Anthropomorphia: Writers Giving Voice to Earth
May 6 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Anthropomorphia: Writers Giving Voice to Earth with Mary Odden
Saturday, May 6, 2023 IN-PERSON
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Z.J. Loussac Library, Anchorage
An exploration of how recent naturalists/writers express empathy with nature from inside it, using elements of character, point of view and narrative time. Being accused of impersonating nature has never been more important. We will discuss recent work from Suzanne Simard, Bathsheba Demuth, and Alaska’s own Rosemary McGuire that places the human heart where it belongs: in nature where it lives. Participants will try out ideas in some in-class writing time.
Mary Odden grew up in eastern Oregon. She attended the College of Idaho and worked as a fire lookout and dispatcher. She followed wildfires north to spend most of the last forty years in Alaska. She has lived above the Arctic Circle, in western Alaska on the Kuskokwim River, and in southcentral Alaska. She studied writing at the University of Montana and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she earned an MFA with a concentration in creative-nonfiction.
Also at UAF, she also worked and studied at the UAF Oral History Archives, studied anthropology and folklore, authored and taught an Oral History course for UAF’s Rural College. She interviewed, transcribed and indexed Alaskan and Native Alaskan elder interviews. After graduate school, she taught writing and communications classes for the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, McGrath, and Glennallen. She worked as a village teen counselor in Yukon River Villages in the early 2000s and for five years published/edited a community newspaper in the Copper River Valley.
Mary’s creative work has appeared in Cirque, the Georgia Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, Nimrod, and in Under Northern Lights, an anthology of contemporary Alaska art and writing. In 2020, she received an Alaska Literary Award from the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation. In 2015, she received a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award that supported her work on the essays gathered in Mostly Water, published in June 2020 by Boreal Books, an imprint of Red Hen Press.
Currently, Mary teaches community writing classes and assists local writers with various book projects of memoir and biography, fiction and adventure. Her own work-in-progress includes essays and a novel about rural Alaska.Mary lives in Nelchina, Alaska, with her husband Jim.
If you are a current 49 Writers member, you can register for the class here:
Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be issued up to 48 hours before the first class. For requests within 48 hours of the first class, we will offer a 50% refund. Thank you!