Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

What a wonderful turnout for Joan Naviyuk Kane’s reading on New Year’s Eve! Thank you to all the poetry lovers who chose to see the old year out in this way, who were also treated to some fine music by local musician Michael Howard. Host Olena Davis provided the perfect setting for the event, and it was great to see old friends and catch up. If you don’t already have your copy of Joan’s new award-winning collection Hyperboreal, she still has some left for sale. Special thanks to Jeremy Pataky for organizing, and to Broken Tooth Brewing for donating their excellent microbrew!

Registration is now open for the 49 Writers spring season of creative writing classes. Click here to find more information on our website and to register. Just confirmed: Sitka author John Straley will teach a class on February 6 you won’t want to miss: Lessons from a Life of Crime. His latest book, Cold Storage, Alaska, comes out on February 4.

February dates for your 49 Writers calendar:
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4, 7pm, Anchorage Museum: Crosscurrents with poets Camille Dungy and Sean Hill, “Writing the Whole Environment”
  • Wednesday, Feb. 5, 6-9pm, Anchorage Museum: workshop with Camille Dungy, “How to Write a Poem: Make a List”
  • Thursday, Feb. 6, 1-4pm, 645 W. 3rd Avenue: workshop with John Straley, “Lessons from a Life of Crime”
  • Thursday, Feb 6, 7pm, Great Harvest Bread Co: Reading & Craft Talk by John Straley, “Lessons from a Life of Crime”
  • Saturday, Feb. 8, 10am-12pm, 645 W. 3rd Avenue: class with Lynn Lovegreen, “Journey of a Novel”
  • Saturday, Feb. 15, 9am-1pm, 645 W. 3rd Avenue: workshop with Christine Byl, “Lyric Tinkering: The Poem as a Tool for Prose Writers”
LOVALASKA in 2014! 49 Writers is proud to be participating this year in the Pick.Click.Give campaign and we hope that you will show your support when filing your PFD. Thank you to everyone who already contributed during our recent membership drive–your commitment helps us to expand our programming and keep this blog fresh and relevant.

Our travel budget is stretched thin and we could really use some help bringing our great authors and instructors to town. Do you have plenty of Alaska Airlines miles to spare? CONSIDER A MILEAGE DONATION TO BRING AN AUTHOR TO ANCHORAGE! Contact us if you’d like to discuss.

Thursday, Jan. 9, 11:30am-1pm, Alaska Professional Communicators holds its monthly luncheon at Kinley’s Restaurant, 3230 Seward Highway. This month’s featured speaker will be Michael Carey, host of public broadcasting’s political analysis show, “Alaska Edition.” His talk is titled “Everyone You Meet is Your Teacher: What the Buddha Taught an Alaska Newspaperman.”

Friday, Jan. 10, 7pm, Jitters, Eagle River: The Living Room: Eagle River Writers Read presents an evening of community readings. Come listen to stories, poems, excerpts from favorite books, and more. After the readings, mix and mingle, and sample cookies! Free and open to the public.

Saturday, Jan. 11, 7pm, VP&D House is holding a book launch at the Hugi-Lewis Studio in Spenard to mark the publication of Defiance Street, Sandra L Kleven’s new book of poetry and prose. They’ll also be celebrating the latest edition of Cirque: A Literary Journal for Alaska and the Pacific Northwest with guest readings by Jerry McDonnell, Jocelyn Paine, Nathan Shafer, Julie LaMay, Vered Mares (reading poems by her father, Tony Mares), and music with Dan Everett. Light refreshments will be served. Come out, bring a friend and support your local writers, and get your new copy signed!

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 7pm, Hugi-Lewis Studio: First Poetry Parley of the year! January’s featured poet is Jason Eisert, who has selected Raymond Carver as the marque poet. If you’d like to read some Carver poems, please contact

Saturday, Jan. 18, 6pm, K-Bay Caffè in Homer: Local poets and authors will gather to read aloud the work of poet William Stafford. William Stafford has been influential for many local writers not only because of the scope of his work, but because of his advocacy for peace and his work as a teacher. Stafford was a prolific writer who published over 70 volumes of poetry, including the National Book Award winner Traveling Through the Dark. In 1970, he was named Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position that is now known as Poet Laureate. He served as Oregon’s Poet Laureate for fifteen years, and taught at Lewis & Clark College for more than thirty.

January marks the centennial of William Stafford’s birth. Though he passed away in 1993, two decades later Stafford continues to have a profound influence on the American life of letters. Please join Wendy Erd, Mercedes Harness, Ela Harrison, Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Tom Kizzia, Nancy Lord, Linda Martin, Bill Noomah, Debi Poore, Maynard Smith, Teresa Sundmark, and Nancy Vait as they read his work. Audience members will be welcome to read their favorite William Stafford poems after the scheduled readers. Contact Erin Hollowell,, 907-491-1001, with questions.

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 6:50pm: Long-time professor at UAF’s Chukchi College in Kotzebue, Susan Andrews (humanities and journalism) is offering a newly developed memoir-writing class during spring semester 2014, starting today. “Reporting on Your Life Through Memoir” is a three-credit, semester-long journalism course designed for students who wish to record their life story for college credit. This memoir course, JRN F393 (CRN: 38797), will be offered by audio-conference. Distance education students can take this class from anywhere in Alaska or Outside with successful completion of English 111 or permission from the instructor. Class meets Tuesdays. For information, contact Professor Andrews at 907-442-3400 or Chukchi registrar Mary Booth-Barger at 907-442-3400 or 1-800-478-3402.

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 7-9:30pm, at the downtown Anchorage Sierra Club office, essayist and author Bill Sherwonit will begin teaching a 12-week nature and travel writing class, registration fee $240. Participants in this workshop-style class will explore and refine their own writing styles, with an emphasis on the personal essay form, as well as reading and discussing works by some of America’s finest nature and travel writers. Contact Sherwonit at 245-0283 or to sign up or for more information.

Thursday, Jan. 30, Juneau Arts & Culture Center: Buy your tickets now for the Governor’s Awards for the Arts & Humanities 2014 at or by calling 907-586-ARTS. Questions? Call the Alaska State Council on the Arts at 907-269-6610 or the Alaska Humanities Forum at 907-272-5313. The VIP reception at the Alaska State Museum begins at 5pm, followed by the 6pm opening reception at JACC and the awards ceremony at 7pm.
The application period for the Rasmuson Foundation’s Individual Artist Awards is now open. Check here for more information about how to apply. This could be your year!
Fairbanks Arts Association’s Literary Arts Committee is now accepting entries for the 20th Annual Poetry Contest. The purpose of the contest is to encourage, publicize and reward the writing of high quality poetry. The deadline is Friday, Jan. 31, 6pm and winners will be announced March 8, 2014, 7pm at Fairbanks Arts Association’s Bear Gallery. This year’s juror is Anchorage poet, Susanna J. Mishler. Click here to download the flier.

Registration is now open for the 2014 Kachemak Bay Writers Conference! This year’s keynote speaker is Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon.

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