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Bernie Worrell “Walks Into the Forest”

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 2:23pm

Bernie Worrell – rehearsing with Native-inspired jazz funk band “Khu.eex” — June 2016

Bernie Worrell “walked into the forest” today.  Pretty much a whirling wizard since he began playing piano at 3 years old, It’s hard to describe the feelings of loss.  His musical influence reached vast and wide; even Stevie Wonder learned new styles of riffs from Bernie.  Yet what I remember most about Bernie was his natural gracious humility.

Bernie Worrell — June 2016

Bernie was our keyboard artist in our Native-inspired jazz funk band “Khu.eex” which was formed in December 2014.  Our first double LP’s will be released during our performances in Seattle (July 9th) and Bellingham (July 10th); little did we know our band and the recordings would be the last musical sounds with Bernie Worrell.

Bernie Worrell and Stanton Moore — rehearsing with the band “Khu.eex” — June 2016

Read more of Bernie Worrell’s musical genius, please check out his website at:  www.bernieworrell.com ——  So many in the musical world will miss you, Mr. Bernie Worrell…!  Big hugs and lots of love to all who knew him and especially to Bernie’s family!

 

Categories: Arts & Culture

Weekly Roundup of Writing Opportunities for June 24

49 Writers - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 11:00am
EVENTS IN ANCHORAGE
Tuesday, June 28th, at 7:00 pm, Mountain View Library The Anchorage Public Library is thrilled to announce that New York Times bestselling literary fiction author Sharyn McCrumb will hold an Author Talk during her first visit to Alaska.
Up for discussion will be McCrumb’s stunning Depression-era novel, Prayers the Devil Answers. It is a story of courage and tragedy that weaves Appalachian folklore and history
For more information, please visit www.anchoragelibrary.org events or call Stacia at 907-343-2909. Hope to see you there!
EVENTS AROUND ALASKA
FAIRBANKS
The Fairbanks Arts Association is the host of the oldest Literary Reading in the State. Every month, the public is treated to writers reading their own work and 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 6: Paul GreciSeptember: UAF Faculty ReadingOctober: TBANovember: TBADecember: Rosemary McGuireAdditional readings and literary events may be held, but the First Saturday Literary Reading Series will always be at 7 pm the day after First Friday (Except February). 
SOUTHCENTRAL, MAT-SU, KENAI PENINSULA
OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERS
Seeking Writers and Photographers for New Alaska Food MagazineEdible Alaska, a new magazine focused on food culture and practices in Alaska, will hit the newsstands in June. Currently they are getting ready to launch their website with lots of new content. They seek writers, photographers, recipe writers, and local chefs (who want to be a resource to them). 
Article pitches should fall (loosely) into the categories: eat, drink, and food for thought. Web articles will be between 250-400 words and will pay about $50 per piece and an additional $25 for an accompanying photograph. The rate is somewhat negotiable for more experienced writers/photographers and for longer pieces. 
They seek original recipes that can include your standard recipe and a "how-to" video. They are not looking for another profile about a great microbrewery or reviews of well-known restaurants. They want to expand what people know and think about food (and food culture) in Alaska while creating an archive of food practices throughout the state (both urban and rural).
Please email your pitch to bree@edibleak.com with the subject line: Edible Article Pitch.  Please include in your pitch sample writing clips, if you have any. The magazine is particularly interested in recruiting writers from outside of Anchorage and writers who live in rural/bush areas of the state.  Don't let a lack of writing experience deter you from pitching a story, they are interested in cultivating new writers who have great stories to share.”
CONFERENCES, AWARDS, RETREATS & RESIDENCIES
Register now for the 2016 Tutka Bay Writers Retreat, a 49 Writers program which will take place on September 9-11, 2016 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 constructive atmosphere, the engaged student will emerge with improved techniques for further work. Early registration fee is $600 for members and $650 for nonmembers. Learn more and register.
Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop's Riversong float trip July 20-26, 2016 in beautiful McCarthy, Alaska and the surrounding Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve.  This year's workshop features a dynamic staff including poet, essayist and singer/songwriter David Lynn Grimes; professional singer/songwriter Michelle McAfee; visual artist, writer, and songwriter Robin Child; and longstanding workshop director, poet, and essayist Nancy Cook.  The workshop will include two nights and a full day of craft sessions at the Wrangell Mountains Center in McCarthy, followed by a four night educational float trip along the Kennicott, Nizina, Chitina, and Copper Rivers of South-central Alaska.   $975 includes all meals, instruction, and guided river trip with McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters.  (And yes, that's an amazing deal!)  Check out the smiles in last year's Riversong album, or paddle on over to the Wrangell Mountain Center's website to register.  Workshop limited to eight student writers/songwriters.  Register now!  

