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One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large

4.66  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Winner of 2018 Montana Book Award
Winner of 2019 High Plains Book Award (Best First Book)
Finalist of 2019 High Plains Book Award (Best Book by Indigenous Author)

"This is a sunrise book, a book of revelations, of creekwalks and roadfood and ordinary sadnesses, ordinary joys—which are, in the end, the only kind. ‘I have a stake in this,’ La Tray writes. And so do you. So do y
Paperback, 158 pages
Published July 21st 2018 by Riverfeet Press
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Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, the-west
Sharp and soft, insightful and poetic, this is a marvelous work by a terrifically interesting author. Highly, highly recommended.
I'm friends with the author so my opinion might appear biased, but I love this book. I read some of it as he wrote and posted on his blog, but putting it together in this format gives it more weight and depth. Short koan-like poems are interspersed with longer pieces. All of it is great. Definitely recommend to anyone who loves the northwest/outdoors. ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I spent a long, sun-soaked afternoon with this book, savoring it in a single setting because I didn't want to put it down.

Seasonally arranged, these short, heart-full pieces distill the beauty and pain, contentment and grief, push and pull of inhabiting our particular humanity in our particular places.

I love books that feel like wise companions on the journey. Here's one such. In this case, the flavor of the wisdom is funny, dark, and utterly unpretentious. I'm keeping this book close, and look
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this. It was the winner of the 2018 Montana Book award. It's a collection of poetry and short essays on various subjects, but mostly having to do with a relationship to nature. There are many almost photographic moments captured in the poetry, a lot of feelings of connectedness to nature, some touching interactions with the author's cherished dog, and quite a few snippets of wisdom for a contemplated life. Highly recommended. ...more
Echo Hayder
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best book I've read in a long time! ...more
Joel Devore
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was incredible. Such poignant and simple observations that make you realize the beauty in simple things (that you are speeding past). This book makes me want to slow down and make my experience of living more meaningful. La Tray's voice shines through so well even in one sentence. For me, La Tray is up there with Annie Dillard in his beautiful observations of the world around us and helping us to appreciate it. ...more
Pam Gardiner
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rich language and well-grounded imagery bridge the genres of poetry and pose. The author offers fresh insights rooted in everyday experience. The writing is nice blend of warm-fuzzy and occasionally edgy. I suggest reading it slowly and letting it sink in one sentence at a time.
Tomi Alger
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book won the 2019 Montana Book of the Year Award. Some of the poems and essays are quite poignant and others not so much. Most were observations of nature and of the joy, peace, and wonder, and contentment it can bring. It gave me pause to think of how many times I may think of something to write about and not get that thought written down. Writing things down was how LaTray got this book started.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was unexpectedly good. The essays are brilliant and insightful. I found the book inspiring. So glad I read it.
Heidi Barr
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just re-read this, after remembering a line in it from the first time I did, and I can't wait for the author's next book. ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
One-Sentence Journal is engaging and thought provoking. Chris La Tray takes his observations of moments in his daily life and assembles them into neatly crafted phrases — offering his readers quick glimpses of the beauty he’s noticed in the ordinary.
Heather Durham
A real, honest-to-goodness, genuine human is increasingly hard to come by these days, but Chris La Tray is one of them. Here is not an Author creating a Persona but a regular guy authentically and humbly sharing his world. The magical beautiful moments and the ordinary bits and the grumbly gripes and the amusing quirks, expertly yet subtly crafted into poems and essays that in themselves act as meditations, reminders, to all of us, to pay attention. To pay attention to all of it– the quality of ...more
Claire Carlson
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Chris La Tray is one of my favorite writers to admire from afar. This is such a wonderful sampling of his poetry and writing, and I especially loved reading about Montana and being able to travel to the places he wrote about in my own head. This is a highly re-readable book, and I’m so glad I own it so I can return to it again and again. Some of my favorites from it include The Lightning Tree, Creekside Drama, and, of course, The Sacred Art of Dog Walking.
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend. This is a celebration of the simple moments of life, the ones we might miss if we're not careful. His short poems are authentic, well composed, and rich in image. I found myself nodding, yes, as I read and re-read them.

The super moon managed/only a veiled appearance/every time I looked,/but time and effort/with a gaze turned skyward/is never a waste.

This is going to be one of my well thumbed books.

Apr 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Insightful and gutting at times - I love this book and the poignant reflections of the day to day in Montana. A beautiful, meditative, relatable read reflecting often on how the human world intersects with the natural world for good or bad. Also SO many quotable one-liners. This is an important read for anyone grappling with the world and our place in it.
Tyler Julian
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Chris La Tray has given Montana attention in the vein of the great Montanan writers. Yet, the nuance of a one sentence journal, coupled with short essays, allows for a deep exploration of the mundane, which is to say, the everyday things that make us human. This expands the readers understanding of Montana and the West, rounding out the characters who populate it.
Alan ten-Hoeve
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One-Sentence Journal is a meditative read that puts a much needed emphasis on the non-human world. Through beautiful poems and essays that capture moments big and small, soothing and painful, Chris invites readers into his world like an honored guest. By the time I was done I felt as though I had visited his Missoula, even though I’ve never set foot in Montana.
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this slower, to savor every word. I could not help but devour it, devour Chris’ view of the world. I’ll likely return to this often especially in the changing of the seasons. Above all, I have a renewed appreciation to bird watch and walk outdoors.
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Of years of book chat books, this is the first one that made me want to order a copy. Immediately.
It helps that the author is local but it is mostly about the way he turns a thought.
Sydney Bollinger
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Chris writes with an unparalled candor and humor. Truly appreciate this one.
Carl Setzer
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
A great collection of poetry and essays. I adore LaTray's crisp writing style and his explorations Montana. ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Essays/Poetry. Another Montana author to enjoy. As much as I want to like poetry, I stumble through it. There were some very profound thoughts in this book and I finished it quickly. It felt like overheard conversations and I like the idea of the "One-sentence journal". He did give me a few things to ponder and I particularly enjoyed his insights into the dogs in their family and how their influence. Still, I either desire the depth of a longer-drawn story or am not deep enough myself to appreci ...more
Chris Brenna
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Feb 14, 2020
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Jan 25, 2020
Kim Hutcheson
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Oct 19, 2018
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Oct 02, 2018
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Mar 14, 2021
Chris LaTray
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: 2018
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Dec 21, 2019
Anica Wong
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Dec 23, 2020
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Chris La Tray is a Métis writer and storyteller.

His first book, One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large won the 2018 Montana Book Award and a 2019 High Plains Book Award.

His second book, Becoming Little Shell, will be published by Milkweed Editions in Spring, 2022.

Chris is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives near Missoula, MT.

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