Join us every other Tuesday for a virtual Connected Conversation to discuss various humanities topics with people around Idaho, both the serious and the fun. Subjects span Boise’s industrial history, history of Hawai’i, Godzilla, and even nuclear energy. These talks are typically Noon Mountain time during the summer, and 6pm Mountain Time during the winter. Each speaker talks about their topic for about 40 minutes and then will take questions. Our most recent topics looked at the Tulsa Race Massacre (formerly known as the Tulsa Race Riots), Women’s clubs in Idaho, Stonewall, and the Sandpoint Archaeological Project.

Are these recorded if I miss a topic I was interested in?

We do record our conversations! You can access our archive on the IHC website and YouTube. These recording include both the presentation and the Q&A portions. There are currently no ads added in as well.  To view these recordings, keep scrolling to the bottom of this page!

For more information, please contact Doug Exton, Program Officer (

The Idaho Commission for Libraries’ Let’s Talk About It program, in partnership with the Idaho Humanities Council’s Connected Conversations program, is excited to launch their spring virtual series featuring authors from three of their newest titles.

These virtual lunch-hour presentations invite acclaimed authors to discuss their books in the context of the LTAI theme in which it is featured and engage in Q&A from the audience. This series is a great opportunity to explore concepts from an author’s perspective and dive deeper into topics such as changing landscapes, immigration, and writing styles.

These events are free and open to the public, so check out the book, grab some lunch, and come join the group for eye-opening presentations by authors from the American West.

See below for details and registration links for each of the three events. When registering, please note that you are not required to create an Eventbrite account. Your confirmation email will contain a link to the event under “Additional Information” at the bottom.

Let’s Talk About It with Grace Olmstead

LTAI Theme: Living in the Modern Rural West

Thursday, April 7 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. MDT



Let’s Talk About It has invited author Grace Olmstead to discuss her book “Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We’ve Left Behind.” This book relates Olmstead’s experiences in the small farming community surrounding Emmett, Idaho. It explores why some decide to stay, while others move on to greener pastures. Olmstead also questions what we owe to the generations who came before us, and how those who stay must contend with inevitable change brought on by government practices, farm policy, and environmental issues.

Olmstead will discuss her book in the context of Living in the Modern Rural West, a popular theme in the LTAI series. This theme explores the West as an ever changing and evolving landscape shaped by its history, that continues to face unprecedented challenges with growth, environmental concerns, economic shifts, and cultural divides.


Grace Olmstead is a journalist who focuses on farming, community, and place. Her writing has been published in “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” “The Wall Street Journal,” “The Week,” and “The Weekly Standard,” among others. A native of rural Idaho, she currently lives in Oxford with her husband and three children.


Let’s Talk About It with Tiffany Midge

LTAI Theme: Form & Fluidity – Writing in the New Millennium

Thursday, May 5 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. MDT


Let’s Talk About It has invited author Tiffany Midge to discuss her book “Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s.” In this book Midge explores her identity as a Native American woman in America. Her memoir is filled with funny, witty commentary, essays, and musings on her perspectives associated with being a female and a minority in today’s society.

Midge will discuss her book in the context of Form and Fluidity: Writing in the New Millennium a new theme in the LTAI series. This theme focuses on the unique perspectives, styles, and formats of writing that have emerged in the new millennium with an emphasis on voice, style, and expression. The theme also explores how these elements enhance, challenge, or repurpose how we tell our stories and how we confront the issues that we face living (and reading) in the 21st century.


Tiffany Midge is a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. She is the author of “Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s,” a finalist for a Washington State Book Award. Her poetry collections include “The Woman Who Married a Bear” (University of New Mexico Press, winner of the Kenyon Review Earthworks Indigenous Poetry Prize); “Outlaws, Renegades & Saints: Diary of a Mixed-up Halfbreed” (Greenfield Review Press, winner of the Diane Decorah Memorial Poetry Prize), and “Horns,” (forthcoming, Scablands Books). Midge’s other honors include a Pushcart Prize, a Simons Public Humanities Fellowship, a Western Heritage Award, and an Eliza So Fellowship. Her work has appeared in “World Literature Today,” “First American Art Magazine,” “McSweeney’s,” “Waxwing,” “GAY the Magazine,” “Massachusetts Review,” “YES! Magazine,” and more. Midge is a columnist for High Country News and Moscow-Pullman Daily. She enjoys composting and frisky walks through dewy meadows.

Let’s Talk About It with Reyna Grande

LTAI Theme: Biographies & Autobiographies

Thursday, June 23 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. MDT


Let’s Talk About It has invited author Reyna Grande to discuss her book “The Distance Between Us.” This moving memoir details Grande’s immigration journey from Mexico to the United States. Born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico (where 43 college students disappeared in 2014), Reyna was 2 years old when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two years later, leaving Reyna and her siblings behind in Mexico. In 1985, when Reyna was 9, she left Iguala to make her own journey north and ran across the U.S.-Mexico border to be reunited with her family. After attending Pasadena City College for two years, Reyna became the first person in her family to set foot in a university. She went on to obtain a B.A. in creative writing and film & video from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She later received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University.

