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49 Writers | Roundup for Literary Alaska

49 Writers - Fri, 07/29/2016 - 5:30am

Congrats to former Alaska poets and 49 Writers instructors Alyse Knorr and Kate Partridge, selected by judge Olena Kalytiak Davis as winner and a finalist, respectively, of the First Annual Green Mountains Review Book Prize in poetry. Alyse's book, Mega-City Redux, will be published this fall. Learn more
Julia O'Malley's food writing workshop, held at board member Kirsten Dixon's incredible Tutka Bay Lodge, was written up in the New York Times Food newsletter... and Tom Kizzia's book Pilgrim's Wilderness even gets a shout out.  

Speaking of Tutka Bay Lodge, we have one last spot available for our Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with Debra Magpie Earling. Claim it! 

And... speaking some more of Tutka... specifically two fantastic alums: Wendy Willis interviews Alaska author Debbie Clarke Moderow in the Los Angeles Review of Books.  

A wee bird said Daniel Henry's book, Across the Shaman's River: John Muir, the Tlingit Stronghold, and the Opening of the North will be published by University of Alaska Press in Fall 2017. 

Cirque: A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim issue 14 (or Volume 7, No. 2) is now available. For seven years, Cirque has published the work of Alaskan and Pacific Northwest writers. It's viewable for free online, with hard copies available for purchase. The editors accept work from Alaska, Yukon Territory, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, and Chukotka. The new issue was already launched in Anchorage; upcoming out-of-state events are listed below.  

SOUTHCENTRALEowyn Ivy: To the Bright Edge of the World book launch party
PALMER | Tuesday, August 2nd, 6:30 pm at the Palmer Depot (610 S Valley Way). Open to the public. Reserve a copy through Fireside Books at or by calling (907) 745-2665
Ashley Sweeney Book SigningsANCHORAGE | 1) Monday, Aug. 15, 1-3 pm at the Anchorage Museum and 2) Aug. 18, 6-8 pm at Barnes & Noble. Author Ashley Sweeney will sign copies of her new novel, Eliza Waite. The book is part diary, part recipe file, and part Gold Rush. Sweeney did extensive research for this book at the Anchorage Museum. A native New Yorker, Ashley E. Sweeney lives and writes in La Conner, Washington. She is a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, MA and is an award-winning journalist in Washington State. Included with Museum admission.INTERIORThe Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival FAIRBANKS | July 17-31, 2016. See below or here for info on the creative writing programing. The Festival offers more than 200 workshops and 100 performances in music, dance, visual arts, literary arts, theatre, culinary arts, and healing arts for people who are enthusiastic about the fine arts. 
FAIRBANKS | Fairbanks Arts Association hosts the oldest literary reading series in the state. Every month, writers reading their own work publicly at a community meet-up where people can connect with other lovers of literature. Readings are held on the day after First Friday, usually the first Saturday of the month at 7 pm. Most reading are held in the Bear Gallery in Pioneer Park, although occasionally in the summer (June, July, and August) the weather is beautiful reading are held outside to another spot in Pioneer Park. Upcoming: August 6Paul GreciSeptemberUAF Faculty ReadingOctoberTBANovemberTBADecemberRosemary McGuireAdditional readings and events may be held, but the First Saturday Literary Reading Series is monthly at 7 pm the day after First Friday (except February). 

SOUTHEAST Woosh Kinaadeiyi's Summer Showcase Redux JUNEAU | Tuesday, July 29th at 7pm, at KTOO / 360 Egan Drive, Alaska. KTOO Alaska Originals series presents Woosh Kinaadeiyí has has been given the opportunity to take part in KTOO’s “Alaska Originals” series. “Alaska Originals” is KTOO’s statewide TV (360 North Television) and radio program that features Alaskan musicians and artists sharing original work. The performance will be recorded for broadcast throughout Alaska. All are invited to be a part of the studio audience. Woosh Kinaadeiyí will offer spoken word performances from ZIggy Unzicker, Ryan Carrillo, Mike Christenson, and Christy NaMee Eriksen! All poetry will be accompanied by Jacob Pickard, with host Conor Lendrum. Doors will open at 6:30 and the show will start at 7 sharp. Admission will be pay as you can, and seating is limited. Learn more about 360 North, KTOO or the “Alaska Originals” series, here.

