2017 Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Awards

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Anchorage, AK – Rasmuson Foundation has named artist Gertrude Svarny of Unalaska its 2017 Distinguished Artist. The award recognizes one Alaska artist annually for a lifetime of creative excellence and contributions to arts and culture in the State. It is accompanied by a $40,000 award that she can use to further immerse herself in the exploration and development of her artistry. … Read More

The View from Here

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. Family. Community. Support. 49 Writers, where Alaska’s writers gather. It has been a privilege to be among you, to speak to you each Monday and to help create opportunities for learning and communing. Thank you for your warm support. Thank you for being amazing writers, and more importantly, thank you for being amazing people. Jeremy Pataky and the board … Read More

Springtime: Beginnings and Change

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We Alaskans tune into weather, seasons, subtle shifts in light, and most recently, the dramatic arrival of Spring. Change is in the air – you can smell, see, and feel it. What will you do with your extra hours of light? Here at 49 Writers, summer is a time to plan, reflect on our past year, and map out fall … Read More

Heading off to AWP and Remembering Jim Harrison

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I am heading to the Associated of Writers and Writing Programs conference this week. It’s in Los Angeles this year which doesn’t bode well for this Alaska acclimated girl, but we’ll see. The conference is the largest annual meeting of writers, teachers, editors, and publishers. I think this year is my fifth or sixth time going. I always return with … Read More

Flinging Your Words into the World

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Publishing is one of those topics that brings out strident opinions. When I’m asked advice about where and how to publish, I always turn the question around. I ask: Who do you want to read your work? Are you thinking you want to earn money from it? How much? Is prestige important to you? How many people do you want … Read More

Pushing Against Fences

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Wendell Berry wrote, “The impeded stream is the one that sings,” and I have to admit the first time I read that I thought it was a bunch of hooey. After all, one of the things that lead me to write poetry in the first place was the fact that I could ignore grammar and punctuation rules. (Okay, be kind, … Read More

Savor the Rising Words! Second Annual Poetry Broadside Invitational

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This April, Great Harvest Bread Company is sponsoring a second poetry broadside invitational in honor of National Poetry Month. Broadsides are a traditional form that pairs the written word with a visual presentation. Broadly defined, a poetry broadside combines the words of a poem with visual imagery. Though often printed on a letterpress or in other printmaking media, for purposes … Read More

What Are Your Writing Rules?

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It’s such a fraught topic, writing rules. Some writers are adamantly against them, feeling that establishing such guidelines is unnecessarily restrictive. Others clasp their writing rules to their chests as if they’ve been stipulated by a burning bush; they need those sideboards to give structure to their writing practice. My writing rules tend to boil down to two: 1) write … Read More

A Story That Could Be True

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I’ve been listening all weekend at the Danger Close: Alaska workshop. I have so much respect for writers learning to offer their heart connections in the most perfect words possible. Stories passed from heart to heart. A Story That Could Be True If you were exchanged in the cradle and your real mother died
 without ever telling the story
 then … Read More