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Montana Modernists recipient of:

  • Joan Paterson Kerr Award, Western History Association

  • Big Sky Award, Best Book by a Montana Author

  • High Plains Book Award

  • Montana State Book Awards, Honor Book

In this stunning book, complete with over 50 full-color images, Michele Corriel examines the emergence of an avant-garde art movement during postwar Montana. The pioneers of this movement, Jessie Wilber, Frances Senska, Bill Stockton, Isabelle Johnson, Robert DeWeese, and Gennie DeWeese, nurtured, sustained, and promulgated an aesthetic philosophy that began to expand how Western art in Montana is defined.

Divided into three sections, the exploration of this avant-garde movement concentrates on place, teaching/artistic lineage, and community.


For some, place refers to the physical attributes of Montana in the postwar years, the isolation, the beauty, and the complexity of its landscape that not only served as a backdrop but also played center stage in the influences on life and art. For others in the group, place became a metaphor for the body politic, a personal evocation of space held within the boundaries of time.

The second section charts each artist’s artistic lineage to further understand how they arrived at their particular artistic styles.


Community, the third section, seeks to answer one of the larger questions within this work: how did six artists, working in Montana during the late 1940s and early 1950s (and continued to work throughout their lives) create a thriving art community that opposed the meta-narrative of the West, a movement that still resonates in contemporary Montana art. A thorough study of their teaching styles, art techniques, and social gatherings demonstrates the workings of a tight-knit community of like-minded artists (along with writers, dancers, musicians, and philosophers) as they addressed the changing zeitgeist of a postwar America, cultivating fresh ideas through a modern lens, allowing Montanans a new option for viewing themselves.

Published by Washington State University Press

Available wherever books are sold

Book Review


Contributing writer to Conversations with William S. Burroughs (Literary Conversations Series), 2000  by Allen Hibbard (Editor)

Published by University Press of Mississippi

Anchor 1

Sophie’s world is falling apart. Severe storms, tornadoes and damaging hail threaten everyone’s way of living. But since moving to Maudlow, Montana, things have gotten worse. Not just on the outside but her home life is frayed at the edges. Insanity, in the guise of her stepfather, makes her every moment feel like she’s walking a tightrope. She dare not miss a step.

In light of all the craziness, Sophie still misses her father, who mysteriously disappeared seven years ago. She thinks about him every night before drifting off to sleep. Until one night she’s sure that she hears from him – from across universes. He tells her she is only one who can save him and so begins Sophie’s journey to rescue her father as well as her own journey of self-discovery. And perhaps, with the help of some unlikely partners, she may be able to save both worlds from coming apart at the seams.

Published by Leap Books.

Thomas Weston has newspaper ink in his veins. He also has funny headlines running through his brain. If he can convince the principal at Fairview Middle School he has what it takes, he may be able to make his dream of a school newspaper come true. But first he has to figure out why all the cats in Fairview are disappearing.

Available in both an ebook and an audio book.

A collection of stories and essays published by Bangtail Press, including "Contemporary Landscapaes" by Michele Corriel as well as work from David Abrams, Marjane Ambler, John Barsness, John Byorth, Edwin Dobb, Michael Finkel, Janet Fox, Liz Gans, Valerie Harms, Jack Horner, Allen Morris Jones, Greg Keeler, Alan Kesselheim, Melissa Kwasny, Amy Leach, Keith McCafferty, Ben Mikaelsen, Rick Newby, Aaron Parrett, Ray Ring, Jim Robbins, Patrick Straub, David Quammen, Carter G. Walker, Todd Wilkinson.

We think of them as ordinary objects, but rocks can do amazing things: there are rocks that glow and rocks that travel through space, rocks that float and rocks that burn. These are only some of the surprises in Weird Rocks, a must-have guide for young rock hounds. Author Michele Corriel introduces readers to sixteen unusual rocks and explains the science behind what each one does and how it does it. Youngsters will discover what makes one kind of rock smell like a rotten egg, what rock acts like a magnet, and what rock contains hidden treasure. High-quality photographs, colorful paintings, and hilarious cartoons add visual delight to this entertaining and informative book.

Available in bookstores and online.

Thomas and his friends are back with another exciting mystery to solve. Of course Thomas can't help but find trouble ... and detention. But that doesn't mean he and his friends can't figure out who's behind the big jewel heist.

Available as an ebook.

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