Remembering Eva Saulitis

Alaskan writer and poet, Eva Saulitis passed away this
weekend. Eva has touched almost every writer in the state in one way or
another, through her writing, her teaching, her kindness, her support, her
example of living completely and authentically.

On Saturday, I watched as people grappled with her passing
by posting memories on Facebook, excerpts of her writing, photographs of her
exuberant smile. I felt a certain peace in knowing that others were grieving
as well; as if the weight of my sorrow was lessened a bit because it was
carried by so many others. This is the writing community of Alaska – brave and
I could write more, tell you stories about the Eva I knew.
I’m betting that many of us could. But her words are more eloquent than any of
mine. I turn you to her work, poetry in Many
Ways to Say It
and Prayer in Wind.
Prose in Leaving Resurrection, Into Great Silence, and forthcoming in Becoming Earth. Her work in AQR and
other literary magazines. All of it generous and insightful.
The last time I saw Eva, I told her how much her friendship
and her writing meant to me. We talked about how often we thought of each other
in the early mornings, just five miles apart, scribbling in our journals,
looking out at the same mountains. I’m glad I had a chance to hold her hand and
tell her how much I respected and cared for her.
And so I’m going to ask you to join me in affirming that we
will not let our busy lives squeeze out the opportunity to share our admiration
and support for our fellow writers. Every voice is important, everything you write
adds to a great store of goodness, and every time you share your work and
share your respect, you enrich the world.
Get out there and pay attention to the world, then write
about it.
take care,


She lay down upon rough low plants. Unbuttoned
blouse. Laid strips of moss across scalpel’s track.
Gauzed, fern by fern, a glade upon. Shrouded
torso, eye to ankle, in swaths of fleabane, iris,
hellebore. Tattooed back in cranberry ink &
nettle-scratch. Body deconstructed by plant
& mineral, self replaced, cell by cell by soil
by water. Grafted onto earth’s skin. Adorned finger
bones with bones of deer & marten. Mind changed into
mind of meadow. Accomplished in an eye-blink
when God’s ruthless gaze turned a moment away
from Eden.

~by Eva Saulitis, the final poem in Prayer in Wind

5 thoughts on “Remembering Eva Saulitis”

  1. Erin, I'm so glad you wrote this. It's not only a thoughtful tribute to Eva, it also encourages the good work she did that we'll miss so much–building up, connecting, remaining open. And of course, writing through it all.
    With thanks for all you do.

  2. Somehow, sweetly sad. Last week I posted in the dark morning of about 9 an. She said "I am watching it, too." She was right there. Contemplative and responsive. Thank you, Eva. For something so sweet.

  3. Thank you Erin. I love these words: " Every voice is important, everything you write adds to a great store of goodness…" We needed to hear that today.

  4. Sharron Reed Gavin

    Thank you. Every living soul on this planet has suffered a great loss whether they know it or not. Eva was a gift to this world.

  5. Thank you, Erin, for that lovely tribute to Eva as a friend and as a writer. She was so unpretentious for such an impressive person, with so many accomplishments.

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