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

Sandra Kleven: Acts of Attention: Lancing Wounds, Treating with Inquiry’s Ointment

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Yup’ik dancer at the Cama-i Festival in Bethel People with keen intelligence publish reviews of plays, books, concerts and movies. Their attention is scrupulous, their standards unwavering, as they reflect on each element of a piece: Is it art? Does the director meet the intention of the composer? Is the work derivative? Bla, bla, bla. As if this were important. … Read More

Celebrate Cirque: Claiming another Solstice

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The 11th issue of Cirque will be posted at www.cirquejournal.com (Volume 6, Number 1) on Winter Solstice, December 21.   This release marks five years since Michael Burwell established Cirque, in order to give writers (and artists) of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest more places to publish their work – and as a vehicle to bring the best writing of the … Read More

Weekly Roundup of News and Events

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Frank Soos teaches the Art of the Essay We were delighted by the announcement that Frank Soos has been selected to serve as the next Alaska Writer Laureate. Frank has worked with many of our writers over the last year, helping them to to develop their work and ‘the art of the essay.’ He has become a much loved member … Read More

Weekly Roundup of News and Events

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The 49 Writers elves are hard at work behind the scenes in their quest to bring you the gift of a sensational spring season! We will announce the full schedule here next week and open registration on December 28. Meanwhile, we can tell you that the lineup includes a new course in spiritual writing from Kathleen Tarr, whose class two … Read More

Sandra Kleven: Writing the Cultural Ridge

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This post continues the discussion from Kleven’s post last week, Rural Alaska Lit:  Poet as Witness. As an outsider writing about rural Alaska, I was conflicted about my right to speak at all. The idea of poet or writer as witness, would in time give a channel, a justification, for my words and perceptions. The introduction to Holy Land, the … Read More

Sandra Kleven: Rural Alaska Lit: Poet as Witness

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Sandra Kleven In December of 1984, I flew out of Bellingham, WA, to take a job, in Bethel, AK.  That was my first mistake.  The second was bringing my entire family on this jaunt.  Even in ‘84, it cost about $2000 to transport five people to the distant bush; once you brought them, it would cost just as much to … Read More

Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

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Ken Post entertains us with a story about Scrabblewith an Alaskan twist What a great turnout at last night’s Resolve to Write gathering in Juneau—the energy and enthusiasm in the room were palpable! Member Sarah Isto provided the perfect setting and we thank her for welcoming Juneau’s writers to her home. Thanks too to 49 Writers board member Joan Pardes … Read More

Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

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What a wonderful turnout for Joan Naviyuk Kane’s reading on New Year’s Eve! Thank you to all the poetry lovers who chose to see the old year out in this way, who were also treated to some fine music by local musician Michael Howard. Host Olena Davis provided the perfect setting for the event, and it was great to see … Read More

Alaska Shorts: Poems from Defiance Street

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Requiem for the Kuskokwim It is cold and windows rattle with razors and hooks. Dread permeates light moments like a mean dog tied to a stove. Foreign to the territories, with tendered immunity, you walked through wild like a wraith. Jingling coins, coining jingles, sure to find another word for snow. Happy, you floundered there, netted and boned. Fuel oil … Read More