Literary Roundup | March 17-30, 2017

Have news, events, or opportunities you’d like to see listed here? Email details to info (at) with “Roundup” as the subject. Spread the word. 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.  


We wrapped a second year of Danger Close: Alaska, a special partnership with the Alaska Humanities Forum, whose mission is to connect Alaskans through stories, ideas, and experiences that positively change lives and empower communities. Our own mission is to support the artistic development of writers throughout Alaska, foster a writing community, and build an audience for literature. In 2016, the Alaska Humanities Forum and 49 Writers partnered to launch Danger Close: Alaska, an Anchorage-based writing workshop, public panel discussion, and small-run publication seeking to bridge the military-civilian divide by uniting veterans and civilians in the task of producing high-quality, war-themed writing. That was spearheaded by now-board member Matthew Komatsu, a writer pursuing his creative writing MFA through the fantastic low-residency University of Alaska Anchorage program.

In 2017, 49 Writers and Alaska Humanities Forum partnered again to host a reprisal of Danger Close: Alaska, which re-engaged the Anchorage community through a public Crosscurrents event and expanded to Juneau through a writing workshop and public Reading and Craft Talk at Mendenhall Valley library. All events featured Brian Castner, author of The Long Walk and All the Ways We Kill and Die. This program falls under AKHF’s Duty Bound initiative.

Authors Brian Castner and Don Rearden with moderator Matthew Komatsu in our most recent Danger Close: Alaska Crosscurrents event, last weekend in Anchorage, offered through a partnership with Alaska Humanities Forum

Registration is still open for upcoming classes in ANC (“Walking the Line” with Susanna J. Mishler) and FAI (“Minding the Minutiae” with Erica Watson). Learn more and register now!

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Congrats to Alaska Native writer Ishmael Hope on the pending release of his second poetry collection, Rock Piles Along the Eddy, to be released on March 21, 2017 from Ishmael Reed Publishing Company. More info

Storyknife Writers Retreat in Homer announced their 2017 residency fellows.

The anthology Building Fires in the Snow (University of Alaska Press 2016), edited by Martha Amore and Lucian Childs, is a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.

Palmer’s Colony High School freshman Isabella Weiss won this year’s statewide Poetry Outloud competition and will compete next month in Washington, DC at the national level. Congrats!

Capital City Weekly covered Roger Reeves’s Reading & Craft Talk at the Mendenhall Valley Library. That event was part of a three-city Alaska tour 49 Writers organized with partners and the support of the Alaska Humanities Forum.

Bjørn Olson made a book trailer for Nancy Lord‘s upcoming debut novel, pH:

Ernestine Hayes and Elizabeth Bradfield will both join the faculty of Northwoods Writers Conference this June at Bemidji State University.


ANCHORAGE | March 18, 2017, 5-9 pm | Book launch for Never Quit by Jimmy Settle with Don ReardenAnchorage Brewing Company, 148 West 91st Ave. Facebook event.

ANCHORAGE | March 24, 2017, 6 pm | AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller discuss, read, and sign Shadow Run at Barnes & Noble.

PALMER | March 25, 2017, 6 pm | Fireside Books presents an author dinner with Jeff Fair at Turkey Red | Jeff Fair wrote In Wild Trust: Larry Aumiller’s Thirty Years Among the McNeil River Brown Bears. Info and tickets.

ANCHORAGE | March 25, 2017, 6 pm at International Gallery of Contemporary Art (427 D Street)Latin Verbs, a performance by S. Hollis Mickey, is a 40 minute densely layered piece that unfolds a series of images that compose something that is at once exquisite and delicate, strange and grotesque. Situated in Root Cellar, an exhibition of embroideries by S Hollis Mickey, the performance realizes portions of the narrative told through thread in lived time. Tapes and chapbooks will be for sale (as well as embroideries) so that you can take the experience home with you. Facebook event 

ANCHORAGE | Monday, March 27, 5 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore | J. Pennelope Goforth presents the 150th Year Anniversary of the Alaska Commercial Company. Alaska Commercial Company (ACC) is Alaska’s largest and oldest rural retailer. Its roots trace back to 1776 when Catherine the Great granted trading rights to the Russian-American Trading Company. In 1867, when the United States bought Alaska from Russia, the new American corporation was formed out of the old and became the Alaska Commercial Company. Still vibrant today, the ACC’s role in Alaska and its mark on Alaska history will be the focus of this event. Pennelope Goforth is founder of SeaCat Explorations: Adventures in Alaska’s Maritime History. She is currently writing a book about the Alaska Commercial Co. business ledgers and logbooks from villages in the Aleutians that she discovered in Seattle. In addition, she is author of Sailing the Mail in Alaska, The Maritime Years of Alaska Photographer John E. Thwaite. Free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, March 29, 2017 , 7 pm at International Gallery of Contemporary Art (427 D Street) | Artist talk by S. Hollis Mickey, whose solo show Root Cellar is installed for the month of March. More:

ANCHORAGE | March 31-April 1, 2017 | Organized by the graduate students within the University of Alaska Anchorage English department, the Pacific Rim Conference on English Studies invites submissions in literature, rhetoric and composition, linguistics, anthropology, history, journalism, gender studies and other related fields.

