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About John

 

John has published articles and essays in such magazines as Montana Quarterly, Horizon Air, Montana Magazine, Mountain Living, and High Country News. His occasional columns on the American West have appeared in dozens of Western newspapers through the High Country News "Writers on the Range" series. He has also been a commentator on public radio's High Plains News Service.
 

John's magazine articles include narrative nonfiction and personal essays. Recent publications include:

* For the online site WyoHistory.org (February 2014), an essay Romancing the West: Dude Ranching in Wyoming. There's been some mystery about the origin of the word "dude" in the ranch context, but this piece lays out a clear theory.

* For the Reflections West radio show (December 2013), an essay reversing traditional views of individualism and community in the Old West. (It's paired with a passage from Caroline Lockhart and refers to John's book "The Cowboy Girl")

* At The Quivering Pen (November 2013), a humorous account of what it's like to do a book signing at a giant Costco

* In the Montana Quarterly (Summer 2013), a history of the mining camp of Swift Current (also known as Altyn), a mining camp inside the boundaries of what is today Glacier National Park. (A version is included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* In Magic City Magazine (February 2013), an article in the Montana Legends series, "Cultured Cowgirl" profiling 1920s rancher and author Haydie Yates. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

[Montana Quarterly]

* In Magic City Magazine (September 2012), an article, "J.C.F. Siegfriedt: Paving the Way." (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* At The Quivering Pen (May 2012), a personal essay I call "Naked Theory"

* In the Montana Quarterly (Winter 2010), a narrative history of an 1897 bank robbery gone horribly wrong -- and remembered today for all the wrong reasons. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* In Montana Magazine (September 2009), a look back at a moment in the 1920s when it was claimed that the literal "garden of Eden" had been located on the sagebrush steppes of Bearcreek, Montana. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* For Writers on the Range (July 2009), an essay on how Facebook is like a small town.

* In Horizon Air (April 2009), a personal essay "Lilac Guy"

* In Montana Magazine (March 2009), an examination of the 17 Carnegie Libraries in Montana, their construction and legacy. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* In The Montana Quarterly, winter 2008, a narrative history of Camp Senia and Montana's 1920s dude ranching heyday. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

[Montana Magazine]

* In Drumlummon Views, fall 2008, an essay, "When Cowboys Became Capitalists and the West Became New."

* In The Montana Quarterly, autumn 2008, a narrative history of Coxey's Army in Montana, the 1894 labor movement that played out like a John Wayne movie. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

*In Horizon Air (August 2008), a personal essay "Wag to the Right"

* For Writers on the Range (August 2008), an essay on the "ghost communities" created by expansion of the vacation rental industry

[Drumlummon Views]

* In Montana Magazine (May 2008), a narrative history of the Beartooth Highway near Yellowstone Park, conceived in the 1920s by boosters of Red Lodge, Montana, concerned about struggling coal mines in the town. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* In Montana Magazine (March 2008), an article on restoring Caroline Lockhart's ranch. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* In The Montana Quarterly, autumn 2007, an article on the Bighorn Canyon. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* In Horizon Air (July 2007), a personal essay "There's My Bike! Sweet!"

* For Writers on the Range (June 2007), an essay "Clint Eastwood in a Dress"

* In the Denver Post (January 2007), an essay Hold on, I'm on my cell.

* For Writers on the Range (August 2006), an essay Relishing those idiosyncratic Western triumphs.

* For Writers on the Range (July 2006), an essay Deja vu all over again.

* In Horizon Air (July 2006), a personal essay "Mixed Bag."

* For Montana: The Magazine of Western History (Summer 2006), a narrative history "Caroline Lockhart on the Dryhead: Happily-ever-aftering on a Montana Cattle Ranch." This article was supported by a grant from the Montana Committee for the Humanities.

* In The Montana Quarterly (Spring 2006), a review of the life of "Liver-Eatin'" Johnston. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* In Horizon Air (February 2006), a humorous essay proposing fanciful new dog breeds.

* For Writers on the Range (December 2005), a parody "Welcome, podnah, to the Westernized West."

* In Horizon Air (October 2005), a humorous essay on the small-town garage-sale circuit.

* At www.NewWest.net (October 2005), an essay exploring the odd geographic divide among critics' reactions to the movie "An Unfinished Life."

[HCN]

* For Writers on the Range (September 2005), an essay "The UPS Guy."

* For Writers on the Range (August 2005), an essay "Big News in a Small Town."

