Literary Roundup | June 15-21, 2018

Someone told me the other day that he and his friends used to say, “If summer is on a Saturday this year, we should have a barbecue!” He was from Wyoming, but it seemed like a very Alaskan sentiment too. We race around taking in as much daylight and good weather as we can, and sometimes rejoice in a rainy day to finally “relax” or get indoor work done.

You might have heard that 49 Writers just finished two well-attended events with visiting author Nicole Dieker in Juneau. Thanks to all who came out to hear and learn. The next two weeks bring us two great events in Anchorage: Poetry Solstice, a reading featuring Peggy Shumaker, James Engelhardt, and Erin Coughlin Hollowell on June 19, and the third installment of Danger Close Alaska 2018 on June 27 with our board member and veteran Matt Komatsu along with special guest Rebeckah Hastings.

Don’t forget that the application period for our 2018 Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with guest author Hannah Tinti closes on June 30. If you’re thinking of attending, now is the time to apply! More details on Tutka and much more below.

Happy writing,



ANCHORAGE | Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 7 PM at The Writer’s Block Bookstore and Café in Spenard | 49 Writers presents Poetry Solstice: A Reading and Book Launch. This event celebrates the launching of three new titles from Boreal Books, a Red Hen Press imprint that’s been publishing Alaskan literature for 10 years. Peggy Shumaker, Erin Coughlin Hollowell, and James Engelhardt will each read from their new collections, respectively titled Cairn: New and Selected, Every Atom, and Bone Willows.

ANCHORAGE | June 20, 2018 at 7 PM | Poetry Parley at The Writer’s Block Bookstore and Café with featured poet Sean Ulman, reading works by Alexander Pushkin and Jorge Luis Borges. Based in Seward, Ulman is a member of the Seward Writers Collective and edited Seward Unleashed Vol 2. Alexander Pushkin was born in 1799 in Moscow and his first major work as the poem Rusland and Ludmila. Jorge Luis Borges was born in 1988 in Argentina. Considered one of the foremost figures in world literature of the 20th century largely due to his complex original short stories.

ANCHORAGE | June 2018 | The University of Alaska Campus Bookstore is holding a couple literary events in the coming weeks. These events will be held at the Consortium Library, room 307.

  • Thursday, June 21 from 1-3 PM | Tim Kennedy presents “Skyriver Project: Where the Rivers Meet the Sky: A Collaborative Approach to Participatory Development.” The event will highlight how the Lower Yukon Project used film-making as a vehicle for their participatory development goals. Kennedy was the director of the Lower Yukon Project, in Emmonak, in the early 1970s. This experience was the subject of his book, Where the Rivers Meet the Sky: A Collaborative Approach to Participatory Development.
  • Thursday, June 21, from 5-7 PM | Craig Childs presents his new book, Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America. The book chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans’ chances for survival. Childs has won the Orion Book Award (among several other awards), holds a BA in Journalism from Colorado University, is a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition, and has taught writing for the UAA MFA Program.

ANCHORAGE | June 27, 7 pm |49 Writers and Alaska Humanities Forum are proud to present the third Danger Close Alaska 2018, the third year of joint programming meant to build a literary community of civilians and veterans. Everyone is welcome to attend. This year, Danger Close Alaska takes place one night a month for six consecutive months. Advanced registration is required for each session; participants need not have attended prior sessions to participate. Fee includes gourmet pizza. Registration for the next program will open soon!  June 27, please join currently-serving veteran, writer, and 49 Writers Board Member Matthew Komatsu at Hearth Artisan Pizza for an evening of food, drink, discussion, and writing around the topic of love. This month, Matt will be joined by Rebeckah Hastings, singer-songwriter and member of the Veteran Spouses Project. Rebeckah wrote and performed original music for I Will Wait, a touring performance art piece recently staged at UAA’s mainstage theater. This workshop will likely sell out. Sign up in advance on the Danger Close web site.

