Montana’s Poet Laureate

Program Description

Métis storyteller and Little Shell Chippewa member Chris La Tray approaches the practice of poetry the same as he does the spiritual life of an Anishinaabe person: which is to say, if one lives an Anishinaabe life, with particular attention to the seven guiding principles of the Seven Grandfather teachings – Humility, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Truth, Respect, and Love – then every footstep becomes a prayer. Similarly, if one approaches poetry in a similar fashion, recognizing that everything that happens may be viewed as a poem, and that every moment in life is an experience best paid constant and careful attention to, then every footstep becomes a poem. Whether as words on a page or shared orally, poetry becomes another means for telling and sharing stories; La Tray’s programs exist to remind people that their stories matter, that they are the only ones who can properly tell them, and that poetry, however it is defined, is a beautiful means for doing so.

Presenter Bio

La Tray is a Métis storyteller and an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He is the author of One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays from the World at Large. His next book, Becoming Little Shell will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2024.


Chris La Tray