Whitefish Review Launches New Issue ‘The Vortex’

The June 23 launch event will include live music and featured readings from award-winning writers

By Denali Sagner
Cover photography by Sean R. Heavey. "Paths Crossing and The Mothership” is a composite photo created by overlaying two images of a supercell thunderstorm building in intensity, shot one hour apart in 2010 on the Hi-Line near Hinsdale, Montana.

Nationally acclaimed, nonprofit journal Whitefish Review will launch its 27th issue, “The Vortex,” on Thursday, June 23 at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake tent pavilion. The launch will include readings by the Poet Laureate of Montana Mark Gibbons, Montana Book Award winner Chris La Tray and Whitefish High School student Gracie Hickman.

Whitefish Review publishes art and literature that “explores the landscapes of the human condition, our connection to the natural world, and illuminates how the confluence of art and science alongside the complex issues of our planet and people is vital for the health of all beings,” the journal described in a June 14 press release.

“The Vortex,” which founding editor Brian Schott says seeks to “use the power of art and literature to bridge boundaries and provide community,” highlights 40 writers, artists and photographers from 13 different states, as well as international submissions from Finland, Germany and Switzerland. Featured works include a short essay and interview with Garrison Keillor and an interview with retired NFL hall of fame quarterback Drew Bledsoe, conducted on the chairlift at Whitefish Mountain Resort this past winter. 

“The past two years have certainly stirred things up, spinning us all around in circles and creating a lot of confusion,” Schott said in the press release. “In this issue, we seek center spaces inside the storm where there is calm. What is lost and what is found?”

Gibbons, whose custom poem is included in the new issue, is the author of 11 poetry collections, the recipient of a 2013 Artist Innovation Award from the Montana Arts Council and the current poetry editor of “The Montana Poets Series” for FootHills Publishing.

“Vortex” also includes an essay by La Tray, which explores the impacts of displacement from land stolen from the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians in the modern day. La Tray is an award-winning author, a descendent of the Pembina Band of the mighty Red River of the North and an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Hickman — a student at the Whitefish Independent High School and fifth generation of Whitefish resident — shares an essay covering topics of mental health and growing up. She won the Jobs for Montana’s Graduates essay contest, from which her “Vortex” essay is adapted.

In addition to featured readings, the event will include live music by local singer/songwriter John Dunnigan and cocktails. A silent auction will be held for framed photography by Montana photographer Sean R. Heavey, as well as a raffle for a season pass to Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Humanities Montana, The Whitefish Community Foundation, Glacier Bank and The Lodge at Whitefish Lake are sponsoring the event. A $10 entry donation is suggested to support the non-profit journal. For those who cannot attend, the event will also be live-streamed on Whitefish Review’s Facebook page.

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