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, April 1, 2017, 1 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore | Poet Anne Caston discusses Writing Deep Dixie, A Memoir and  Sea Change, her forthcoming poetry collection. A former nurse, a writer, and an educator, Anne Caston is a founding faculty member of the Low-Residency M.F.A Program in Creative Writing at UAA . Her poetry collections include Flying Out With The Wounded, Judah’s Lion, and Prodigal. She is currently working on a new collection of poems called Sea Change. Her forthcoming memoir, Deep Dixie: A Southerner’s Take on Life, Love, Friendship, Romance, Faith, and Coming-of-Age Among Southern Baptists is the focus of this event. Free parking at UAA on Saturdays. FREE

ANCHORAGE | Monday, April 3, 2017, 5:30 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore | Spanish Poet Jorge Manrique, 1440-1479 | UAA professors Dr. Rebeca Maseda Garcia (Dept. of Languages) Dr. Ray Ball (Dept. of History), and Dr. Patricia Fagan (Dept. of Languages) introduce Jorge Manrique’s classic poem “Coplas a la muerte de su padre” (Coplas on the Death of his Father) with historical background  and bilingual readings. Alaska Poet Laureate John Haines (1924-2010) recited and referred to this poem throughout his life.  Wherever and whenever he could, he would recite stanzas–even to his dying day. This event, held in memory of John Haines, will explain the meaning and significance of this timeless masterpiece in world literature. Poets everywhere are encouraged to attend. A command of Spanish is not necessary. Free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

EAGLE RIVER | The Living Room Reading Series is held every 2nd Wednesday 7-9 pm at Jitters, features writers and book lovers. Sign up to read, or come listen. Jitters Coffee House 11401 Old Glenn Highway

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, April 6 5 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore | Sheila Watt-Cloutier presents her memoir, The Right to Be Cold, which argues that climate change is a human rights issue that inextricably links all of us on the planet. Sheila Watt-Cloutier is one of the most recognized environmental and human rights advocates in the world. In 2002, under her leadership as the international chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the world’s first international legal action on climate change was launched with a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In 2007, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work illustrating the connection and impact global climate change has on human rights. Her numerous awards include the Aboriginal Achievement Award, the UN Champion of the Earth Award, and the Norwegian Sophie Prize. Free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

ANCHORAGE | “Walking the Line” poetry workshop with Susanna J. Mishler. April 8, 2017, 2-6 pm |”What exactly is a poetic line made of? What difference does it make where the line “breaks?” In this workshop participants will examine lines by contemporary English-language poets which are used to achieve very different effects. We will also experiment with lineation strategies and types with in-class exercises. Our exercises and guided discussion will help illuminate what makes a strong poetic line, and how an understanding of poetic lines can enhance our own writing and reading. Suitable for poets and prose writers, as well as readers who would like to broaden their knowledge of poetic craft.” | Susanna J. Mishler’s poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mid-American Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poems, Termination Dust, was published by Red Hen Press/Boreal Books in 2014. Susanna holds an MFA in Poetry from The University of Arizona in Tucson, where she served as a poetry editor for Sonora Review. She’s the recipient of a Peter Taylor Fellowship in Poetry from the Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop, and the Bill Waller Writing Award from the University of Arizona. $55 members, $65 nonmembers. All experience levels welcome. Click here and scroll down to register.

ANCHORAGE | April 20, 2017, 7 pm (come early for tea or snacks) at Indigo Tea Lounge (530 East Benson). 49 Writers Reading and Craft Talk Series presents Julie MeMay, “An Alchemy of Words: Mystery and Clarity in a Poem”. The best poems create a sense of mystery without being obscure or unfathomable; they provide a sense of discovery for both the writer and the reader. As a writer what can we do to foster this in our own work? This lecture will discuss the use of imagery, metaphor, and other poetic techniques that can help balance the abstract and concrete. Julie will also discuss methods for generating new poems and honing one’s writing strengths. Brief reading, craft talk, Q&A, and signing. FREE. More info about this series

ANCHORAGE | April 27, 2017 at 7 pm, at Great Harvest Bread Co. (570 E. Benson) | National Poetry Month reading featuring poets participating in the 3rd Annual Savor the Rising Words Poetry Broadside Invitational Exhibit. Broadside entries from poets across Alaska (or with ties to Alaska) will be accepted until April 4, 2017. More info about the exhibit and reading.