BOTHELL, WASHINGTON | A Cirque reading will be held on August 19, 5:30 pm, at Tsuga Gallery on Main Street. more info  

BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON | A Cirque reading will be held at the Mount Baker Theater, Encore Room, August 28, 2016 at 3 pm. more info   

PORTLAND, OREGON | Author David Stevenson reads from his new book, Warnings Against Myself, at Mother Foucault's Bookshop, August 11th, 7 pm. More

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Creative Writing ClassJuly 18-29th, 2016,  M-F 9:00-4:20  FAIRBANKS | This class is open to people with all levels of writing skills. The focus is on generating new work. Students will write every day under the guidance of the Festival staff. Each day will offer directed writing activities and close readings of literature from a writer's perspective. We will discuss poetry and prose, and students may write either or both. The class will focus on generating new writing. Students will practice several stages of the writing process: beginning, drafting and revising. 1 week  $210, two weeks $395 | University credit is available, with separate registration.  
2016 Tutka Bay Writers RetreatSeptember 9-11th, 2016 TUTKA BAY LODGE | This 49 Writers program takes place at the fantastic Tutka Bay Lodge. Faculty instructor award-winning writer Debra Magpie Earling will lead fiction writers in an in-depth writing workshop. Emphasizing in-class writing supportiveness, collegiality, and a constructive atmosphere, the engaged student will emerge with improved techniques for further work. Registration is $600 for members and $650 for nonmembers. Learn more and register.

2016 Alaska Writers Guild Annual Conference for Writers & IllustratorsSeptember 24th plus optional intensives and roundtables on Sept. 23rd.ANCHORAGE | This year's conference is a partnership between Alaska Writers Guild, 49 Writers, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. This all-day event takes place at the BP Energy + Conference Center and includes keynotes and panels, as well as writing craft, marketing, traditional publishing, self publishing, children's literature, illustration tracks. Sign up for optional Intensives or Roundtable Critiques, or take advantage of One-on-One Manuscript Excerpt Reviews. Early bird discount extended until July 31st at only $95 for AWG/49 Writers/SCBWI members or $145 for non-members. More info and registration here.  

The North Words Writers Symposium has announced their 2017 dates: May 31-June 3rd, which should better accommodate educators. More details to come. 

Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program application period is open until August 15, 2016. Eligible creative writers or media artists are invited to apply for fully-funded, two-month-long writing residencies in 2017 at Djerassi Resident Artists Program in the Santa Cruz Mountains near San Francisco. Alaska writers who have received the award in prior years include Arlitia Jones, Christine Byl, Ernestine Saankalaxt' Hayes, and Rosemary McGuire. Artists of other disciplines are eligible to apply for residencies elsewhere, too. Learn more and apply.   
The Alaska Literary Awards are open to poets, playwrights, screenwriters, writers of fiction and literary nonfiction, writers of multi-genre, cross-genre, or genre-defying work. Any Alaska writer over 18 who is not a full-time student is eligible to apply. Quality of the work is the primary consideration in determining who receives the awards. $5,000 awards will be given, all from privately donated funds. Apply at by Sept. 1, 2016 at 9:59 AKDT. 

In early August, the Alaska State Council on the Arts will seek nominations for the 2017 Governor's Awards for the Arts, as well as the next Alaska State Writer Laureate. The deadline for nominations for Governor's Awards for the Arts is September 15, 2016 and nominations for State Writer Laureate will be accepted through October 3, 2016. This year, the categories for the Governor's Awards for the Arts are: Arts Education, Individual Artist, Arts Organization and Alaska Native Arts. The Governor's Awards for the Arts and Humanities ceremony will be held in Juneau on Thursday, January 26, 2017. Visit ASCA's website here for information about last year's Governor's Awardees, and here for the Alaska State Writer Laureate program.

