Andromeda: Interview with 49 Volunteer Eric Larson

Meet writer and writing center volunteer Eric Larson, who not only scrapes and paints, but also helps us organize our complicated start-up finances. He’s one of the many 49 Volunteers we couldn’t live without, who will be occasionally profiled here and in our newsletter in the months and years ahead…

My day-job/ something about me in one sentence:

I work as a research economist for the Municipality.

Why I decided to volunteer at the 49 AK Writing Center/ Raven Place:

I needed a few more volunteer hours for the community practicum requirement for the MFA Creative Writing program at UAA. I like the idea of having a place in town where writers can gather, and I wanted to contribute to make it happen. Also, Raven Place is about four blocks from my house. So, it’s an easy walk, and I hope to visit often.

Highlight of my involvement so far:

Painting the flower boxes along the sidewalk. I’ve pointed them out several times to friends when walking to Snow City.

Something about my own literary interests or activities:

I’m starting my third year in the MFA program. My thesis is a collection of essays about walking in Anchorage.

Last great book I read:

Pieces for the Left Hand: 100 Anecdotes by Robert Lennon

When I picture a writing center 10 years from now, I imagine…:

Daily gatherings for readings, writing classes, and talking about interesting issues in many places like Raven Place, all over the state. They’ll be named Eagle Place in Homer, Orca Place in Southeast, Bear Place in Kodiak, Coyote Place in the interior somewhere, and Mammoth Place close to Denali. Each will be a clearinghouse for instructors going into schools, businesses, and government agencies to teach people how to write about the important things in their lives and how to appreciate the value of reading. All of these places will be be fully funded by interest revenues from an endowment established by the State, which in its enlightened wisdom realizes sometime during the next ten years that public funding for education in the arts is one of the best ways to stimulate imagination, foster inspiration, motivate citizens, improve quality of life, create jobs, and save the environment.

1 thought on “Andromeda: Interview with 49 Volunteer Eric Larson”

  1. Love your vision, Eric. It seems now, that the effort is progressing quickly, as if it were easy. As you know, I am moving toward End Game. My thesis and collection are in "line edits" this week. I love that you have written about walking around in Anchorage. I hope you are submitting! Nice seeing you at the gallery. See you on Saturday where we will have the premiere "in house" showing of "To the Moon!"

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