Aaron Parrett

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Aaron Parrett
OccupationMusician, author, letterpress printer
Known forMontana: Then and Now, Literary Butte, and Montana Americana Music

Aaron Parrett (born 1967) is an American musician, author, and letterpress printer.[1] Born in Butte, Montana, he earned a PhD in Comparative Literature in 2001 from The University of Georgia. He is currently Professor of English Literature at the University of Providence in Great Falls, Montana.

His first academic book, The Translunar Narrative in the Western Tradition[2](Ashgate, 2004) examined the dream of traveling to the Moon in literature, culminating in the Apollo Program of the 1960s and early 1970s that achieved the millennia-long vision of leaving Earth. A considerable portion of his academic work deals with science fiction. His other works have focused on his home state of Montana, including Montana: Then and Now (Bangtail, 2014),[3] Literary Butte (History Press, 2015)[4] and Montana Americana Music (Arcadia, 2016), for which prize-winning author Smith Henderson wrote the foreword.[5] He won the Montana Historical Society's Peoples' Choice Award for his essay, "Montana's Worst Natural Disaster," about the devastating 1964 flood that killed 30 Native American Indians on the Blackfeet Reservation.[6] As a result of his Montana writings, he has been featured on many radio programs and was a featured guest on Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown segment on Butte.[7] He serves as president of The Drumlummon Institute, a non-profit whose mission is "to promote and publish art and literatures created in Montana and the broader American West."[8]

Parrett is also a songwriter and composer. His first album of original songs, The Sinners (Pizzle Records, 1996) earned critical acclaim (rereleased in 2015), yielding the song "Texas," a song recorded by several artists, including the southern Americana band Stewart and Winfield. His songs have been featured in several Emmy-nominated documentary films, including Libby, Montana (High Plains Films, 2007) and The Naturalist (2004).[9] A lyric from his song "El Cuchillo" is referenced in leading Steinbeck scholar Bob DeMott's Afield: American Writers on Bird Dogs (2014).[10] His most recent recording was a joint effort with IBMA songwriter of the year, Ivan Rosenberg, called Stumbo Lost Wages (Pizzle Records, 2009).[11] He is also co-founder of The Territorial Press, along with master letterpress printer and book artist, Peter Rutledge Koch.[12] The catalogue of The Territorial Press includes Himself Adrift by Matt Pavelich (2016), Curses by Aaron Parrett (2015), and Maple and Lead (2017) by Aaron Parrett, featuring wood-engraved illustrations by artist Seth Taylor Roby.[13] He lives in Helena, Montana, with his wife and daughter.


  1. ^ "Author Page". Archived from the original on 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
  2. ^ Fayter, Paul. "Book Review". Isis. 96: 421–422. doi:10.1086/498761.
  3. ^ "Montana: Then and Now".
  4. ^ "Literary Butte".
  5. ^ "Montana Americana Music".
  6. ^ "Montana's Worst Natural Disaster" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
  7. ^ "Anthony Bourdain Appearance".
  8. ^ "Drumlummon Institute". Archived from the original on 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
  9. ^ "IMDB References".
  10. ^ Demott, Robert; Smith, Dave (2014-11-11). Afield: American Writers on Bird Dogs. ISBN 9781629148533.
  11. ^ "CD Baby".
  12. ^ "Territorial Press".
  13. ^ "Territorial Press".