Whitefish Review Celebrates Publication of ‘Into the Unknown’

Having published the work of more than 1,000 artists and writers, the local literary journal will host a Sept. 28 event featuring Susan Bridges and her photography from the 1980 Western epic, “Heaven’s Gate”

By Beacon Staff
The cover of the "Whitefish Review" literary journal's latest edition. Courtesy image

The local literary journal “Whitefish Review” will celebrate the publication of its 28th issue on Thursday, Sept. 28, with an event featuring the black-and-white photography of Susan Bridges from the set of “Heaven’s Gate,” the 1980 epic Western starring Bridges’ husband, the actor Jeff Bridges.

The celebration will be held in the Second Story at 101 Central (formerly known as Casey’s) in downtown Whitefish.

“Artists and writers have a special way of helping us better find our way in these unknown times, and we are thrilled to present such a variety of creative spirits at this special event,” said Brian Schott, founding editor of the “Whitefish Review.”

Titled “Into the Unknown,” the latest issue features 40 writers and artists including winners of the Montana Prize for Fiction and the Montana Prize for Humor. Emily Collins was awarded the fiction prize by author Rick Bass. Humor writing prizes were awarded by judge Garrison Keillor in three categories: Ashly Ananda for nonfiction, Kathleen Laufenberg for fiction and Mark Valentine for poetry.

The paperback anthology’s cover image comes from The James Webb Space Telescope and depicts what looks like craggy mountains on a moonlit evening but which is actually the edge of the Carina Nebula, called the “Cosmic Cliffs,” roughly 7,600 light-years away where new stars are being born, according to the founders of the “Whitefish Review.”

Susan Bridges is an accomplished photographer and philanthropist who has spent her life championing many causes. An interview with Susan is featured in the newest issue where the editors discuss a wide range of cultural and environmental issues with her including food insecurity, grizzly bears, community, and family — as well as the near-death scare and illness of her husband, the actor Jeff Bridges.

During the event, Susan will discuss her collection of black and white photographs taken on the set of the American Western epic, “Heaven’s Gate,”written and directed by Michael Cimino and filmed in and around Glacier National Park in 1979. The story revolves around a dispute between wealthy cattle ranchers and European immigrants in Wyoming in the 1890s.

The event will also feature live music. Author Rick Bass will introduce The Montana Project and a guitar built from a 315-year-old spruce destroyed by a logging road built to the edge of a series of giant clearcuts in Montana’s Yaak Valley. Musicians include Gibson Hartwell, Nate Biehl, Ben Palmer, and Angelo Chiavarini, as well as “Whitefish Review” fiction editor Matt Holloway and his daughter Harper. The players will sing songs of celebration as the guitar speaks for the health of old-growth forests.

Badge Busse is also a featured guest, one of the youth representatives in the recent landmark climate case, where the court re-established the people’s constitutional right to a healthful environment and that the state must consider potential climate damage when approving projects. Additional poets and authors who will share their work include Craig Thomas Naylor and Ashly Ananda.

“Whitefish Review” has also announced that with the publication of this issue, the journal has now published over 1,000 artists and writers since its founding in 2007.

“Over time and a lot of hard work by our team, we have formed a creative community of more than 1,000 artists and writers from 46 different states and 25 different countries,” Schott said. “We are also happy to have published the first piece of work for 23 different writers.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. with live music. The featured authors and artists will take the stage at 8 p.m. At the conclusion of the speakers, Susan Bridges will sign special art posters that will be offered for sale. Additional music will wrap up the evening. The event will also be live-streamed on the “Whitefish Review’s” Facebook page.

The evening is sponsored by The Whitefish Community Foundation, Glacier Bank, The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, and The Firebrand Hotel. A $15 entry donation is suggested to support the non-profit journal.

Whitefish Review is a literary journal that explores the landscapes of the human condition, our connection to the natural world, and illuminates the confluence of art, storytelling, society, and science.

As a recognized nonprofit corporation created for the public good, it is supported by generous donations and grants. Copies of Whitefish Review are available by subscription or in bookstores, as well as for order online.

For more information, visit www.whitefishreview.org.