Because books aren’t just for reading, 49 Writers Crosscurrents onstage conversations unite authors and audiences through lively, moderated discussions on questions pertaining to art, culture, and science as illuminated by writers and their work.

upcoming events | Stay tuned for more details of our 2017-2018 season.

JUNEAU September 29, 2017 | Art & Life in the Aftermath with Joan Naviyuk Kane, Don Rearden, and Vera Starbard
APK Building, 395 Whittier Street, Juneau, Alaska FREE
5 pm: NEA Big Read Kickoff with refreshments by Friends of the Alaska State Library and Museum
5:30 pm: Crosscurrents program

49 Writers is pleased to present the keynote event to kick off the NEA Big Read in Juneau, in partnership with Juneau Public Libraries (JPL), Alaska State Library and Museum, Friends of JPL, and Friends of Alaska State Library and Museum. The big read will focus on the book Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, with activities planned through October 2017.

Juneau Public Libraries was awarded a $15,000 grant to host the NEA Big Read. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. JPL is one of 75 nonprofit organizations in the country to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program between September 2017 and June 2018.

“A community wide reading and discussion of a common book is a wonderful way to promote literacy and can also provide a safe venue for beginning difficult dialogues. We selected Station Eleven as our NEA Big Read title because we see it as a story to inspire conversations about survival, be it physical, emotional, or cultural, while acknowledging, as Mandel writes, that mere ‘survival is insufficient.’ To be resilient in the aftermath of traumatic events, we need art in many forms to express hope and as a path to healing” said Beth Weigel, program coordinator for the Juneau Public Libraries.

“Through the NEA Big Read we are bringing contemporary works to communities across the country, helping us better understand the diverse voices and perspectives that come with it,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “These 75 organizations have developed unique plans to celebrate these works, including numerous opportunities for exploration and conversation.”

Our Crosscurrents event on Friday, September 29, 2017 will feature playwright Vera Starbard , poet Joan Naviyuk Kane , and writer Don Rearden in an onstage conversation bridging themes addressed in Station Eleven with their own creative work and lived experience in Alaska.

Also: Joan Naviyuk Kane and Don Rearden will each teach a short creative writing workshop on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Register

past events

March 12, 2017 | Danger Close: Alaska
Who Owns the Story? | with Brian Castner, Don Rearden, and Matthew Komatsu
Doors open at 6:30 pm. Event begins at  7 pm
49th State. Brewing Co. Barrel Room East, 717 W 3rd Avenue, Anchorage
$10, or $5 for 49 Writers members and any active duty or veteran service members.
Tickets available at the door, though advanced purchases are recommended. Tickets here.
Part of Danger Close: Alaska

Story ownership continues to be a contested issue within the literary community. Brian Castner (The Long Walk and All the Ways We Kill and Die) and Don Rearden (The Raven’s Gift and the co-authored Never Quit) will discuss how they navigated these waters not only in the telling of war stories, but also as writers challenged with conveying Arctic and indigenous narratives against the backdrop of a warming planet. Join us for a night of lively discussion moderated by Matthew Komatsu. Part of Danger Close: Alaska, a Duty Bound partnership between 49 Writers and the Alaska Humanities Forum bridging the military-civilian divide by uniting veterans, active duty, and non-military civilians in producing high-quality writing.



February 16, 2017
Poetry & Politics | Roger Reeves & Joan Naviyuk Kane
Doors open at 6:30 pm. Event begins at  7 pm
49th State. Brewing Co. Barrell Room West, 717 W 3rd Avenue, Anchorage


October 13, 2016
Tales of the City: Writing from Alaska’s Urban Hubs
5-6:45 pm – Building Fires in the Snow celebratory meet-and-greet at MUSE
7-8:30 pm – Crosscurrents event in the Anchorage Museum auditorium 


Want to propose or suggest a Crosscurrents topic? Contact us.

Past Crosscurrent Events

Our thanks go to Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, 49th State Brewing Co., and Copper Whale Inn, whose support makes this series possible, and to past partners and sponsors: Alaska Center, Alaska Humanities Forum, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Anchorage Public Library, Anchorage Library Foundation, Friends of the Anchorage Public Library, Cook Inletkeeper, Craig Public Libraries, Douglas Public Library, the Island Institute, Juneau Public Library, Ketchikan Public Library, Kodiak College Library, National Endowment for the Arts, Prince William Sound Science Center, Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Tribal Community House, Tuzzy Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage Campus Bookstore, and the University of Alaska Southeast. Thank you!