Thank You for Your Support!Over 10,000 people read the blog each month. The blog is made possible by 49 Writers members, along with all of the workshops, author tours, Crosscurrents events, readings, and craft talks we offer. Won't you join them by becoming a member? Join Us 49 Writers Volunteer Seta
Have news or events you'd like to see listed here? Email details to 49roundup (at) gmail.com. Your message must be received by noon on the Thursday before the roundup is scheduled to run. Unless your event falls in the "Opportunities" category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email.

Categories: Arts & Culture

2016 Mayor’s Awards for the Arts Nominations being accepted

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 9:50am
Juneau – Juneau Arts & Humanities Council calls for nominations for the Mayor’s Awards for the Arts Juneau Arts & Humanities Council invites nominations for the 2016 Mayor’s Awards for the Arts. Awards will be presented in these categories: Volunteer … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture

Nancy’s Report from 2016 Americans for the Arts Conference in Boston

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 5:45am
Thursday 6/16 Public Art Network Award Presentation Presented to Barbara Goldstein, author of Public Art By the Book, and works to bring people together creating place through public art. She highlighted some of her favorite pieces, and noted that our … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture

Lois Paige Simenson | A Playwright's Journey

49 Writers - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:00am
When I retired from my day job, I resolved to be a writer. A real one. You know, one that actually writes and publishes. Not a pseudo-writer like I used to be, all talk and no action.
I read every how-to blog, book, and snippet until I confused myself into a fetal position. “Go to the 2015 Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference,” someone advised. So I did. I armed myself with information, motivation, and the inspiration to take off like a rocket and write. And write… and write.
“It’s a numbers game,” someone else said. “Submit as much as you can.” So I did. And voila, I published some stories. Bwahahaha… I was on a roll. Nanowrimo? Yes! Do it! So I did. I wound up with a 90,000-word fiction thriller that’s been fermenting in my computer since last November. “Here’s a book on how to write a memoir in 30 days,” someone gifted me. Could I do it? Yes, I did. I wrote twenty-eight lengthy scenes from childhood, also aging like a good merlot in my computer. Got truth? No, can’t remember it—a dilemma, since memoir requires truth. I love making stuff up. “So, make it a fictional memoir,” someone said when I whined of my inability for sticking to truth.I was trying to find my writing niche. I was fickle, flirting with any genre that winked at me—comedy, drama, non-fiction, realistic fiction, romance, satire. I was genre-addlepated.
“Simenson, you have decades of theatre acting under your belt, write a play,” suggested a friend and well-known stage and TV personality in Anchorage. Well, I do know the stage after treading the boards in Anchorage for years on end, reciting lines of other writers—maybe it’s time to write lines of my own.
I wrote a ten-minute play for Short Attention Span Theatre in Anchorage. I wrote it based on a bizarre news snippet I’d heard on KFQD while driving down the Glenn Highway. My friend suggested I expand it into a one-act and submit it to the Last Frontier Theatre Conference held in Valdez each year. So I did. I forgot about it and worked on other writing.
When I read the email accepting my play, Evacuation, for the theatre conference, I shrieked at my monitor, slapped my own face, and tipped over backwards (I know other writers have done this). Having a play accepted for a staged reading at the conference Play Lab is, well, a huge honor, as hundreds of plays are submitted each year from all over Alaska and the Lower 48—and from around the world.
Once actors finish the play reading, a sophisticated panel of theatre professionals critiques it in front of an audience, while the playwright sweats. Each panel has three featured artists consisting of directors, producers, and writers in professional theatre from Alaska and the Lower 48. The critique is followed by a one-on-one discussion alone with the panel lead. Thank goodness I’d joined some writer critique groups and had experience receiving feedback. If I hadn’t, I may have chickened out of the conference. So I went.
I gulped at the prospect of going as a writer. I had attended twice before, as a reader/actor of other plays and knew what to expect. As an actor I remember being thankful I wasn’t on the hot seat.As a first-time playwright, butterflies fought in my stomach. I felt intimidated. I wasn’t worthy. When the reading ended my heart pounded as the panel and the audience began commenting. I waited for the axe to fall, you know what I mean, statements like, “The play intrigued me, but… maybe you should start over and rewrite it.”
The horror.
I braced myself for the negative. Thankfully, I recorded the commentary because I had post-play-reading-stage-fright deafness and couldn’t remember what was said. The negative didn’t make its frightful entrance. Instead, encouragement and support did. Each panel member explained what engaged them, what didn’t, and why—what moved them, what didn’t, and why—what was credible and what wasn’t. This is gold to a writer. “It’s gold, Jerry, gold!” Banya says in Seinfeld.