Ghostwriting opportunity | A search is underway to find an experienced ghostwriter to write a series of twelve non-fiction articles for publication. These articles will be about the history of an immigrant family arriving in Alaska in the late '40s. The selected ghostwriter will be expected to agree on the proposed content and timeline for a series of articles and then interview the client and develop the articles from the interviews. Interested writers are invited to provide a CV, recent examples of work as a ghostwriter, demonstration of the ability to write in the client’s voice, examples/references which show an ability to meet deadlines and communicate effectively and efficiently, references which show an ability to work well with a client to enable a sharing of ideas, fact checking and research skills, pay rate, ability to discuss ideas and research with the client in a non-judgmental way; description of process to give the client the opportunity to approve, ask questions and give feedback on the material, and agreement to sign a nondisclosure agreement. If interested, please send required documents and your rates to by Friday, August 19, 2016.  

Thank You for Your Support!49 Writers members and donors make this blog possible, along with our workshops, Crosscurrents events, readings and craft talks, and other programs. Not a member yet? Join Us 
Have news or events you'd like to see listed here? Email details to 49roundup (at) Your message must be received by noon on the Thursday before the roundup is scheduled to run. Unless your event falls in the "Opportunities and Awards" category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email. 

Categories: Arts & Culture

Spotlight on Alaska Books | Trucker Dude by John Foley

49 Writers - Thu, 07/28/2016 - 10:09am
"We were hiking down this trail outside of Anchorage, and we see a moose blocking the trail… Big animal, so we stopped and were thinking about cutting through the woods to get around… Then this guy walked right by and sort of sneered, as if to say, 'Real men don't fear moose.' I was tempted to show him the damage an over-the-hill lineman can still inflict on the average human being… So I turn to Marie and say, 'You know, honey, I'll bet than animal weighs a thousand pounds. If you saw a thousand-pound guy eating at Starbucks, would you get in his face?' 'The answer is no,' Marie yelled from the kitchen. 'Not even if he stole my breve latte!'" (from Trucker Dude by John Foley)
TD is an artist and former football player who has a sore ass from long-haul trucking. He's thinking about taking a year off just to paint and hang out with his girlfriend, Linda Sue, when his trucker friend Flynn proposes an armored car heist. TD—short for Tommy Dennison as well as Trucker Dude—agrees to go along with the elaborate plan, despite serious misgivings.
He quits his trucking job, but not before a final run from Seattle to Miami. On the road he meets Jason, a hitchhiking singer-songwriter with hippie and religious tendencies. Jason was studying for the priesthood, but his sideline as a chick magnet derailed that career course. As they gradually become friends, TD confides his qualms about the heist. He also has qualms about marriage, but Linda Sue is getting tired of her girlfriend status, giving TD a lot to think about out there on the highway of life.
"Foley writes with a flow and clarity that carry the reader along, effortless and entertaining."—Shana Loshbaugh, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

John Foley is a writer, teacher, and artist living in Prescott Valley, Arizona. John has written several young adult novels, including Hoops of Steel, which was named a Book for the Teen-Age in 2008. In addition, he has been an artist-in-residence at several national parks, and his paintings have been juried into many shows. You can see his work at John lived in Alaska for most of the 1990s, working as a reporter for The Anchorage Times and teaching in Anchorage, Tetlin and Gambell. He has returned for extended visits to the Brooks Range and elsewhere in the state. Trucker Dude is available in both hardcover and paperback at, Barnes& and
Categories: Arts & Culture

