A Million Acres Montana Writers Reflect on Land and Open Space

ByThe Montana Land Reliance
Edited by Keir Graff
Photography by Alexis Bonogofsky


A Million Acres is a stunning hardcover gift book featuring powerful writing about Montana's magnificent wild lands and open spaces by twenty of the state's finest contemporary writers, including Rick Bass, Maile Meloy, and Carrie Le Seur. It also features twenty-eight spectacular color landscape photographs by Montana photographer Alexis Bonogofsky. This book is sponsored by The Montana Land Reliance and celebrates its protection of one million acres of Montana’s agricultural land, fish and wildlife habitat, and open spaces.

Montana’s stunning landscape shapes all who live here and all who visit. In essays, memoirs, and short stories, the book’s twenty writers explore the plains, rivers, and mountains of Big Sky Country. They show us how natural beauty and hardship are two sides of the same coin, and how sometimes the only way to cure heartache is to visit the great outdoors.

From a hardscrabble upbringing to the pain of losing the family land, from death on a river to the awe of landing a big fish, from backcountry encounters with grizzly bears to an out-of-stater’s happiness at making Montana her home, A Million Acres offers a wonderfully diverse range of experiences and perspectives.

A Million Acres features superior color printing and design, including a dust jacket, a rich cloth hardcover with foil stamping, and sewn binding.


Edited by Keir Graff
Photography by Alexis Bonogofsky
Published: October 2019
ISBN 978-1-60639-121-1
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
Size: 10.5 x 10.5 inches
Pages: 160

Rick Bass
Maile Meloy
Carrie La Seur
Joe Wilkins
Jim Robbins
Gwen Florio
Jamie Harrison
Sterling HolyWhiteMountain
Janet Skeslien Charles
Maxim Loskutoff
Christine Carbo
James Grady
Alexis Bonogofsky
Russell Rowland
Caroline Patterson
Keir Graff
Eric Heidle
LeDoux Hansen
Antonia Malchik
Allen Morris Jones

About the Contributors

A Million Acres is edited by Keir Graff, the author of six novels for adults, three novels for middle-graders, and short stories published in periodicals ranging from the Missoula Independent to the Chicago Reader. He is also the co-editor, with James Grady, of the anthology Montana Noir. Born and raised in Missoula, Graff now lives in Chicago, where he has worked in publishing for two decades. He returns to Montana every chance he gets.

Photographer Alexis Bonogofsky is a fourth-generation Montanan, goat and sheep rancher, and freelance writer and photographer who lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana where she grew up. Her writing and photography can be found on her website East of Billings and in various news outlets and magazines including Mountain JournalMontana Quarterly, Farm 406, and High Desert Journal.

The highly successful six-city tour for A Million Acres included a stop at the Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Montana, where four of the contributors and the photographer were on hand to read excerpts and sign books. From left to right: Jamie Harrison, Allen Morris Jones, Gwen Florio, Christine Carbo, and photographer Alexis Bonogofsky. Photo courtesy of the Country Bookshelf.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Alexis Bonogofsky, Christine Carbo, Keir Graff, Antonia Malchik
Frame of Reference Gallery (235 Central Ave, 406-730-8855)
Whitefish, MT

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Alexis Bonogofsky, Gwen Florio, Keir Graff, LeDoux Hansen, Caroline Patterson 7pm
Fact & Fiction (220 N Higgins Ave, 406-721-2881)
Missoula, MT

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Alexis Bonogofsky, Keir Graff, Caroline Patterson, Jim Robbins 6pm
Gulch Distillers (790 Front St, 406-449-2393)
Book sales by Montana Book Company
Helena, MT

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Alexis Bonogofsky, Keir Graff, Eric Heidle
Cassiopeia Books (721 Central Ave, 406-315-15115) Great Falls, MT

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Alexis Bonogofsky, Christine Carbo, Gwen Florio, Jamie Harrison, Allen Morris Jones, Russell Rowland
Country Bookshelf (28 W Main St, 406-587-0166)
Bozeman, MT

Monday, November 11, 2019

Alexis Bonogofsky, Russell Rowland
6pm reception, 7pm reading
Art House Cinema & Pub (109 N 30th St, 406-534-1128)
Book sales by This House of Books
Billings, MT


Book Will Be Celebrated with Author Appearances, Six-City Tour

HELENA, MT — The Montana Land Reliance (MLR) proudly announces the publication of A Million Acres: Montana Writers Reflect on Land and Open Space, a literary anthology with essays and stories from twenty of the state’s finest contemporary writers. Contributors will join a six-city, statewide tour beginning November 4.

Edited by Keir Graff and featuring 28 breathtaking photographs from Alexis Bonogofsky (both are native Montanans), the full-color, elegantly designed book was produced in partnership with Helena’s Riverbend Publishing. Contributors include Rick Bass, Maile Meloy, Joe Wilkins, Carrie La Seur, Jim Robbins, Gwen Florio, Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, Christine Carbo, Maxim Loskutoff, Jamie Harrison, James Grady, and more.

“I asked our contributors to explore the great outdoors, and they responded with a wonderfully diverse range of material,” says Graff. “In writing about hunting, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, rafting, ranching, and even road trips, they explore the way we are all shaped by land and open space. There is joy and even humor in this book, but also heartbreak, because to love something wholeheartedly means to fear for its survival.”

“We commissioned the book to celebrate a recent milestone: one million acres protected by conservation easements,” says Kendall van Dyk, Montana Land Reliance Managing Director. “Montana has rich traditions of agricultural stewardship, outdoor recreation, and literary excellence, and they come together here as these authors explore feelings we’ve all experienced.”

Lovers of Montana landscapes and fans of fine writing are invited to join the authors at live events across the state, or to simply pick up a copy of the book themselves and see what makes the Last Best Place worth preserving.

Click here for the A Million Acres press package.

To download all of the files, in the upper right-hand corner click "Download" > "Direct Download."

To download individual files, first click on the thumbnail image, then in the upper right-hand corner click "Download" > "Direct Download."

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