Literary Roundup | March 1-7, 2019

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming details on the following exciting 49 Writers programs:

We Are All Poets Here
Memoir and Biography
by Kathleen Witkowska Tarr

JUNEAU and ANCHORAGE | Writers, Seekers, Pilgrims: A Session on Thomas Merton taught by Kathleen Witkowska Tarr

Juneau: Friday, March 8, 2019 | 5:30 – 9 PM at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church library.

Anchorage: Saturday, May 4, 2019 | 2-6 pm at Anchorage Community House
3502 Spenard Road, 99503
(located behind/west of Church of Love~plenty of off-street parking)

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) gained an international reputation across faith traditions as one of the most important spiritual thinkers and teachers of the 20th century. As the author of We Are All Poets Here, Kathleen Witkowska Tarr has explored the significance of Merton’s important sojourn to Alaska in autumn 1968. His time in Alaska bridged the twenty-seven years Merton spent living and writing as a celebrity-monk in a Kentucky monastery and his untimely death in Asia.  

This workshop highlights Merton the literary man. What can poets, essayists, and memoirists writing today learn from his style and methods of engagement with the world-wide audience of his readers? Exploring excerpts from his most famous works, we shall reflect on questions that arise in our brief encounter with this writer-monk in the context and radiance of our own literary work and spiritual journeys.

ANCHORAGE | Writing the In-Between: Hybrid Forms and Generating Drafts with Nicole Stellon O’Donnell

Saturday, April 13, 9:30 AM—12:30 PM | Anchorage Community House, 3502 Spenard Rd, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA

Sometimes a draft makes immediately clear whether it wants to be a poem or a piece of prose. Other times it’s not so clear. Is it a prose poem or flash nonfiction? A brief essay or a little brick of words? Hybrid forms may resist naming, but they’re rich for generating and expanding drafts. Sometimes the longer you can hold out on fitting a piece into the form you were expecting it to be, the more you can generate. In this workshop, we’ll examine hybrid forms and explore their potential as a part of a writer’s process. Participants will experiment with hybrid forms and generate new work. We’ll end our workshop with a brief introduction to literary magazines that are friendly to submissions of hybrid forms.

Instructor bio: Nicole Stellon O’Donnell’s first collection, Steam Laundry, won the 2013 WILLA Literary Award for Poetry. Her second book, You Are No Longer in Trouble, a memoir-in-flash about being a teacher, a student, and a principal’s daughter launches March 2019 from the Marie Alexander Series. Her third book, Everything Never Comes Your Way, a collection of poems, will be published by Boreal Books in 2020.

In addition to teaching this 49 Writers class, Nicole will hold an Anchorage book launch on Friday, April 12, 2019 at the Writer’s Block Bookstore and Cafe. 

  • Kim Heacox, author of many books about Alaska including the novel Jimmy Bluefeather, will be offering some classes this spring in Southeast.
  • Juneau members have begun gathering monthly at the downtown library. Board member Katie Bausler says, “we’ll discuss what we’re reading, what we’re writing (or not), and exercise our writing muscles a bit.” Suggestions for themes and activities welcome, tea and snacks provided. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 19, 6:45-8 p.m.
  • Anchorage, save the date for a Mary Oliver tribute evening at The Writer’s Block April 21, 2019.


In honor of the legendary Tlingit activist Elizabeth Peratrovich, SHI will sponsor a signing for the new book about her titled “Fighter in Velvet Gloves” by author Annie Boochever, who worked on the book with Elizabeth’s son, Roy Peratrovich, Jr. Get a signed copy during First Friday on March 1 at Sealaska Heritage.

In the clan house we’ll host a Best Beginnings “Read Across America” event, featuring a dance performance by TCLL dancers at 5 pm and book readings from the Baby Raven Reads series every 15 minutes from 5:30-6:30 (everyone is welcome).

In the lobby we’ll feature artists Sugar Bear Alaskan Treasures and Rhonda Butler.

ANCHORAGE | 49 Writers and The Anchorage Museuem presents | Author Caroline Van Hemert—a talk and book signing| Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 7-8:30 PM for her newly released book, The Sun is a Compass. The book is a memoir that blends Alaska adventure, natural history and personal narrative. Hear stories about her 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Chukchi Sea. Her research and expeditions have been featured by the New York Times and other major media outlets. Event to be held at the Anchorage Museum. Event is free; use the museum’s 7th Ave entrance. Additional details available on the museum’s website here.


ANCHORAGE | March 2019 | The UAA Campus bookstore has announced literary events coming in March 2019. All events are free and open to the public.

