FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 7, 2012
Contact: Jude Smith, 453-0349
Great Falls Library
Great Falls, Montana – The Great Falls Public Library is hosting a reading by High Plains Book Award finalist David Mogen on Tuesday, October 2, 7:00 pm. He will read from his memoir, Honyocker Dreams: Montana Memories, which describes growing up on Montana’s High-Line, in the area of Box Elder, White Water, Frazier and Froid).
Whether they were actually Hungarian or Bohemian, “Hunkies” or “Bohunks,” or even from Eastern Europe at all, to the old ranchers of the Great Plains, the farmers and settlers who moved in and fenced off the open land were no-account “Honyockers.” And to Honyockers like David Mogen’s people, who built lives in the face of great difficulty and prejudice, the name came to bear all the meaning and power of their hard-won home place. It is this sense of place, of tenacious if uneasy belonging, that David Mogen traces through his family history in Honyocker Dreams.
Beginning with his father’s reminiscences as he surveys the Montana landscape, Mogen weaves a narrative of memory and history, of the dreams and disappointments of working-class farmers, cowboys, and miners among his ancestors, and of the post-frontier world of Indian reservations and farming towns that endure on the Montana “Hi-Line,” the flat expanse of Big Sky country that lies hard against the Canadian border east of the Rockies. From the frontier world of his parents and pioneer ancestors to the boom-and-bust tales about growing up in the small-town world of his own Montana childhood in the 1950s, Mogen travels full circle to recent journeys that reveal the paradoxical burdens and strengths of his father’s cowboy legacy as well as the hidden pain and healing power of his mother’s homesteading heritage. His is a journey that opens a window on a unique but little-known region of Montana and the West.
David Mogen was a professor of English at Colorado State University, but currently lives in Missoula, MT.. He is the coeditor of several books, including Frontier Gothic: Terror and Wonder at the Frontier in American Literature, and is the author of Wilderness Visions: The Western Theme in Science Fiction Literature and Ray Bradbury.