Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

Richard Dauenhauer and Nora Marks Dauenhauer take questions about their work.

Our thanks go to Alaska State Writer Laureate Nora Marks Dauenhauer and former Poet Laureate Richard Dauenhauer for their most enjoyable reading last Friday at the UAA/APU Consortium Library. Selections covered the full range of their work, from Nora’s ever-popular “How to Make Good Baked Salmon” to Richard’s personal poetry (including his newly-published collection, Benchmarks), to his translations of Rilke and even early Greek poets! We are grateful to the David Stevenson and Sherry Simpson of the UAA Department of Creative Writing & Literary Arts for partnering to make this event possible and to record it for podcast (coming soon), and to Rachel Epstein and her staff at the UAA Campus Bookstore for ensuring that books were on hand for sale.

Thank you to Tom Kizzia for an insightful craft talk last night on the three-year process of writing Pilgrim’s Wilderness (a “True Crime” story if you want to find it at major bookstores…). Challenges he dealt with included focusing on the real story (“Papa Pilgrim’s journey to hell”) and getting the clutter out of the way; integrating the backstory; paying attention to endings–sentences and chapters; and finding a respectful and objective way to talk about the Pilgrim family’s faith and fundamentalism. We had a great turnout from an appreciative audience who had plenty of questions for Tom.

The next 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk takes place on Saturday, Nov. 9, 7pm at Great Harvest Bread Company and features visiting author David Abrams (Fobbit), in Alaska for a reading in Fairbanks on Friday, Nov.8, as part of the UAF Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series (David earned his MFA in Creative Writing at UAF). The talk, “How to Write a War Story,” will explain why he decided to turn his combat experience in Iraq into fiction and what that means for our larger perception of this 21st-century conflict.

We hope to see you too at the next event in our Crosscurrents series on Thursday, Nov. 14, 7pm, at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center Auditorium. “On the Edge of Publishing” features Alaska writers Martha Amore, Kris Farmen, and Buffy McKay, who come together to talk about how they worked as a team to create the novella collection Weathered Edge, each contributing a distinct voice and unique perspective to the process. Publisher Vered Mares will moderate the discussion of what worked and what didn’t, and why. Q&A session and book signing to follow.

A big THANK YOU goes to the writers in the Juneau area who responded to our recent survey, following my visit at the beginning of the month. You provided some great feedback and suggestions that will help us plan future programming there.

The call for proposals for our spring 2014 classes and workshops is open! If you’d like to teach for 49 Writers, you can find more information and instructor guidelines on our website. Deadline for submission is Friday, November 15.

Today, Oct. 25, 6:30pm, Juneau Downtown Public Library: Reading by Ray Troll, author and illustrator of children’s books such as Sharkabet and science books for children and adults such as Ray Troll’s Shocking Fish Tales: Fish, Romance, and Death in Pictures. Free and open to all ages.

Oct. 27, 1-4pm,
Library: Colored pencil drawing workshop with Ray Troll. Free, with all art
supplies provided. SPACE IS LIMITED to the first 30 participants; contact Andi
Hirsh at 586-0442 or to sign up in advance. This event
is sponsored by the Friends of the Juneau Public Library.

Monday, Oct. 28, 5-7pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore: Sandra Kleven presents a special production of “I Teach Out of Love, ” a brilliant play in which literary icon Theodore Roethke comes to life. It includes readings written by his former students (poets Richard Hugo, David Wagoner, James Wright, Jack Gilbert, Carolyn Kizer) plus a segment from the play “First Class” by David Wagoner, which focuses on Roethke the teacher. The script is written by Sandra Kleven with cast members Jerry McDonnell as Theodore Roethke, Jason Eisert as David Wagoner, and Elizabeth L Thompson as Tess Gallagher.

BEWARE… RANCOROUS DEAD WRITERS ARE ALMOST HERE AND THEY HAVE A BONE TO PICK ! Saturday, Nov. 2, 7-10pm, at the Blue Loon, Fairbanks, the UAF English Department presents its annual fundraiser, The Dead Writers Reading and Raffle. Participants dress up as deceased literary figures and deliver performances from their works, winning prizes for costumes, performances, and at random throughout the evening. You must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Contact Eric Parker at for more information.All proceeds go directly towards funding the Midnight Sun Visiting Writer’s Series. Hope to see you there with friends, family, and nostalgia for writers past!

Thursday, Nov. 7, 11:30 am-1pm, Kinley’s Restaurant: the Alaska Professional
Communicators monthly luncheon presents filmmaker, Mary Katzke. In 2010 Mary
Katzke and her 10 year old son, Corin, sold everything and began the adventure
of a lifetime. 28 countries and a world education later, Katzke and her
son share their adventures in the documentary “World School.” Come hear
about their travels and how the trip came together.

Nov. 8, 10:30am-2pm,
UAA Student Center
Den: 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 Anchorage. Join us at 9am for a breakfast panel about
Mountain View, including a literary reading by Mary Kudenov. 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.  Parking is free on
Fridays.  For questions or
more information, contact Bree Kessler at  The workshop is free and open to
anyone in the community with a story to tell. 
The reading, panel discussion, and writing workshop are all part
of ENGAGE Week: Urban in
sponsored by the UAA Center for Community Engagement and Learning
(CCEL).  ENGAGE Week 2013 (Nov. 4–10)
features dialogues, panels, workshops, and outdoor events that highlight the
strengths and challenges of the “Urban in Alaska.”  Click here for more information.

The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) and the Alaska Humanities Forum (AKHF) are pleased to announce that nominations are now 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 Friday, Nov. 15. Nominations are now being accepted online. For additional information, please visit the ASCA web site.

The Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska, as part of
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, is proud to announce its second annual Writing
Contest. The theme is “Memorable Moments of Care” and all rules and guidelines
are available on their
website. The grand prize is 40,000 Alaska Airline miles! Deadline is
Friday, November 29, 5pm.

AUTHOR SIGNATURES NEEDED! Rebecca Goodrich is looking for Alaskan authors to sign quilt squares. Friends of the lovely San Juan Capistrano Library in southern California is collecting author signatures on quilt squares. These squares, with autograph and a book title, will become a Children’s Books Quilt, a Novel Quilt, etc. It’s great way to promote your titles! Contact Rebecca at to arrange to stop by and sign your square. She will then forward them to the library.

Last week, in Sitka at the annual meetings of
the Alaska Historical Society and Museums Alaska, awards were handed out for
outstanding work, research and writing on Alaska history. Tom Walker was
selected the Alaska Historian of the Year for his book
The Seventymile Kid, the biography of Harry Karstens.
Congratulations, Tom!

Our Alaskan writers continue to garner national recognition. When this year’s edition of Best American Essays came out this month, Cinthia Ritchie and Bill Sherwonit were mentioned as Notables, even though their fine writing was not selected for inclusion in the final volume, selected and introduced by Cheryl Strayed. Cinthia’s “Running” WAS, however, published in Best American Sports Writing 2013, and you can read it here. Bill’s essay, “The Last Nature Writer,” was published in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Winter.

1 thought on “Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup”

  1. Wow, thanks so much for posting. I had NO idea that my essay was a "Best American Essay" Notable. Too, too cool. And congrats to you, too, Bill.
    Cheers and happy writing everyone.

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