In 1976 Huffman was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

“He remains the only photographer to have received that honor.”

The lecture is free and open to the public, and co-sponsored by the Park County Community Foundation.

Date tbd 

Téa Obreht


Elk River Books
122 S. 2nd St.
Livingston, MT 59047


7 pm

After her 2020 Livingston reading was postponed by the pandemic, internationally acclaimed novelist Téa Obreht will return at an undecided future date. 

Obreht was the youngest winner of the Orange Prize for her debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife. She’s a National Book Award finalist, a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and was named by The New Yorker as one of the 20 best American fiction writers under 40.

Her latest book, Inland, is set in the “lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893 … grounded in true but little-known history.” As in her first novel, Inland is lightly infused with the mythical and mysterious. Kirkus Reviews writes that Inland is “saturated in enough realism and magic to make the ghost of Gabriel García Márquez grin… The final, luminous chapter is six pages that will take your breath away.”

Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading, and has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Vogue, Esquire and Zoetrope: All-Story, among many others. She was the recipient of the Rona Jaffe fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A Serbian native, Obreht’s family immigrated to the U.S. when she was a teenager, and she currently teaches at Hunter College in New York.

During Obreht’s visit—which is made possible in part through a grant from the Park County Community Foundation — she also will meet with students at Park High School. The free, public event will include a book signing and reception.