Jessica Jones will read from and discuss her new book of poetry, Bitterroot, at Zandbroz on Monday, June 17 at 6:30 P.M. Traversing the sparse and sometimes rugged territory from Stevensville, Montana to the Flathead Indian Reservation, Bitterroot poignantly witnesses the complex intersections of Native and non-Native culture in Montana. A testament to the spirit of the land and those shaped by it, this collection reveals the ways in which the West remains both fraught with tension and modeled by beauty. Narrated by a young teacher with unexpected ties to the children in her classroom, each poem unfolds another layer of mountain life— from hauling wood and making fire to navigating a blizzard and grieving the loss of a student. Page by page, life presses closely against that which is raw and wild, lending individual moments a sense of urgency: “What I remember/ from Ovando, though, is stars. Stars and ice/ and the shock of our short inward breath.” Attentive to a long tradition of tough Montana poets, Jessica Jones pays homage to giants such as Richard Hugo and James Welch while befriending contemporary writers like Jennifer Finley Greene and Robert Lee. A runner-up with Open Country Press and honorable mention with Cutbank at University of Montana, Bitterroot is essential for any avid reader of Western literature. Jones is on the faculty of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University. She lives in Montana.