GIRDWOOD | Monday-Friday, August 6-10, 2018 | Girdwood Fine Arts Camp: A week-long class on writing and drawing comics with Anchorage cartoonist Lee Post, journalist Julia O’Malley, and book binder Jimmy Jordan. The camp will be focused on writing and drawing graphic novels and comics: For four hours per day, students will work with experienced comic and writing professionals. They will be introduced to drawing techniques including character design, perspective and thumbnailing. The class will be lead by visiting artist John G. John, a Cleveland based cartoonist known for his work on the Lake Eerie Monster. He will be accompanied by Anchorage-based journalist Julia O’Malley and cartoonist Lee Post. Julia will teach writing alongside John, taking what she knows about breaking down complex stories and finding what is important and compelling, and translating it to plotting graphic fiction. Lee will share his unique style of character design and other drawing tricks, many of which he has honed through other teaching artist gigs. Ages 10-18. Learn more on the community website here.


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

JUNEAU | Saturday, June 23, 2018, at 7:30 PM | Summer Showcase: “Starry Night” Poetry Slam by Woosh Kinaadeiyi. It will be a night of local poetry with musical accompaniment. Food and drink will be available. Located at the Rockwell Ballroom. Tickets $20 for adults, $15 for ages 12 and under, available at or from Hearthside Books. Doors open at 7 PM.

HOONAH | June 30 – July 6, 2018 | Environmental Rhetoric: A 3-credit course through University of Alaska Southeast. Join professor Dan Henry at Inian Islands institute for this intensive course on environmental Rhetoric and become a stronger, more persuasive environmental leader. 12 participants. Fee: $400. Meals, lodging, and transport from Juneau provided. For more info please contact professor Dan Henry at and include a short paragraph on what the class could do for you.


McCARTHY | July 26-29, 2018 | Women and the Frontier: Memoir writing workshop. Participants will discover some of the women who traversed Alaska’s frontiers, with artist-in-resident Marianne Monson, the author of Frontier Grit. Through a variety of writing exercises, discussion, and on-location prompts, participants will explore the concepts of wilderness and frontiers in our own lives. Meals and lodging included. Fee: $445. More info and registration here.

TUTKA BAY LODGE | The 9th Annual 49 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with Hannah Tinti will take place September 7-9, 2018. This generative writers retreat blends craft talks, in-class writing, readings, and discussion with unstructured time to experience the immersive natural environment or concentrate further on writing. Your weekend of instruction and inspiration will take place at Tutka Bay Lodge, named by Fodor in 2012 as one of the World’s Top 100 places to stay. Tutka Bay is a remote and rugged fjord characterized by soaring mountains, secluded beaches, old growth forest, and dramatic tidal fluctuations. To get there you fly or drive to the fishing community of Homer on the Kenai Peninsula (225 miles south of Anchorage) then take a 20-minute water taxi ride across Kachemak Bay. On the way you will observe a variety of shore and water birds, and there is always the possibility of sighting sea otters, orcas, and humpbacks. Apply now!  Hannah Tinti is the author of three books of fiction. Her short story collection, Animal Crackers, has sold in sixteen countries and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award. Her best-selling novel, The Good Thief, is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, recipient of the American Library Association’s Alex Award, winner of the The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award. Her new novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, was published in March 2017 by The Dial Press (U.S.A.) and Tinder Press (U.K.), and has been optioned by director Matt Reeves/6th & Idaho, producer Michael Costigan/Cota Films & Endemol Shine. It has been nominated for an Edgar Award, and was named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, The Washington Post and Paste MagazineApply now! 


Alaska Writers Guild‘s quarterly writing contest, open to members and non-members alike, is open to fiction submissions through May 25, children’s lit through August 24, and poetry through November 16, 2018. More details: Hometown Reads is in Anchorage! A website dedicated to locating authors near you, Hometown Reads has a section for Anchorage. Sign up to have your book displayed and join the Facebook page to brainstorm ways to advertise and sell books locally. Check it out at

Anthology publication Black Coffe & Vinyl is accepting submissions for its current theme, “Ice Culture.” The publication will accept literature, visual art, and music, and be available both online and in print. Submission deadline is May 31. Details here.

What’s missing? Submit your announcement for the next Roundup. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to 

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