49 Writers | Poetry Out Loud and more in Juneau

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49 Writers is pleased once again to join the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council (JAHC) in celebrating the statewide Alaska Poetry Out Loud Competition coming up next week in Juneau. Twelve finalists will compete this year, having progressed in competitions at the classroom, school, and regional levels across Alaska. Each student will represent their schools and communities at the Alaska State Poetry Out Loud Competition on Tuesday, March 6th in Juneau, Alaska @360 North at 5 PM. The Alaska State Champion will then advance to the National Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, DC in April.

Alaska State Poetry Out Loud Finalists for 2018:

  • Jania Tumey             West Anchorage High School
  • Morgan Blackgoat   Thunder Mountain High School, Juneau
  • Claire Mueller          Barrow High School
  • Kiara Haist               Unalaska High School
  • Iris Downey              Homer High School
  • Moriah Jacobsen    Glennallen Schools
  • Danny Brady            Skagway School
  • Elisa Larson               Petersburg High School
  • Amanda Davison    Elim Aniguiin School
  • Honor Mealey          North Pole High School
  • Elena Padua             Redington Jr./Sr. High School, Wasilla
  • Jane Immingan       Hogarth Kingeekuk Sr. Memorial School, Savoonga

Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. In the 2017-2018 school year, Poetry Out Loud celebrates its twelfth anniversary, reaching millions of students from more than 7,300 schools nationwide.

This year, more than 3,790 Alaska students grades 9-12 participated in Poetry Out Loud in their home communities. The support and encouragement of teachers, librarians, school administrators, parents, and community partners help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Alaska Poetry Out Loud is presented in partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and schools and communities across the state of Alaska.

49 Writers is pleased to participate as a partner through judge recruitment and the organizing of other literary events in concert with the competition. We’re pleased to welcome Alaska Reads author Nicole Stellon O’Donnell to Juneau. Steam Laundry is O’Donnell’s first collection of poems and won the 2013 WILLA Literary Award for Poetry. Steam Laundry is a novel in poems based on the true story of Sarah Ellen Gibson, a miner’s wife during the Klondike and Alaska gold rushes. Alaska Reads is a biennial statewide reading program that features a selected publication by a living Alaskan author. For more information, go to www.alaskareads.org. Alaska Reads is a program of Fairbanks Arts Association in partnership with Alaska Center for the Book and is funded in part by the Stroecker Foundation, the Alaska State Library, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

In addition to serving as a Poetry Out Loud judge, Nicole Stellon O’Donnell will teach a 2.5 hour workshop on writing in persona on Sunday, March 4, 2018. Learn more here and register now (click and scroll down). We’ll also host an informal reception with Nicole at Rainy Retreat Books that night at 6 pm (Facebook event).

Next, on March 5, 2018, join us for a free reading and talk presented by 49 Writers and Alaska State Libraries, Archives and Museums at the APK in honor of the Poetry Out Loud State Competition in Juneau. Vivian Faith Prescott will present “Texture and Mixtures: Layering & Combining in Writing” at 7 o’clock. She’ll discuss how Sámi storytellers often to tell several stories simultaneously. Vivian Faith Prescott will consider literary hybrid textures and layering and how writers mix elements. She’ll share examples drawn from contemporary literature, including her own work. Learn more and invite your friends here.

Vivian Faith Prescott was born and raised in Wrangell, Alaska and lives at her fishcamp in Wrangell. Vivian is Sami-American, Irish, Norwegian, and other heritages. Her children are Raven of the T’akdeintaan clan/Snail House and she’s adopted into that same clan. She holds an MFA from the University of Alaska Anchorage, an MA in Cross Cultural Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Knowledge Systems, and a PhD in Cross Cultural Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is the author of a full-length poetry collection, The Hide of My Tongue, four poetry chapbooks, plus a linked story collection, The Dead Go to Seattle. Her awards and fellowships include the Alaska Literary Award, a Rasmuson Foundation Fellowship, the Jason Wenger Award for Literary Excellence, a research fellowship from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Cortland Auser Award from the American Association of Ethnic Studies.

For those of you outside of Juneau, stay tuned for the broadcast of the Poetry Out Loud competition, which will be recorded at the 360 North studios.

Also, find a copy of Nicole Stellon O’Donnell’s book at libraries across the state, or access the ebook version for free this month from the Alaska Digital Library.

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