© 2018 Elise Atchison















Unearthing Paradise: Montana Writers in Defense of Paradise













Artists Field Guide to Greater Yellowstone













An Elk River Books Reader: Livingston and Billings Area Writers













Montana Quarterly











Elk River Arts & Lectures







“I’ve had a life. I see how slippery things can be.” Annie Proulx


“Life is but a continual succession of opportunities for surviving." Gabriel Garcia Marquez


                                                                        “Keep on blundering.” Jim Harrison         




Elise Atchison lives in an off-the-grid cabin on the edge of the Absaroka wilderness in Montana. She received a B.A. in English/Writing Emphasis from Montana State University. Much of her work focuses on the changing western landscape and how those changes affect the land and the people who live there. She is interested in exploring the many ways we relate to the natural world, the many ways we relate to each other, and how the two are fundamentally intertwined.


Atchison’s stories appeared in Montana Quarterly, Silk Road Review, Cutthroat Journal, South Dakota Review, Terrain Magazine, Jackson Hole Review, Owen Wister Review, Reflection’s West radio, various anthologies, and elsewhere, and have been finalists for a number of awards. She received a Barbara Deming Award for her work in progress.


Atchison has worked as a freelance writer and editor, director of Elk River Arts & Lectures/Elk River Writers Workshop, book reviewer for Montana Quarterly, assistant librarian at a public library, university program coordinator, journalist, business and promotional writer, as well as doing time as a landscaper, pizza delivery driver, bank teller, secretary, convenience story clerk, artist’s assistant, and a slew of other miscellaneous jobs that have found their way into her stories.




“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty beats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them, under the wind-rent clouds, upstream and down.”

Annie Dillard


“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

Louise Erdrich


“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found

these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” Vincent van Gogh