49 Writers: Eowyn Ivey | A Window Into My Favorite Bookstore

49 Writers - Tue, 07/26/2016 - 5:00am

An author’s dream: You have a new novel coming out and when you drive by your favorite bookstore in the world, they’ve devoted their entire front window to your book. And they’ve also planned a huge book release party.Sometimes dreams do come true. This morning as I drove through downtown Palmer, Alaska, I saw that the front windows of Fireside Books had been painted with the cover of my new book, To the Bright Edge of the World. (The owner’s niece, Tiffany Cheezem, did the beautiful painting.) The sight of it set off a wave of emotion in me – thrilling excitement, love and gratitude, and also a sense of nostalgia. Fifteen years ago, I used to walk by that window with anticipation and read the sign, “Bookstore Coming Soon.” A few years later, I was hired as a bookseller at Fireside, and the owners, David Cheezem and Melissa Behnke, quickly became dear friends.David, Melissa and all the staff at Fireside Book were instrumental in welcoming my debut novel, The Snow Child, into the world, and I’m so grateful to once again have their support.The Bright Edge book release party is at 6:30 p.m. on August 2 at the train depot in downtown Palmer, Alaska, just across the street from Fireside Books. Everyone is welcome! Copies can be reserved by contacting Fireside Books at (907) 745-2665 or
Eowyn Ivey grew up in the Matanuska Valley and continues to live there with her husband and two daughters. Her novel The Snow Child was a finalist for the Pulitzer and a New York Times bestseller, published in more than 25 languages and 30 countries. Her second novel, To the Bright Edge of the World, will be released August 2, 2016. This post originally appeared on Eowyn's blog and appears here with her permission.
Categories: Arts & Culture

49 Writers: Spotlight on Alaska Books | The Giant's Hand by Nick Jans

49 Writers - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 5:00am

Like many others before me, I came to Alaska hoping to learn to live with and from the land, though I hardly knew all that it would mean. Over the course of years, I’ve felt my spirit flex as I gutted and skinned, or plucked or scaled, and ate more once-living things than I can count. But no less telling have been the quiet hours alone with the land, watching lives rise and fade as seasons pass. The wild, strange thrill of taking life has long since dimmed, along with any sense of superiority. Every death that passes before my eyes reminds me that I want no more or less than any living being. A human, a crippled moose, or a raven circling overhead, we all strive for the same thing: to breathe another day. Together and alone, we wait beneath the sky, the threads of our lives shifting in the wind. (From The Giant’s Hand by Nick Jans)
Follow award-winning Alaska writer and photographer Nick Jans to northwest arctic Alaska—a vast wilderness where caribou roam, the northern lights blaze, and Inupiaq Eskimo hunters cling to vanishing traditions. Weaving tales of life-or-death adventure, everyday life, and personal experiences gleaned from over three decades of arctic experience, Jans creates vivid, poignant images of a land and its people on the cusp of change. The Giant’s Hand is at the same time a memoir of his own personal journey, brimming with moments of profound, often poetic insight.  
“Jans is an exceptional storyteller—no nature writer can top him in terms of sheer emotional force.” --The New York Times
Nick Jans is a longtime contributing editor to Alaska Magazine and a member of USA Today’s board of editorial contributors. He’s written twelve books and hundreds of magazine articles and columns, and has contributed to many anthologies and other books. Jans is also a professional nature photographer, specializing in Alaska wildlife, landscapes, and Native cultures in remote locations. He has been the recipient of numerous writing awards over the years. Jans lived for 20 years in northwest arctic Alaska, and currently resides out the Haines Highway with his wife, Sherrie, and their dogs, and travels widely in Alaska. He returns each year to the arctic Inupiaq village of Ambler, and the surrounding country he calls home. He is currently working on several book projects, including a long-simmering literary novel set in the Arctic. The Giant’s Hand is available in first edition hardcover from

Categories: Arts & Culture

Parks & Recreation Master Plan Overview

Parks and Recreation Special Events - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 10:00am
Date of Event: Wednesday, Jul 20 - Check out the process for our new Master Plan!
Categories: Arts & Culture, Outdoors

P&R July Newsletter

Parks and Recreation Special Events - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 9:57am
Date of Event: Tuesday, Jul 19 - Take a minute to look over the latest Parks and Recreation Department July news.
Categories: Arts & Culture, Outdoors