  • Friday, March 1, 2019 from 4-6 PM: Woman Scream: International Women’s Poetry Movement! Hosted by Itzel Yarger-Zagal, people from all walks of life are encouraged to share their own poetry and/or that of other women poets. Instead of offering bilingual or translated poems, readers will explain the meaning of their poem and then recite it in the poem’s original language. English poems are also welcome. To share a poem, contact Rachel Epstein at 786-4782 or Open mic will be available at the end if time allows.
  • Friday, March 8, 2019 from 4-6 PM: Author Keenan Powell discusses the development of women characters in mysteries and presents her second Maeve Artemis Malloy mystery, Hemlock Needle. From Miss Marple to Vera Stanhope, from the unveiled to the convicted, women in mysteries are examined, with emphasis on Powell’s Maeve Malloy as a 21-Century investigator and sleuth.

ANCHORAGE | March 2019 | Writer’s Block bookstore & cafe has announced several events for Saturday, March 2, 2019 to celebrate the start of the Iditarod. Note: Image erroneously states March 1.

  • Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 10 AM: Kids can enjoy Black Bear Goes to Washington, the true story of the sled dog who moved to D.C.
  • Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 2 PM: Book Reading and Signing by Debbie Clarke Moderow former Iditarod racer and author of the memoir Fast Into the Night.
  • Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 6 PM: Book launch & celebration: Brooke Hartman’s Dream Flights on Arctic Nights.

EAGLE RIVER | Sunday, March 17, 2019 (St. Patrick’s Day) from 1-3 PM | Monica Devine’s new book Water Mask will be launched at Jitters Cafe. Published by University of Alaska Press, the book is a collection of stories that reflect on family, place, work, memory, perception, and culture.

ANCHORAGE | Friday, March 22, 2019 at 7 PM | Alaska Quarterly Review celebrates its 70th issue! The evening will feature a staged reading of Rex Shannon’s Come Up Here, a funny and provocative short story about a boy from a deeply religious family who encounters God, who has some unexpected demands. The story will be dramatically presented by prominent Alaskan literary artists Don Rearden (God), Bryan Fiero (father), Amy Meissner (mother), and Shane Castle (the boy). Event will be held at Writer’s Block, it is free and open to public. For more information on AQR, please contact: 49 Writers is proud to be a Co-Sponsor for this event.



WRANGELL | Flying Island Writers & Artists group meets every other Monday 6:30-8 PM. Contact Vivian Faith Prescott for more information at


SKAGWAY | May 29 – June 1, 2019| North Words Writers Symposium with keynote speaker Susan Orlean, a previous The New Yorker staff writer and multi-award-winning author. The symposium will include multiple keynotes (including Orlean’s), workshops, and panels with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Symposium participants enjoy the luxury of small groups and one-on-one access to successful writers. See website for more details.

Alderworks Alaska Writers & Artists Retreat: Deadline February 15, 2019. Now accepting applications for summer residencies of 4-6 weeks. Owners Jeff and Dorothy Bradys’s idea is simple: give writers and artists a quiet, beautiful spot to create or enhance their works, and wonderful things will happen. Residency located in Skagway. For more details and to apply, see their website:

HOMER | June 14-18, 2019 | Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference is back for 2019 and registration is open! This nationally-recognized conference will feature workshops, readings and panel presentations in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and the business of writing. The keynote presenter Diane Ackerman, an award-winning poet, essayist, and naturalist, will be joined by fifteen other writers, poets, and publishing industry professionals. For many more details and to register, see the conference’s website here.


Rasmuson Individual Artist Awards: Apply Now

Grants to Alaska artists to support the time, reflection, immersion or experimentation beneficial to the development of their artistry.

Project and Fellowship Award applications opened Jan. 15

Rasmuson Foundation honors the merit and significance of a life dedicated to serious artistic exploration and growth. The Foundation believes an artist’s energy, ideas, and creative drive cannot bear fruit without time devoted to experimentation, education, and personal reflection. We also acknowledge artists need opportunities to explore at various stages of their artistic careers.

Fairbanks Drama Association call for playwrights! Deadline: March 15, 2019. In partnership with The Looking Glass Group Theater, they invite Alaskan playwrights to submit 10-minute plays for the annual 8X10 Festival of New Alaskan Plays. Eight ten-minute plays will be chosen for staged readings at the Festival April 26 & 27, 2019, at FDA’s Hap Ryder Riverfront Theater, Fairbanks, Alaska. Visit the Fairbanks Drama Association for information on hardcopy submission. For electronic, submit to Questions? Same email, or

UAS Essay Contest: Deadline March 15, 2019. The University of Alaska Southeast is holding an essay contest for all UAS students. Essays can be expository, persuasive, academic research, and / or scholarly papers written for a UAS class. Financial aid will be given to the essay that best demonstrates the UAS mission of student learning. Submit to Egan Library 105 or via email at

Catamaran Poetry Prize open for submissions, Deadline: April 20, 2019. The Catamaran Poetry Prize encourages the submission of previously unpublished poetry manuscripts across a range of styles, themes, and forms. A prize of $1,000 and publication in book form will be awarded to the poetry collection selected by the judge. See their website for details and to submit. This year, it will be judged by former UAA MFA faculty member Zack Rogow!

What’s missing? Submit your announcement for the next Roundup. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to 

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