49 Writers | Honoring Gary H. Holthaus

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We’re glad to partner with Alaska Quarterly Review and the Alaska Humanities Forum on a two-part retrospective celebration of one of Alaska’s most important thinkers and writers, Gary Holthaus. Gary’s been active as a writer and citizen for decades, as the bio below illustrates. A long-time home literary events, Great Harvest Bread Co. in Anchorage will host the readings tonight … Read More

49 Writers Literary Roundup | Jan 20-Feb 2

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Have news, events, or opportunities you’d like to see listed here? Email details to info (at) 49writers.org with “Roundup” as the subject. Spread the word. Your message must be received by close of business the Wednesday before the roundup is scheduled to run at the latest. Unless your event falls in the “Opportunities and Awards” category, it should occur no more than … Read More

Guest Blogger Alyse Knorr: Six Poetic Forms at a Party

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A poem’s form consists of the structural “rules” concerning elements like meter, rhyme, alliteration, or repetition. Each poetic form is like a different shaped vase into which water (language) can be poured. Each form has its own particular way of shaping meaning and progressing through a thought. Each has a unique system of organization and a different approach to creating … Read More

Alaska Shorts: Sad Music by Stephen D. Bolen

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Sad Music 11/09/15 There’s a service today, A young man I don’t know, The cold I’ve come out of my own skin. I’m falling down and down, keep going. Is there any truth in this master confusion? It isn’t even a storm anymore, It’s calm and with good people gone now, From this bright day, I speak to the familiar— … Read More

AK Shorts: Away with the Bitterness by Jennifer L. Smith

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Away with the Bitterness Uncle’s sweet tooth had to be satisfied and each day he would fill his brown paper lunch bag with a peanut butter sandwich, always with wheat bread, and two peanut butter cups. My eleven-year-old eyes watched this ritual each day while eating the Life cereal he had prepared for me: a half bowl with two heaping … Read More

Jeremy Pataky: Heading to Southeast Alaska with Overwinter

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Jeremy Pataky Southeast Alaska is rainforest country, where water substantiates the world—even trees, there, are shown to contain molecules from out at sea delivered inland in salmon. Its lush fecundity translates into a literary watershed, too—many great writers and scholars hail from Gustavus, Haines, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and points between. Lately, the roster of 49 Writers members, not to mention … Read More

An Invitation: Savor the Rising Words Poetry Broadside Exhibit

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When I was a little girl, my mother remembered me carrying around little notebooks for my “pomes” and pictures, filling them with words and pencil drawings. Most have now gone missing. During college, I kept occasional journals filled with sketches and poems of longing and love, much of it unrequited. Most of these, embarrassingly, survive.  Then for decades, almost no … Read More

Sandra Kleven: Embracing Icons

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Artwork by Sandra Kleven One may feel an inclination to adore famous poets. To be impressed beyond ease of expression. To see the greatest of poets as nearly holy, and the greatest poems as personal touchstones. “You do not have to be good…” Mary Oliver   “This is the way the world ends…” T. S. Eliot “And the lily, how … Read More

Susanna Mishler: A Fine Contrivance

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Susanna Mishler A poem is a machine made of words. – William Carlos Williams As poet and electrician, I wonder how this statement might be true. The objects of machine and poem seem contrary. But if a poem is a machine made of words, and the idea of a poem as machine seems contradictory, then what are we missing? Power … Read More