Literary Roundup | July 7-20, 2017

Have news, events, or opportunities you’d like to see listed here? Email details to info (at), preferably with “Roundup” as the subject. Items might get edited for length. Your message must be received by close of business the Wednesday before the roundup is scheduled to run at the latest. Unless your event falls in the “Opportunities and Awards” category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email. Thanks! 49 Writers Statewide Roundup appears biweekly, on the first and third Friday of each month. If your short-notice event occurs between a missed deadline and an upcoming Roundup, email us a heads up anyway, and if we can help spread the word in other ways, we will.  


Michael Engelhard‘s book American Wild just won the 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year gold medal for Adventure & Recreation writing. Kudos!

The application period closed and a cohort was selected and notified for our 8th Annual Tutka Bay Writers Retreat this September, led by Louise Erdrich. Thank you to everyone who applied; there was a great deal of interest. In the event of any cancellations, we will activate the waitlist. Other opportunities for the public to meet Erdrich will include a ticketed event in Anchorage on Wednesday evening, Sept 6, and a free public reading in Homer on Thursday, Sept 7. Details to come. Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, a National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and more. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.

An Alaska Native language advocate, a longtime librarian, an elementary school publishing program, and a project to give free books to children in Alaska’s airports are winners of the 2017 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards. University of Alaska Southeast professor Lance Twitchell, newly retired Anchorage librarian Sherri Douglas, Muldoon Elementary School in Anchorage, and the statewide Read on the Fly program were chosen from nominations submitted from around the state. The CLIA awards have been presented annually since 1993 by Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska’s liaison with the Library of Congress Center for the Book. The CLIAs honor people and programs that have made a significant contribution in literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written or spoken word. Nearly 80 individuals and agencies have been recognized over the years, ranging from authors, publishers and booksellers, to teachers and teacher aides, historians and linguists, and more. The 2017 CLIA winners will be recognized at a July 11 reception at Room 150 of the Arts Building on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. A dessert reception begins at 7:30 p.m., with the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. The awards will be followed by readings from authors Erin Coughlin Hollowell and Daryl Farmer, as part of the UAA Creative Writing and Literary Arts summer residency program. The evening events are free and open to the public.


Anchorage Sunday, July 9 through Tues, July 18, 2017. Public reading series from UAA’s creative writing MFA program. Public reception with Jo Ann Beard on Saturday, July 15. Details to come.

AnchorageMonday, July 10, 2017 from 4-6:00 pm, UAA Campus Bookstore
We Fought The Road
. Authors Christine and Dennis McClure, Jean Pollard, and Lael Morgan will discuss the building of the Alcan Highway as described in Christine father’s love letters written during WWII. Joining the discussion is Jean Pollard, who started the Alaska Highway Project, and author, publisher, and historian Lael Morgan. We Fought the Road is the story of the construction of the Alaska-Canada Highway during World War II where more than one third of the 10,607 builders were black.  The highway required punching through the wilderness on a route blocked by the Rocky Mountains and deadly permafrost during one of the worst winters on record. According to Christine McClure, We Fought The Road sets out to document the untold stories of the Alaska-Canada Highwayusing her father’s story to lead readers into the larger issues involved with the creation of the Alaska-Canada Highway and the cruel racism embedded in its construction. 2017 year marks the 75-year anniversary of the completion of the Alcan Highway. Free, with free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

ANCHORAGE | Sunday afternoon, July 16, 2017 ~ Alaska Writer Laureate Ernestine Saankalaxt’ Hayes will be reading, joined by sculptors Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein who will show their recent work. This collaboration is part of “Breath and Matter”, a Boston Sculptors Gallery project where visual artists and literary artists create a conversation between the physical medium of sculpture and tangible text.

ANCHORAGE | July 9-18, 2017 ~ Nightly readings at 8 pm in UAA’s Fine Arts Building Room 150, part of the Northern Renaissance Reading Series, part of the UAA Low-Residency Creative Writing MFA Program.

ANCHORAGE | Monday, July 24, 2017 from 4-6:00 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore
Kate Partridge
and Alyse Knorr return to Anchorage to read from and discuss their new poetry collections, Ends of the Earth and Mega-City Redux. Poet Alyse Knorr is the author of the Mega-City Redux (Green Mountains Review 2017), Copper Mother (Switchback Books 2016), and Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books 2013) and the non-fiction book Super Mario Bros. 3 (Boss Fight Books 2016). Poet Kate Partridge is the author of the Ends of the Earth (University of Alaska Press 2017) and the hybrid chapbooks Guide to Urban Reindeer (Essay Press 2017) and Intended American Dictionary (MIEL Books 2016). Both Alyse Knorr and Kate Partridge have taught at the UAA. Today, Alyse teaches English at Regis University and Kate is pursuing a PhD as a Dornsife/Graduate School Fellow at the University of Southern California. Free and open to the public. Free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

