Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up

So we’ve heard loud and clear from our Anchorage friends and fans that you’d like a physical space to gather as writers.  Now, courtesy of Out North Contemporary Arts House, we’ve been invited to open a 49 Writers Café in one of their galleries.  It would be a place to gather and write, a place where critique groups and other writing-type groups could meet, and a place where we could host events and eventually classes.  Do you like the idea?  Would you hang out there?  Would you help make it happen?  It all starts with your input.  Read all about it, including fun details like how you can procure your very own bistro chair, and then take our quick survey – by August 1, please – and let us know what you think.  
And if that’s not enough excitement, how about our Third Annual Ode to a Dead Salmon bad writing contest, now open and accepting your best bad work.  Click the salmon on the sidebar for details, including links to past winners.  The contest runs until August 7.  We’ll publish everyone’s entry on our Dead Salmon site, and after our judges comb through for three finalists, we’ll let you vote on the winter.
It’s not too soon to mark your calendars for August 31 when best-selling author Dani Shapiro will appear onstage with Sherry Simpson at 7 pm in our next Crosscurrents event “Writing Memoir: Exposure and Betrayal” at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Auditorium.  For a sneak peak at some of the interesting topics that might come up on stage, check out Shapiro’s essay “The Me My Child Mustn’t Know” published last week in the New York Times Review of Books.
Momentum Dance Collective, an adult contemporary dance company, plans to create a show this Fall that will be inspired by the written word. 
They write: “We are looking for poets who want to work with Momentum  choreographers to bring their ideas to the stage and see their work take on a life in a three-dimensional reality. This could be work you’ve already written or you might be inspired to create something new.
“The goal at this stage is to get some poets and choreographers together and see what happens. The words might supply a theme for the dance, a mood for the soundtrack, or a central visual image that will help define the direction of the resulting movement piece. The boundaries on form 
and methodology are yet to be defined. If this sounds intriguing, please contact Becky Kendall directly.”

On Wednesday August 17, Poetry Parley will celebrate the works of poet and novelist David Wagoner. They’re looking for readers now: if you would like to read a couple of his poems, please contact Jonathan Minton. The ‘local’ poet of the month is still to be decided, so if you’d like instead to read some of your poems, please contact Jonathan about that.
The National Endowment for the Arts showcased Alaska Quarterly Review on July 20. They featured an in-depth interview with editor Ron Spatz about Alaska Quarterly Review and the editing process in “Art Works.”  Also included in the feature is a preview of Alaska Quarterly Review’s The Midnight Muse: Singing Poems, a pilot pairing of Irish poet Knute Skinner’s poem “Let Us Know” (from the Fall/Winter 2010 AQR) with music (and singing) by Alaskan songwriter Amy Lou Hettinger. For the full article, see this link on their website. Congratulations to Ron and the AQR for this significant recognition.
Our thanks to Bruce Farnsworth for passing on this article from England’s Guardian Newspaper about the business of books, literary events and writing.  

1 thought on “Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up”

  1. Hi Ela and all,
    I read "The Me My Child Mustn't Know" and had these thoughts. The author says she has moved from an edgy young writer – one to whom all were fair game – to another stage, where her kid is twelve and the old writing feels shameful seen through his eyes. She's extrapolating from that vision as if it were the final point of view. But there is another and it comes when the boy is an adult with all the individualism and quirkiness of any adult…bringing possibly a judgmental quality to his view of how she should live and behave. A stance that gets her back up all over again as when she tried to put the control represented by parents to rest — this is good because then her writing gets fearless again. Or another potential – the adult kid could care less about what mom has written and she cannot get him to read it or honor her place in literature. This too frees her to write what she wishes because her son is no longer a factor. Best, the adult child values and identifies with all his mom has written of her journey and possibly takes a spot as the keeper of her papers. This is what happened to Linda Sexton and Freida Hughes when their moms Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath died. Linda ended up being an editor which must have been excruciating – what with drugs, infidelity and suicide involved and not just some wild youthful writing. Her mom's work had a strong influence on her and she processes it in her own biography. The author of the article stops with her kid as a twelve year old and seems to wish only to be a fine mom in his eyes. That's a fairly momentary outlook on a much longer road. My kids ages 20 – 40 mostly don't read what I write (anymore) and I have stopped offering up each small publication the way I once did. I collaborate on projects with the oldest and youngest sons. All of these configurations are fine with me. I am little fettered now by my sense of myself as a parent – I want the legacy if I dare imagine there will be a legacy to be strong writing.

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