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Blaire Briody: The New Wild West
July 17, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pmFree
Join us as Blaire Briody presents The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown at the MonDak Heritage Center on July 17 at 7:00 p.m. Blaire discusses her book, shares her experiences exploring the oil landscapes of North Dakota, and shows a short documentary film. FREE to the public!
Blaire Briody, winner of the Richard J. Margolis Award for social justice reporting, takes readers deep into Williston, North Dakota, a fracking boomtown, in THE NEW WILD WEST (St. Martin’s Press, September 26, 2017, $27.99). Once a sleepy farming town, the oil companies moved into Williston, overtaking the town and setting off a boom that America hadn’t seen since the Gold Rush. Workers from all over the country descended, chasing jobs that promised them six-figure salaries and demanded no prior experience. But for every person chasing the American dream, there is a darker side—reports of violence and sexual assault skyrocketed, schools overflowed, and housing prices soared. Real estate is such a hot commodity that tent cities popped up, and many workers’ only option was to live out of their cars. Farmers whose families had tended the land for generations watched, powerless, as their fields were bulldozed to make way for one oil rig after another.
Blaire Briody is an award-winning journalist who has written for The New York Times, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Fast Company, Glamour, among others. She’s the author of the narrative nonfiction book, The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown (St. Martin’s Press/2017), which was the 2016 finalist for the Lukas Work-in-Progress Award from Columbia Journalism School and Harvard’s Nieman Foundation. In 2017, an excerpt from the book won Proximity Magazine’s Narrative Journalism Prize. She received the Richard J. Margolis Award for social justice journalism in 2014, and she graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in international relations. She teaches journalism at Santa Rosa Junior College, and she’s been a writer-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Mesa Refuge, and Blue Mountain Center. She grew up in the small town of Mount Shasta, California, and now resides in Santa Rosa, California.
This program is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Montana, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.