Judy Blunt biography

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Judy Blunt
Patricia Swan Smith

Judy Blunt

Judy Blunt Biography

Judy Blunt spent more than thirty years on wheat and cattle ranches in northeastern Montana, before leaving in 1986 to attend the University of Montana. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She is the recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Graduate Fellowship and a Montana Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Breaking Clean was awarded a 1997 PEN/Jerard Fund Award for a work in progress, as well as a 2001 Whiting Writers' Award. She lives in Missoula, Montana.



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Interview

Judy Blunt talks about how she came to write her autobiography, Breaking Clean, about her life on a rural cattle ranch in Montana. Amongst other things, she discusses how her relationship to the landscape has influenced her writing, the pressing issues that face rural communities today, and offers advice to aspiring writers.

Q: How did you come to write this book?

A: I wrote the title essay, Breaking Clean, in one evening as a classroom assignment when I was a second year journalism major at the University of Montana. It was for a literature class called Montana Writers, led by the passionate and energetic Professor William Bevis. As part of our mid-term project, he assigned us to "write your Montana experience" in four pages or less. As a thirty-something ex-ranchwife, third generation Montanan, my story was perhaps more difficult to capture in four typewritten pages than those of my classmates, most of whom were under twenty and could count the months of their "Montana experience" on their fingers. Still, I gave it a shot. Ever attentive to duty, I squeezed the first three decades of my life onto four pages--only by fudging the line spacing and margins did I make it fit--and in the process of compressing scenes, I accidentally wrote an essay. I turned it in, and went on with my journalism studies. A couple of weeks later, I felt exposed and a bit reluctant when Professor Bevis approached me in class and asked permission to read my essay aloud. He was kind but adamant, and finally I agreed.

What happened next changed my life. He ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Judy Blunt at BookBrowse
Breaking Clean jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Judy Blunt but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Laura Bell

    Laura Bell

    Laura Bell’s work has been published in several collections, and from the Wyoming Arts Council she has received two literature fellowships as well as the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Award and the Frank Nelson Doubleday ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Breaking Clean

    Try:
    Claiming Ground
    by Laura Bell

  • Gail Caldwell

    Gail Caldwell

    Gail Caldwell is the former chief book critic for the Boston Globe, where she was a staff writer and critic for more than twenty years. In 2001, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. She lives in Cambridge, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Breaking Clean

    Try:
    A Strong West Wind
    by Gail Caldwell

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