ANCHORAGE | Friday, July 28, 2017 from 4-6:00 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore
The Defiant Voice of Sandy Kleven: Poet, Writer, Editor, and Filmmaker ~ Sandy Kleven is an extraordinary woman whose open and honest nature has enhanced the lives of Alaskans. Editor of Cirque, a Literary Journal,  she is also author of the short film “To the Moon,” an homage to poet Theodore Roethke, and the poetry collections Defiance Street and Holy Land. Her writings have been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Oklahoma Review, F Magazine, Stoneboat and in the anthology, Cold Flashes (University of Alaska Press). Raised in Seattle, Sandy spent much of the last 33 years working in Alaska’s village communities.  Her early writing focused on the prevention of child sexual abuse throughout Alaska and led to her two children’s books The Right Touch and Talk about Touch. Sandy Kleven works as a clinical social worker. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from UAA. In 2015, she was inducted to the Northshore School District Wall of Honor for her contributions to the community and the world. Free parking at UAA on Fridays.


Denali National Park | July 9, 2017 6-8 PM at the Denali Education Center
Denali and the World: 100 Years of Boundaries & Migrations ~ National Parks are often framed as an escape, but Denali is more than a getaway. From migratory birds to social forces to global climate change, Denali is enmeshed with the wider world. Join three Alaskan writers as we mull over themes of respite and responsibility. Christine Byl is a trail-builder of 21 years and the author of Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods. She lives north of Healy, on the edge of the taiga and tundra, where she is at work on a novel. Erica Watson has lived most of her adult life on the boundary of Denali National Park. Her writing has most recently appeared on the Tin House blog,, and ROAR Feminist. She works as the communications coordinator for the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. Kim Heacox is the author of several books, including Rhythm of the Wild: A Life Inspired by Alaska’s Denali National Park. He and his wife Melanie live in Gustavus, where they are building the John Muir Alaska Leadership School. More

Denali National Park | July 21 – 23 – My Wilderness: Storytelling Workshop, a field course offered by Alaska Geographic through the Murie Science and Learning Center. Do you have a story to share about an experience in Denali or another wild land? Join expert story coaches from Anchorage storytelling program ARCTIC ENTRIES as they reveal the secrets to capturing and keeping an audience’s attention just by talking about yourself! Your story can be funny, inspiring, humbling, or something else entirely. Immersed in the wilderness of Denali, we will explore storytelling principles, share our own stories, and learn how to make our story the best it can be. The workshop will culminate with a group storytelling performance — starring you — on the final evening of the course, on the theme of “In the wilderness: stories of being outside, finding yourself, and the trail less traveled.” Course will stay at a field camp located 29 miles inside Denali National Park along the Teklanika River. The Field Camp includes rustic tent cabins and a common dining tent. All meals, accommodations, transportation, and instruction are included in the $400 course fee ($360 for Alaska Geographic members). Professional development credit is available through UAA. For more information or to register, go to, email or call 907-683-6432.


WRANGELL | Flying Island Writers & Artists group meets every other Monday 6:30-8:00 pm. Contact Vivian Faith Prescott for more information






Food writing retreat with Julia O’Malley and NYT’s Kim Severson at Tutka Bay LodgeJuly 21-23, 2017. $875 inclusive. Details.

The Wrangell Mountains Center presents Writing on the River: RiverSong from July 26-31, 2017, a six-day, five-night adventure in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This year’s workshop will feature river sprite and musical poet David Grimes, songwriter and journalist Brad Warren, and workshop director Nancy Cook. Together we will explore the ways wilderness can help inspire songs, stories, poems, and essays. Activities include an opening reading/performance and craft sessions in the comfort of the Wrangell Mountains Center’s facility in McCarthy, followed by three nights and four days of creative inquiry along the Kennicott, Nizina, Chitina, and Copper Rivers. Space is limited to nine student writers/ songwriters. More info

2017 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with Louise Erdrich will occur September 10-12, 2017. Application period is closed. More.


Alaska Women Speak is accepting submissions for Fall 2017: Berry Picking/Cherry Picking. Deadline for Submission: August 15, 2017. Guidelines:

The Alaska Writers Guild will award three separate $500 awards in this year’s Lin Halterman Memorial Award grant program. Deadline: August 15, 2017. More info

Alaska Humanities Forum launches new social practice grant, called HUMAN:ties, offering $10,000 to activate the imaginations of creators statewide to build an advocacy project that defines and illuminates the fabric of homelessness in our state. The application for this grant opportunity is now open and available to all Alaskans. Please visit for more information on the invitation and the grant application itself. ELIGIBILITY: 1. Anyone can define themselves as a “creator”. You do not need to be an “artist” as it’s conventionally defined. No portfolio or formal training necessary. You just need to be able to describe a vision of a project that illuminates the features of homelessness and reaches homeless populations. 2. All creative disciplines… including the literary arts… are eligible. More info here.

Alaska Book Week will be October 1-7, 2017. Authors interested in participating are encouraged to contact Elizabeth Waetjen at

September 30, 2017 is the deadline to apply for a 2018 artist residency at Denali National Park. Visual artists, writers, and composers are eligible.

What’s missing? Submit your event or announcement by May 30 to appear in the next Roundup, scheduled to post June 1. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to 

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