Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

Thanks to Christine Byl for the excellent class last weekend on Lyric Tinkering: The Poem as a Tool for Prose Writers. Found poems are fun! We left with plenty of ideas for experimenting with different forms of poetry to find inspiration for our prose and felt encouraged to incorporate poetry into our writing lives in a meaningful way.

Earlier in the week, Christine also taught our first class in Talkeetna, which was received with enthusiasm and generated requests for more writing workshops there. We were happy to partner with the Denali Arts Council to make this happen and look forward to continuing the collaboration.

March classes and author events at 49 Writers:

  • Monday, Mar. 3, 6-9pm, Juneau Arts & Humanities Council: “Fiction Intensive: Fantastic First Impressions” with Ali McCart
  • Thursday, Mar. 6, 7-8:30pm, Great Harvest Bread Co., Anchorage: “Why Alaska?” – Reading & Craft Talk with Katey Schultz
  • Saturday, Mar. 8, 9am-4pm, Anchorage Museum: “Flash Fiction in a Flash” with Katey Schultz
  • Wednesday, Mar. 12, 7-8:30pm, Anchorage Museum: “Essaying Alaska,” a Crosscurrents conversation featuring Sherry Simpson and Christine Byl
  • Friday, Mar. 14 to Sunday, Mar. 16, 645 W. 3rd Avenue, Anchorage: “Submitting Your Book: The First 20 Pages” with Brendan Jones
  • Saturday, Mar. 15, 1-4pm, Egan Library, UAS Juneau Campus: “Complex and Conflicted Characters” with Don Rearden
Click here for more information on Anchorage classes. Click here for Juneau classes.

Early registration for the Tutka Bay Writers Retreat, September 5-7, will open to 49 Writers members at the Kobuk level and above on March 1. This year’s retreat leader is acclaimed poet Carolyn Forché, who will teach a weekend intensive, “Writing on Tutka Bay: New Poems, New Passages,” that is tailored to poets and memoirists. Click here for more information. General registration for Matanuska members and non-members will open on March 10.

Membership has more than doubled since this time last year! We are closing in on the 200 mark and will give a tuition voucher for a three-hour class to our 200th member — that could be you, so don’t delay if you’ve been thinking about making a contribution and becoming part of our literary community but never acted on it. Just click here to show your support for Alaska’s writers and their books.

Monday, March 3, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: “Bi-lingual Expressions, Parents and Poets.” At this event, Vered Mares and Melina Draper discuss their unusually close relations with their parents, their life and poetry. Melina Draper is author ofLater the House Stood Empty (2014). She and her mother, Argentinian poet Elena Lafert, are authors of the acclaimed book of poetry Place of Origin~Lugar de Origen–winner of the 2009 International Latino Book Award for Best Bilingual Poetry Book. Vered Mares is publisher of VP&D House. Her father, E.A. Tony Mares, is professor at University of New Mexico and renowned poet and translator. His books include Ode to los librotraficantes and Astonishing Light: Conversations I Never Had With Patrociño Barelo.

Thursday, Mar. 6, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: “Among 10,000: The AWP Conference and Literary Alaska.” At AWP Conference 2014, Cirque Literary Magazine, VP&D publishing house and UAA’s MFA Creative Writing Program shared a booth and represented Alaska. Why is this mega-writing conference important? How can an Alaska writer engage with AWP in the future? And what happens when students of Theodore Roethke share stories? Join poet and Cirque editor Sandy Kleven and literary colleagues to find out.

All UAA Campus Bookstore events are informal, free and open to the public. There is 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. For more information call Rachel Epstein at 786-4782 or email Visit iTunes U (search UAA or UAA Campus Bookstore) to find great literary events!

Friday, Mar. 7, 5:30-7:30pm, International Gallery of Contemporary Art, 427 D Street, Anchorage, there will be a First Friday opening reception for the exhibition Alaska Quarterly Review’s “Afghan Americans,” a photo essay by acclaimed documentary photographer Andrea Bruce, The exhibition runs through Saturday, March 29th. In this compelling work, intimacy and familiarity pervades Andrea Bruce’s exploration of how Afghan-Americans living in Afghanistan define themselves, and at how they bridge the two very different cultures that they love but often find to be at odds. “Afghan Americans: Diptychs,” published originally in AQR, was subsequently recognized and excerpted by The New Yorker. Friday, April 25 at TapRoot: Save the date for the AQR launch party for the next issue of this distinguished literary journal.


This time next week, many of you will be at AWP. If you plan to tweet from the conference (and we’d love it if you do), be sure to refer to the AWP Tweet Sheet!

Do you have a book signing planned at the AWP Book Fair? If so, let us know so we can help get the word out to Alaskan attendees. You can email us or post on the 49 Writers Facebook page.

Remember that registration is open for the annual Kachemak Bay Writers Conference, June 13-17, this year featuring keynote speak Alice Sebold. Be sure to secure your place and avoid disappointment. The conference fee includes entry to all conference activities, including opening dinner, workshops, and luncheons. The rates are:

  • $300 through 5pm, May 2, 2013 for UA admitted degree-seeking students
  • $375 through 5 p.m., May 2
  • $395 May 3 – June 12
  • $450 June 13 – space available
  • There are no daily rates.

As we announced last week, celebrated British-American writer Simon Winchester will keynote the fifth annual North Word Writers Symposium, May 28-31, 2014, in Skagway. Winchester is joined by a faculty of Alaska/Yukon authors that includes Alaska Writer Laureate Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer, Michael Gates, Nick Jans, Marcel Jolley, Heather Lende, Lael Morgan, John Straley, and Deb Vanasse. Faculty will serve on panels to discuss a variety of writing and publishing topics and will also give a public reading during one of the evening sessions. There will be time set aside for special one-on-one sessions with authors, participant reading, and a chance to have works published in a symposium journal. Course credit is available through University of Alaska Southeast. Registration is $300, and the symposium is limited to 50 participants. For more information go the the North Words website or email

The Sitka Symposium is back! July 20-26, the Island Institute will host Radical Imagining: Changing the Story with Stories of Change, featuring Winona LaDuke, Molly Sturges, Luis Urrea, and Alan Weisman. After a five-year hiatus, we are thrilled to bring back the Sitka Symposium in 2014 on the 30th anniversary of the founding of the program. We hope you can join us for what promises to be a challenging week of creative thinking with a stellar group of guests who will lead our discussions. Loyal Symposium fans will find many familiar features to the program as well as some changes. If you had always wanted to come but didn’t have the chance, now you do. And if this is the first you’ve heard about the Sitka Symposium, we hope you’ll attend and make it a habit. Go to the Island Institute website for more information and to register.

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