The 2017 Mat-Su Young Writers Conference, April 29, sponsored by Publication Consultants and the Mat-Su School District, seeks speakers to present on a number of writerly topics. To apply as an author speaker, contact Evan Swensen at evan@Publication

3rd Annual Alaska Audiobook Narrator’s Workshop, presented by Basil Sands. “This could be your ticket to making a good living as an audiobook narrator. Thousands of new audiobooks are being produced every year and the demand keeps growing. And with modern technology, narration work that was once only available if you lived in LA or NYC is now available even here in Alaska!” Friday, May 26, 2017, 9 am until 5 pm, Alaska Communications Business Technology Center, Anchorage. $150. If you are interested email to basil at basilsands dot com with your name and an indication of your experience level, if any, in the following areas: audiobooks, stage acting, on camera acting, radio work.


FAIRBANKS | Permafrost literary magazine issue 39.1 release party, March 31, 2017, 8 pm at The Pub in UAF’s Wood Center.  More info

FAIRBANKS | April 1, 2017, 5 pm at Dog Mushers Hall, elegy honoring Derick Burleson. “Bring poems, anecdotes, and a dish you would like to share. Wear tie dye if you are willing.” Questions:

FAIRBANKS | Prose writing workshop with Erica Watson, three consecutive Saturdays, 2-5 PM, April 8, 15, 22, 2017 / 3 hour sessions (9 total) / all experience levels welcome.  | “Minding the Minutiae: For many of us, the drive to write comes not from a need to tell a particular story, but rather to explore an idea, a fragmented memory, or an obsession. There is often a great distance between what interests the writer and what compels a reader. In this course, students will focus on techniques for identifying and relaying meaning to readers. We will study writers who produce dynamic and thoughtful nonfiction books and essays using their own lives as starting points rather than primary subjects. We will examine how research, metaphor, and syntax can propel narratives of discovery, even if, as many of us fear about our own lives, nothing much actually happens. Students will produce new work in class, provide each other with feedback, and leave with tools to move their work forward.” Erica Watson is an essayist living on the boundary of Denali National Park. She is a 2014 graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage MFA program, where she was awarded the Wenger Award for Excellence. Her work has appeared recently in Edible Alaska, Pilgrimage, the Denali National Park Climate Change Anthology, and she has forthcoming pieces in and High Desert Journal. $125 members / $145 nonmembers. Click here (and scroll down) to register online.   


JUNEAU | Woosh Kinaadeiyí Open Mic and Poetry Slam occurs every third Friday. The next event is Friday, March 17, 2017, the second competitive poetry slam of their seventh season. This event will be held on the 3rd Floor of the Senate building in downtown Juneau (175 South Franklin Street). Community members of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to attend. Signups to perform start at 6:30 pm. Woosh Kinaadeiyí is a nonprofit organization committed to diversity, inclusive community, and empowering voice and organizes these free to low cost monthly events for the community. Learn more at For questions, contact Christy NaMee Eriksen, Woosh Kinaadeiyi President,; donations welcome.






North Words Writers Symposium will be May 31-June 3, 2017 in Skagway, Alaska. This year’s keynote speaker is world world travel and fiction writer Paul Theroux. After writing nearly fifty books of nonfiction and fiction set in the most exotic of locales, America’s greatest travel writer is finally headed for one of Alaska’s most notorious: Skagway. Paul Theroux will lead a faculty of seven acclaimed authors at the 8th annual North Words Writers Symposium. A maximum of 50 registrants at the 2017 North Words Symposium will also engage with a faculty of Alaskan writers that includes John Straley, Sherry Simpson, Deb Vanasse, Tom Kizzia, Andy Hall, and Lenora Bell. Learn more and sign up soon; 50 participants max.

2017 Kachemak Bay Writers Conference will occur June 9-13, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. Keynote speaker will be Jane Smiley. Details and more.

2017 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat will occur September 10-12, 2017. Faculty to be announced very soon. Details.


The 3rd Annual Savor the Rising Words Broadside Invitational Exhibit, a partnership between 49 Writers and Great Harvest Bread Co. in Anchorage, is presently accepting broadsides. Deadline is April 4, 2017. The poetry broadside exhibition will be displayed during National Poetry Month. Learn more and download and entry form:

Cirque is now accepting prose, poetry, and visual art submissions. Send to by March 21, 2017

Permafrost literary magazine wants your experimental, weird, and best writing for its New Alchemy Contest. Deadline April 15, 2017, fee: $15. Also, issue release party on March 31, 2017, 8 pm at the Pub. More info
The Northern Review seeks submissions for their third literary issue (as opposed to scholarly issues), to be published in Fall 2017. Details below. Submission accepted through May 31, 2017

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