Jeremy Pataky | Apply for a Funded Residency in 2017

49 Writers - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 10:57am
We’re fortunate to live in a place so rich with story and art, where culture and economies relate in healthful—or at least richly complex—ways. Alaska individuals, businesses, and philanthropists value and invest in local artists and we harvest the resulting fruits. Busts, booms, and all, Alaska life is good, and often sweetened—like highbush cranberries after first frost—by all the challenges inherent here.    
Among our many superlative Biggests, Bests, and Mosts that Alaska writers and artists can claim is the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program (ARP). Homegrown, fully-funded, and built to suit, it affords generous helpings of time, space, and money for artists and writers to create.
The program sends four Alaska artists and writers Outside each year and likewise brings four from the Lower 48 up here for two month residencies. It’s a privilege each summer to invite Alaskans to apply. Having helped manage the program for the Foundation for over three years, I’ve seen firsthand how it benefits artists, residency host organizations, and communities. The award includes a $4,000 stipend plus additional funds that cover travel, housing, and a great deal more, making it one of the best shots Alaska writers and artists have at achieving a long stint of time and support to create.
ARP alum Ernestine Hayes at work on The Tao of Raven at DjerassiWe offered an optional info session at the new Alaska State Museum in Juneau earlier this month with information about applying to the program (you can listen to a recording here). Ernestine Hayes, an ARP alum and current Alaska Reads author, joined us to share some insights about her experience at Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California. She raved about the residency and described how it enabled the completion of her next book, The Tao of Raven, forthcoming in October.
It can be tough to leave home for two months. The choice to remove oneself from the familiar can be incredibly generative, though, and transformative. I heartily echo the advice of Ernestine and others to do whatever it takes to arrange to go somewhere with the express purposing of creating.
The online application is open until August 15th. Alaska writers and artists can choose to apply to one of four sites, each with different parameters and eligible disciplines. The application asks one to choose dates from a list of options in 2017, and those dates are variable from site to site and listed in the online application. For Djerassi, the venue open to writers, the choices are April 5-June 7, August 2-October 4, or September 6-November 15. Each ARP date option at Djerassi spans two of their regular one month sessions, which are separated by a few days. This opportunity even includes a short, expenses-paid stay off-site in nearby San Francisco (or elsewhere) between the two residency blocks.
Join me in bidding Rosemary McGuire good luck; she was selected last year for a 2016 ARP residency and she’ll head down to write at Djerassi this September. In addition to Rosemary and Ernestine, playwright Arlitia Jones and writer Christine Byl have also participated in the program.   
Alaska has enjoyed an escalation in the diversity, recognition, quality, and quantity of homegrown writing in the last decade, and our readership has grown immensely. Opportunities for education, financial support, publication, networking, and camaraderie for writers has also grown, and this one is significant. I hope to see record numbers of applications this year, and I imagine the good folks at Djerassi—and those in Charlotte, Cleveland, and Santa Fe—will have some tough decisions to make in selecting an awardee.
Learn more about the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program on the website, contact me anytime with questions, and apply online by August 15th.

In addition to serving as Interim Executive Director of 49 Writers, Jeremy Pataky works on contract as coordinator of the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program. 

Categories: Arts & Culture

Artists As Educators: Seminar Series

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Mon, 07/18/2016 - 10:07am
Calling all Teaching Artists interested in FREE Professional Development from The Kennedy Center! September 23, 24 & 25, 2016  The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council will sponsor visiting Teaching Artist, Randy Barron for a dual seminar series for teaching artists … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture

Nominating Wayne Price for First People’s Community Spirit Award

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 9:00am

The First People’s Fund put a call out for nominations for their Community Spirit Award.  They asked:  “Do you know a Native artist who has dedicated his or her life and work to sustaining cultural traditions within their commuity?  first Peoples Fund has opened nominations for the 2017 Community Spirit Awards, and we want to hear from you by tomorrow, July 15th! — “If your life has been touched by a Native American, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian artist who embodies the Indigenous values of generosity, integrity, humility and wisdom, consider nominating them for the Community Spirit Awards,” said Lori Pourier, president of First Peoples Fund. — the Community Spirit Awards, launched in 1999, are national grants for established Native culture bearers who demonstrate substantial contributions to their communities through their careers as artists.  Each year, First Peoples Fund seats a national panel to select four to six Community Spirit honorees from tribes across the country.”

