Eric Larson: Anchorage Neighborhood Writing Project (and a free writing workshop!)

The city
has stories.
stories – your stories – are
Anchorage lore, and we’d like to
hear your voice.  The Anchorage
Neighborhood Writing Project welcomes you to its first free writing workshop on
urban writing.  The class will be
interactive, with discussions, exercises, writing prompts, and suggestions to
encourage participants to draw inspiration from their everyday lives and write
about living in
Join us at
9:00 am on Friday, November 8 at the UAA Student Center
Den for a breakfast panel about
Mountain View, including a literary
reading by Mary Kudenov.  The writing
workshop will start at 10:30 am and continue until 2:00 pm.  We’ll break in the middle for lunch.  Bring paper, something to write with, a bag
lunch, and stories to share. 
The Wolf
Den is located on the first floor of the
UAA Student Union Building on Providence Drive (same building as the
UAA Bookstore, next to the
Sports Center).  Parking is free on Fridays.  For questions or more information, contact
Bree Kessler at
bckessler (at)  The Urban Writing Workshop and Mountain View panel are free and open
to anyone in the community with a story to tell.
Three of
us will teach the workshop: Bree Kessler, Mary Kudenov, and Eric Larson.  Bree Kessler is an assistant professor of
health sciences and research fellow at the Center for Community Engagement and
Learning at UAA.  Her research is in the field of environmental
psychology: the study of how the built environment shapes and also is
influenced by human behavior.  She has a particular interest in
“winter cities.”  Bree was born and raised in
Detroit – a city that inspired
her to fall in love with “the urban.” 
She is the author of the travel guidebook Moon: Big Island of Hawaii
Mary Kudenov studies nonfiction in University of Alaska Anchorage’s low-residency MFA program. 
Currently, she’s writing a collection of linked essays that explore life
in urban Alaska.  Mary has worked in Anchorage’s non-profit community,
taught writing in Hiland Mountain Correctional Center, and served Alaska’s
literary arts community as the 2013 Alaska Book Week coordinator.  She is interested in city narratives that
address issues of economic disparity, addiction, and social change.  (Check out Mary’s latest urban essay, “A Man
of Fashion” in the fall 2013 issue of Alaska
Quarterly Review
Larson has lived and walked in
Anchorage for the past
twenty-five years without owning a car. 
He earned his MFA at the UAA Creative Writing program where he studied
the literature of urban walking.  Eric
experiments with different ways of exploring the city on foot – such as deep
mapping, ground-truthing, psychogeography, and GPS drawing.  He’s writing a book about walking in
The Urban
Writing Workshop is the first effort of the Anchorage Neighborhood Writing
Project (ANWP).  The Project will host
future events featuring guests who have explored their neighborhood through
writing and others who have unique knowledge of the city.  Future workshops will focus on methods of
exploring, learning, and writing about the city.  The ongoing mission of ANWP is to inspire and
encourage city residents to write and discuss their urban stories.
We are looking for collaborators across mediums to build a
compendium of
Anchorage lore.  We are looking for writing, photography,
mapping, drawing, painting, and other modes of art.  The long-term goal of ANWP is to combine
writing and other media into a community atlas that tells the stories of how we
live in
The reading,
panel discussion, and writing workshop on November 8 are all part of ENGAGE Week: Urban in Alaska sponsored
by the
UAA Center for Community
Engagement and Learning (CCEL).  This
year the Center is focusing on the “Urban in
Alaska,” specifically Anchorage neighborhoods, to
understand the many ways citizens engage with their communities.
ENGAGE Week 2013 (from November 4
through 10
) features dialogues, panels, workshops, and outdoor events that
highlight the strengths and challenges of the “Urban in
Alaska.”  Feel free
to attend as many activities as possible. 
These events are all free and open to the public.
Please sign-up
for the November 8 workshop at the ENGAGE Week website
.  Sign-up is not required, but it will assist
with planning.  After you sign-up, you
will receive updates and materials for the workshop.

1 thought on “Eric Larson: Anchorage Neighborhood Writing Project (and a free writing workshop!)”

  1. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Congrats Eric, Mary, and Bree. What a great project. I've always wished to read more written from the urban side of Alaska, since it's as big a part of our lives as the wilderness side. Always exciting to see the initiatives launched by AK writers.

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