* For LEGACY: A Journal of Women Writers (Spring 2005), a profile of Caroline Lockhart.

* For Writers on the Range (April 2005), an essay on the Walt Disney company's move into Yellowstone National Park. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* For Writers on the Range (January 2005), a personal essay The Official Myths.

* For Writers on the Range (December 2004), a personal essay The Teenaged West. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* For Montana: The Magazine of Western History (Autumn 2004), a narrative history "The Trials of John L. Smith." (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* For Writers on the Range (October 2004), a personal essay Automate This!.

* For Writers on the Range (June 2004), a personal essay Where the Streets Have No Names. This piece also appeared in the Cody Enterprise, Nov. 11, 2004.

* In the Denver Post and Casper Star-Tribune, (March 7, 2004), a personal essay "Newcomers to West Perpetuate Myths." This piece was also reprinted in High Country News on April 26. (A longer version is included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

[Montana History]

* For a High Country News cover story, (Feb 16, 2003) reporting on the scene of a coalbed methane trial in Billings, Montana

* In Horizon Air (December 2003), a personal essay on the western artist Charles M. Russell. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* For the Montana Festival of the Book, (September 2003), a parody "Montana 1948-50," which won John his second Nahum Tate cup, a feat unprecedented in Montana literature

* In the Missoula Independent (September 18, 2003) and elsewhere, a humorous essay, "Fit to be T'd."

[Montana, autumn 2004]

* For Writers on the Range (July 2003), a humorous essay "Hanging Loose in Bear Country"

* In the Denver Post, (May 26, 2003), a personal essay "A mountain hamlet's homecoming"

* In Horizon Air (May 2003), a personal essay on unusual marriage proposals

* In Montana Magazine (March 2003), an article on hiking the southern Pryor Mountains

* For Writers on the Range (January 20, 2003), a personal essay "The Origin of Names"

* In Horizon Air (October 2002), a personal essay on small-town street names

[bookfest]

* In the Denver Post and High Country News (April Fools Day, 2002), a survey of New and Noteworthy Books about the American West

* For Writers on the Range (January 2002), a satire "A Modest Proposal for Montana Economic Development"

* For Writers on the Range (November 2001), an essay on Jerks in Montana History.

* In Horizon Air (October 2001), a personal essay "What's in a Name?"

* For the Montana Festival of the Book, (September 2001), a parody "A Rivet Runs Through It," which won John the coveted Nahum Tate cup

[WOTR]
 

* For Writers on the Range (January 2001), an essay on the "New West" of 1933. (Included in the book "Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier")

* In the Williams Alumni Review (Autumn 2000), an article "Model Community" on the New Urbanist architect Jeff Speck.

* For Writers on the Range (October 2000), a personal essay on the Montana wildfires

* In Montana Magazine (September 2000), an article on hiking Line Creek Plateau

* In Horizon Air (July 2000), a personal essay "Mail Bonding"

* For Writers on the Range (May 2000), a personal essay "Ich Bin Ein Neonative""

* In Montana Magazine (November, 1999), an article on Red Lodge Mountain ski resort

* In Horizon Air (October, 1999), a personal essay "Nature's Drift"

* In Horizon Air (August, 1999), a personal essay "Books by Heart: A Small-Town Librarian's Personal Touch"

* In the Chronicle of Community (Spring, 1999), an article "Elk Viewing Illustrates Community Collaboration"

* For Writers on the Range (April, 1999), a personal essay "When the Republic Strays"

* For Writers on the Range (November, 1998), a personal essay "Letter to a Woodsplitter"

* In the Chronicle of Community (Spring, 1998), a personal essay "Topless Beaches, Violin Cases, Undercover Cops, and -- oh, yes! -- Commercial Transactions"

John covered Montana and Wyoming for the online news service www.streetmail.com during 2000 and 2001, where his weekly column looked at politics, culture, and the environment -- everything from I-90's new Shiloh interchange to the state's environmental politics. Sadly, Streetmail floundered and died before it could take advantage of the upheaval in news delivery. But boy, those dot-com boom days were good ones even for writers!

 

John's literary readings of his essays and articles have covered topics including community and sense of place, how technology changes small towns, and small town political entertainment. For more information, email John at info [at] johnclaytonbooks.com

 

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http://www.johnclaytonbooks.com -- Revised: 2/2014

Copyright 2000-14 John Clayton
info[at]johnclaytonbooks.com