Master carver of the traditional Tlingit dugout canoe canoe, Wayne Price with his crew at the canoe races during “KusTeYea Celebration” Teslin Lake, Teslin, Yukon Territory, July 2015

So I thought about all the artists that I have known a long, long time, who would fit this bill.  I thought about all the artists that I know who are not just talented in what they do, but are passionate about their lives and sharing their work to the extent that they will leave the comforts of their own home and studio for great lengths of time and share with the younger generations, AND they need money!!!  My friend of 36 years came to mind:  Wayne Price…he fit the bill…this is what I wrote in the nomination:

Wayne Price stands in front of a portion of a cedar panel he adzed into a “herringbone” pattern; his adzed pattern work is in the entire downstairs of Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau, Alaska – Grand Opening of the WSC, May 2015

“For 40+ years, Wayne Price is a Tlingit master carver in silver jewelry yet mainly known for his wood carvings of totem poles, masks, and is one of four men who knows how to carve the traditional dugout Tlingit canoes.  For the past 10 years he has been on an aggressive mission to  educate the general public, mentor and teach the methods of the nearly-extinct dugouts of the Tlingit.  Each canoe takes about 5 to 6 months to complete so these carvings are quite the accomplishment and are designed for ocean-going waves.  He has led expeditions in the wilderness of Southeast Alaska with the younger generation of men in their traditional dugouts that they had carved.    He teaches how to read the ocean, how to hunt and fish, how to survive on the land, and teaches the spiritual laws and ways of being of our people.  In 2007, with no other dance group in Haines, he began a dance troupe called “North Tide” which is also the name of his mentor group of young carvers because he also teaches them the stories, song and dance.  Wayne is passionate about his work and his life and terribly passionate about teaching the next generations; he wants his students to live a clean life without drugs and alcohol; he feels that training his students from a young age in the cultural arts and lifeways is the way to deter them from even having a wagon to fall from!  With his wife Cherri, he owns and operates the Silver Cloud Art Center which is his 16,000 sq. ft. home where he has conducted retreats in weaving, carving, subsistence food hunting and gathering, and dance troupe practices.  The front porch of their house always has a large carving of a totem pole or a dugout canoe in progress with the younger generation at his side either working and/or just listening.    Wayne has lived and worked in almost every community in Southeast Alaska and Yukon Territory; his name and character is known far and wide.  He is a natural born  leader (who he himself will admit he is always still learning).”

Wayne Price at the rudder with two young folk going for a canoe ride in his latest dugout canoe “Jibba” on Teslin Lake during the biennial “KusTeYea Celebration” — July 2015

We’ll see what happens, Wayne!  If you don’t receive this award this time around, then there’s always a next time.  Just make sure you remain safe and happy cuz we need you for the long haul…!


Categories: Arts & Culture

The Art Center Feasibility Study

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 1:30pm
The Art Center (previously referred to at the Willoughby Arts Complex) is moving forward. The project is based on a Feasibility Study produced by The McDowell Group in November 2015. Read: ExecutiveSummary WAC Financial Feasibility Part II 11_24_15
Categories: Arts & Culture

“Weavers Across the Waters” Chilkat/Ravenstail Robe Update

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 10:38am

As of June 9th, 2016, these are the very first 5×5 contributions from the following weavers:  Stephany Anderson, Kay Parker, Willy White, Alfreda Lang, Sandy Gagnon, and Dolly Garza

Being the creator (or “mastermind as my Mother would have put it) of this community-based project, would I had known that when I have receive each of these priceless 5×5 woven Chilkat and Ravenstail weavings, I would feel such honor and a privilege to hold each one in the palm of my hands!?  Would I have known that I would feel such pure and raw power in each simple image!?  And would I have known that I would feel such intense protectiveness as I hand-carried these in my carry-on luggage; like worse than when I am transporting a robe that I have designed and made!?!? — In the purity of this power, I feel immense grace and lovingness; I feel such excitement and peace; I feel strength and healing; I feel the connectedness of all beings through the anticipation of connecting all of these weavers’ weavings together.  This is already a powerful robe.  My goodness, we share in the excitement and most likely all of what I feel too in the completion of this robe!

