Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

Thanks to the two dozen people who braved Saturday’s scary roads to attend the excellent Reading & Craft Talk by David Abrams on “How to Write a War Story.” David was happy to be back in Anchorage after an absence of nine years, and he thoroughly enjoyed his whirlwind tour of Homer, Fairbanks, and Anchorage, meeting new readers and reconnecting with old friends. If you missed this one, we’ll be posting the podcast on our website soon (thank you, Sherry Simpson). The final Reading & Craft Talk of the season will take place on Thursday, Dec. 5, 7pm at Great Harvest Bread Co. and will feature Marybeth Holleman (Among Wolves) talking about How a Story Found Me.

Vered Mares, Buffy McKay, Kris Farmen, Kate Partridge, and Martha Amore

Although not quite as hair-raising as Saturday, the road conditions last night left a lot to be desired. Still, a resolute group of book-lovers made it to the Anchorage Museum to attend our last Crosscurrents event of 2013 and enjoyed a trio of readings by the authors of the Weathered Edge novella collection. The distinct voices and engaging storytelling of each writer left the audience wanting more, and book sales afterwards were brisk! Weathered Edge publisher Vered Mares facilitated an enlightening conversation about the unique process of collaboration and the writers fielded questions about what inspires them, their writing process, and what they’re working on now. Thanks to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson for hosting, Mark Weber of the Museum Bookstore for handling the book sales, Kate Partridge for coordinating the event, and Sherry Simpson for recording (podcast to follow). 

Registration is open once more for Art of the Essay! Due to popular demand, Frank Soos has graciously agreed to teach this subject again, Saturday, Dec. 7 & Sunday, Dec. 8. Our waitlist filled most of the slots but there are still a couple open if you’re interested–just click here for more information and to register.

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All new members who sign up during the drive have the chance to win one of five 
Title Wave gift certificates donated by Andromeda Romano-Lax.

The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) and the Alaska Humanities Forum (AKHF) remind you that nominations are still open for the 2013 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities. The arts awards are offered in the following categories: Margaret Nick Cooke Award for Alaska Native Arts and Languages, Business Leadership, Arts Advocacy Award and Individual Artist. Eligibility is open to any individual, organization or institution that has made a significant contribution to the arts in Alaska. The deadline for nominations is today, Friday, Nov. 15. Nominations accepted online; more information at ASCA website.

Today, Friday, Nov. 15, 6:30pm, Juneau Downtown Public Library: Woosh Kinaadeiyi will host this month’s open mic and poetry slam. The event is open to poets and performers of all ages and all abilities, and is hosted by Dee Jay DeRego and Emily King, with DJ Manu. Sign up to read at 6:15pm. Woosh Kinaadeiyi is a local nonprofit committed to diversity, inclusive community, and empowering voice, and hosts monthly poetry slams and open mics throughout the community. Contact with questions.

Saturday, Nov. 16, 4:30-6pm, Anchorage Museum at Ramuson Center Auditorium: The Rasmuson Foundation and Anchorage Museum are co-hosting a panel discussion, Engaging Artists in Professsional Residencies: How This Support impacts Careers, Artists, and host center, from Alaska and the Lower 48. Hear from Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program partners, including recently selected artists and residency program directors about their process of engagement, and what elements contribute to successful residency experiences. Panelists include Alaska playwright, poet, and director Arlitia Jones, Djerassi Resident Artists Program executive director, Margot Knight, Anchorage Museum interim executive director, Julie Decker, North Carolina-based visual and media artist, Marek Ranis. Arlitia Jones is the recipient of one of the residencies at Djerassi: why not catch her play, Come to Me, Leopards, at Cyrano’s afterwards, Saturday, Nov. 16, 7pm?!?

Sunday, Nov. 17, 2pm at Alaskana Books (the latest venture of Fireside Books), 564 S. Denali, Palmer: Don’t miss the kick-off event for the next cycle of Poems in Place, a wonderful program that installs poetry in state parks throughout Alaska. Featured poets will be Anne Coray, Gretchen Diemer, Julie Lemay, and David Cheezem. This event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by refreshments and conversation. A big shout-out to Erin Hollowell for creating the beautiful Independence Mine and Lake Alegnakik posters.

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: UAA Creative Writing undergraduate students share their work and writings at this special gathering. A variety of literary genres will be showcased. All are welcome to attend.

Jocelyn Paine: poet, artist, and tango dancer

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 7pm, Hugi-Lewis Studio, 1008 W. Northern Lights, Anchorage. This month’s Poetry Parley features the work of marquee poet Dorothy Parker and local poet Jocelyn Paine. Come for the poetry, and also the arts, music, dance, theatre, and recitation! Jocelyn Paine is not only a writer but also an artist and tango dancer–in one dynamic evening she will combine all of these passions. Program also features dancer Keith Jenkins and musician Dan Everett. Poetry Parley is a free event set for every Third Wednesday and comes to us thanks to Sandra Kleven, Peter Porco, and DC McKenzie. Contact them at

Thursday, Nov. 21, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: As part of Alaska Native Heritage Month, Dr. Alisha Drabek will discuss the ways in which Alutiiq tradition and language shape contemporary literature in “Ancestral Ways in New Words”–do join her if you’re an emerging writer or interested in Alaska Native language and education and Alutiiq culture. Drabek is the new executive director of the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository in Kodiak. She is also a creative writer with a growing collection of poems and short stories, using Alutiiq phrases and settings. This event is sponsored by Alaska Center for the Book and the UAA Campus Bookstore, with assistance from the Alaska Native Heritage Month Committee, Alutiiq Museum, Alaska Bilingual Education Association and Afognak Native Corporation. The event is free, and parking is free at UAA’s south lot near the Campus Bookstore. For information, contact Rachel Epstein at 786-4782, or e-mail

Saturday, Nov. 23, 1pm, Barnes & Noble, Anchorage: Meet local author Barbara Brown as she introduces her new picture book, Hanukkah in Alaska. Storytime at 1pm, with signing to follow until 3pm.

Monday, Nov. 25, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Contributors to the jounral publication of “Transforming the University: Alaska Native Studies in the 21st Century” are invited to come together to celebrate their work and dedication to academia. Everyone is welcome to attend. This event is sponsored with UAA Alaska Native Studies and is held in honor of Alaska Native/American Indian Heritage Month.

For more information about any UAA Campus Bookstore events, contact Rachel Epstein at or 786-4782. Remember there’s free parking for bookstore events in the South Lot, the West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall), the Sports Lot, and the Sports NW Lot.

Congratulations to Sitka author Brendan Jones, whose “Outside Passage” is the latest Ploughshares Solo—an excerpt from his forthcoming debut novel, The Alaskan Laundry that “explores the wilderness and fishing industry of America’s last frontier, a land of exceptional beauty and deep human need.” To read a sample, visit the Ploughshare blog. Or, if you’d like to read the whole thing, you can download “The Outside Passage” for Kindle or Nook for $0.99. Brendan Jones will be joining our 49 Writers faculty in spring 2014—more news soon about his class and other workshops in our spring schedule.
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