Grande will discuss her memoir in the context of Biographies & Autobiographies, a popular theme in the LTAI series. Biographies & Autobiographies as a theme topic encourages readers to experience life from another perspective, to explore someone’s story, feel emotions such as outrage and compassion, reassurance in commonalities, empathize, and learn from another’s experience.


Reyna Grande is the author of the bestselling memoir, “The Distance Between Us” (Atria, 2012), where she writes about her life before and after she arrived in the United States from Mexico as an undocumented child immigrant. The much-anticipated sequel, “A Dream Called Home” (Atria), was released in 2018. Reyna is also an accomplished writer of several other books. Her books have been adopted as the common read selection by schools, colleges, and cities across the country. She has two forthcoming books due to be published in 2022: “A Ballad of Love and Glory” (Atria, March 15), a novel set during the Mexican-American War, and an anthology by and about undocumented Americans called “Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival and New Beginnings” (HarperVia, June 7).

Reyna has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards, and in 2015 she was honored with a Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. The young reader’s version of “The Distance Between Us” received a 2017 Honor Book Award for the Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature and a 2016 Eureka! Honor Awards from the California Reading Association, and an International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award 2017.

Writing about immigration, family separation, language trauma, the price of the American Dream, and her writing journey, Reyna’s work has appeared in “The New York Times,” the “Dallas Morning News,” “CNN,” “The Lily at The Washington Post,” “Buzzfeed,” among others. In March 2020, she was a guest in Oprah’s Book Club.

Past Conversations

Jennifer Stevens

“Boise’s Industrial Past”


“History of Idaho Falls Baseball - 80th Season of Professional Baseball in Idaho Falls"

Scott Slovic Pic

"Semester in the Wild at U of I"

Larry_LaRocco 2

"History of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness"

Click picture for video

"LGBTQIA+ History in Boise"

Click picture for video

"The Black Experience in Idaho"

Dan Prinzing

"The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial"

Marc Johnson

"Idaho’s Most Controversial Politician: Glen H. Taylor, the Singing Senator"

Ryan Weeks INL

"How INL is Changing the Future of Nuclear Energy"

HanakoHeadshot (002)

"Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp"


"Native Women Writers and Colonial Domesticity at the Federal Indian Boarding Schools"

Rick Just

"The History of Idaho State Parks"

Salome Mwangi

"The Refugee Experience and Boise"

Kathy Aiken

"Seeking Suffrage: The Idaho Story"

Communication department photo, portraits, Allison Corona photo.

"Beyond Fake News: News Literacy and the Informed Citizen"


"Approaching the US Constitution: Sacred Covenant or Plaything For Lawyers and Judges"


"Victory and Triumph in Ancient Rome"

Steven J. Pyne

"Fire’s American Century"

Carole Skinner

"A Dialogue on Independent Film"

Michael Faison

"A Discussion on the Arts and the Humanities"

Alex Meregaglia

"Discovering Vardis Fisher’s Boise: Reexamining Idaho and the Federal Writers Project"

Lisa McClain

"Women in Art During the Renaissance and Reformation"

Chelsee Boehm 2

"Archie Boyd Teater: Art, Architecture, Artifacts & Archives"

Wallace, ID

"The History of Wallace, Idaho"

Matthew Miles

"The History of Presidential Inaugurations"

Erik Hadley, History, faculty/staff, studio portrait by Priscilla Grover

"From Alcatraz to Mauna Kea"

Peter Black

"The Nazi Rise to Power and The Consolidation of Power, 1918-1938"

HannaLore Hein

"Working Together Before, During, and After the Progressive Era: The Legacy of Women’s Clubs in Idaho"

Bill Tsutsui

"Godzilla and the Imagination of Anxiety, from Hiroshima to COVID-19"


"History of Stonewall"

Mark Warner

"Selling Things and Selling Sex: Archaeological Explorations of Sandpoint, Idaho"

Judson Finley2

"Culture, Climate, and the Agricultural Transition in Northeastern Utah’s Uintah Basin: The Cub Creek Fremont in Dinosaur National Monument"


"Poetry is the Message, The Message is Love"

Erik Hadley

"Gilles, Giants, and Dragons, Oh My!: The Reinvention of Folkloric Festivals in Belgium"

Frank de la Teja

"The Battle of the Alamo in Mexican, Texan, and United States History"

Sarah Robey

"The End of the Cold War and American Culture"

Coming Home F CMYK

"Restoring the Wetxuuwíitin’ Collection"


"Images of Sacajawea: The Lewis & Clark Expedition, Suffragettes, and Modern-day Representations"

Bob Reinhardt

"The Atlas of Drowned Towns: Recovering the Histories of Places Lost to Dam Construction"


"How to Hide an Empire: Telling the Story of the Greater United States"