As of today, July 13, 2016, we have 23 total contributions received from (top to bottom, L to R): Della Cheney, Margaret Woods, Douglas Gray, Lily Hope, Nila Rinehart, Kay Parker, Stephanie Andersen, William White, Karen Taug, Courtney Jensen, Alfreda Lang, Chloe French, Dolly Garza, Georgia Bennett, Rainy Kasko, John Beard, Michelle Gray, Marilee Peterson, Annie Ross, Sandy Gagnon, Pearl Innes, Veronica Ryan and Crystal Nelson

The past couple of nights since my return to Tulsa, which is where I will be working day and night on putting this robe together for the next month, I put a cloth cover over all the little weavings who lay side by side with one another, like the way we cover our weavings for the night.  Already these little ones have become dear.  —-  Thank you to all our present-day weavers who have contributed their talent through a piece of their spirit to become unified as one in this special, ceremonial robe.  We look forward to receiving the other 31 pieces due by the extended deadline of July 19th!

Remember to mail your contribution insured to me at:  Clarissa Rizal, 40 East Cameron Street #207, Tulsa, OK   74103

For more information on the mission and purpose of this robe, please visit the initial “invitational” blog post by clicking this link:  

Categories: Arts & Culture

11 Juneau Reps attend Arts Integration Conference in D.C.

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 1:35pm
A team of Juneau educators traveled to Washington, D.C. at the end of June for a three-day conference on Arts Integration sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  The team included four principals, an art specialist, and … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture

Two Poets Talking

What Turtle Blood Tastes Like - Tue, 05/24/2016 - 10:10am

One of my favorite poets, David Budbill has been dealing with rapidly declining health lately and while the conversations I’ve had with him over the years have been marked by a striking optimism, the challenges of being a writer who is losing the physical ability to write are becoming too much for even the most optimistic and zen of mountain recluse poets.   Here’s a recent conversation between Budbill and longtime friend, David French.  HIt the link for the full conversation,

David French’s questions and comments are in italics. Unless otherwise indicated, all the poems are David Budbill’s.

But let’s talk about what’s happening in your life right now.

The major thing that I’m dealing with is my Parkinson’s disease, my rare form of Parkinson’s disease. It has incapacitated me and made me incapable of all the things I used to love to do: I would cut wood and garden and mow, and I can’t do any of those anymore. So I’ve had to revise my life completely. So far I haven’t revised my life; I’ve just cancelled it, dropped out.

Now that’s not entirely true, because before I dropped out, I was able to finish a novel and a short story and a collection of poems, and they’re all coming out in the next year. So I did that before I cancelled my life.

The last time I was here, you said all this happened a year ago, when you moved to Montpelier.


Up until then, you’d still been working on your novel and your stories and your poem.

I suppose, yeah.

There recently was a song cycle of your poems at the Elley-Long Music Center. One song was about doing things for the last time. It was beautiful, but with an ache to it. You must have done a lot of that leaving Wolcott, walking around, looking around, knowing that was the last time you’d cut this wood or stack it or put it in the stove.

It was. Yeah, it was heartbreaking, because that was my identity, and now it’s no longer that. Which is no doubt one of the reasons I’m in limbo now.

So you’re not writing now.

No, I’m not.

You’re not making music.


Another theme that keeps coming up in your poetry, sometimes in very funny ways, is the lament over not having been a major voice in the poetry world. You wrote about the life of “genteel poverty and meditation” you lead:

…which gives me lots of time

to gnash my teeth and worry over

how I want to be known and read

by everyone and have admirers

everywhere and lots of money!

Is that something you would still write a poem about at this point, or is that an old theme that isn’t something you think about anymore?

I certainly think about it.

You still do?


You would like to be higher on whatever the poetry best-seller list is?


And have more money from it, recognition.

Yeah. Of course, who wouldn’t?

You’ve written:

When I came to Judevine Mountain

I thought

all my troubles would cease,

but I brought… my ambition –

so now, still,

all I know is grief.

Well, that’s true. I have this thing about ambition. I can’t live with it, and I can’t live without it.


Filed under: Poetry
Categories: Arts & Culture


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My Gallery


  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
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