When I met with the director of the off-Broadway premiere of one of Delia and Nora Ephron’s plays (Love, Loss & What I Wore), as a writer I felt I had died and gone to heaven. By the luck of the draw, this featured artist theatre heavyweight had been assigned as the lead panelist for my play. She offered specifics for revision and explained why I should pursue this play to the end zone—into production and performance by a theatre company. She told me to contact her when I finish revising it. So I will.
Another delight was meeting writers like me, some experienced, some not, all of us learning from the week of play readings, discussions, and writing workshops. I can’t put a measure on this. Only writers understand.
When I wrote my first humor blog, and timidly clicked ‘publish’ for the first time a fast year ago, this wasn’t a blip on my radar. But isn’t that what’s fun about writing something new and different? We find ourselves in dream-come-true situations if we stick with it and don’t give up.
I listen to my recording of the Valdez panel comments each day when I wake up now, as I ready to write. I fast forward to the last statement. “Congratulations, you’re a playwright.” I listen to the applause, I strengthen my resolve, and thank the universe I chose to be a writer.
You know, a real one.
Lois Paige Simenson lives in Eagle River and writes for newspapers, magazines, and blogs at loispaigesimenson.com. She is working on two novels, The Butte Girls Club and Otter Rock.
Categories: Arts & Culture

Joan Pardes | Confessions of a Writing Retreat Enthusiast

49 Writers - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 6:00am
I love talking about writing. Poetry. Essays. Fiction. If there’s a discussion about stringing words together, I’m in! Over the years, I’ve attended all types of literary events – workshops, craft talks, university classes, institutes, reading circles. But for this Alaskan, the nirvana of all writing events is the Tutka Bay Writers Retreat.
Debra Magpie Earling, author of Perma RedHosted by 49 Writers Board Member Kirsten Dixon (co-owner of Within the Wild Lodges), this year's retreat takes place September 9-11, 2016 in Kachemak Bay, a short boat ride from Homer. Limited to 16 participants, the vibe is totally Alaskan – laid back and fun. This year’s workshop leader, Debra Magpie Earling, is a Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of the American Book Award (Perma Red), and chair of the MFA program at the University of Montana. As we all know, not all writers can teach and not all teachers can write, but Ms. Earling can do both!
For me, a retreat puts my life "on hold," shushing the chatter in my head. It’s as if I’m transported to another version of myself – focused solely on my craft. Tutka Bay is the perfect place to do that. The lodge is deliciously luxurious and the surroundings are Alaska at its best - forest and sea. And if that’s not enough, there’s the food. Kirsten and her daughter Mandy (the Executive Chef) are both Cordon-Bleu alumni and award-winning culinary artists. Even the food looks like art!
When I wrote this post, there were about three spots left in this year’s retreat ($600 for members). If you can, treat yourself to a weekend of writing and camaraderie at 49 Writers only residential program at Tutka Bay. Now that’s a weekend well spent!
Happy Writing,
Joan Pardes
A 49 Writers Board Member, Joan Pardes is the owner of Pardes Public Relations. Along with attending writing workshops, she actually writes. Her non-fiction work has appeared in several magazines including ALASKA and its anthology: The Last Frontier: Incredible Tales of Survival, Exploration, and Adventure. Joan is currently working on a novel. This summer, she was a State of Alaska Artist in Residence at the Ernest Gruening Historical State Park.



Categories: Arts & Culture

Guest Blogger Miranda Weiss | Practice

49 Writers - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 5:30am
Lately I’ve been feeling I can only write at 5:30 in the morning. Well, sometimes on these long summer days when we stay up with the sun late into the evening and the rest of the house sleeps until 8:00, I hit the snooze and don’t get out of bed until closer to 6. But I do love the quiet early morning house and starting the day putting words on a blank computer screen. I feel I’ve accomplished something in my bathrobe, before showering and breakfast. Before the day has really begun. The house is cold in the morning, and that is helpful too. It keeps me alert and slightly uncomfortable. With just a cup of tea slowly filling my belly, my brain is sharper, less hindered by the things that will fill it as the hours of the day go by.
I started this habit of waking up at 5:30 to write months ago—last fall or early winter, when the mornings were dark, and I worried that my kids would see the light on in my office and decide that it was time for them to wake up too. But now there’s enough light coming in at the window that I don’t need to flip the switch. And there’s something about the morning time, about the way the hours of the day stretch in front of me, that makes it easier to generate a draft. There is still so much time left in the day to fix it up. This is how I’ve written most of the Northern Lights columns for The American Scholar.
But a habit can become a rut, and I don’t want to be someone who can only write at 5:30 in the morning. It’s fine being up that early in the spring and summer when the robins and charter boats are already up and out. Come winter, 5:30 will once again feel like the middle of the night, and I’m just not sure whether I’ll be able hack it.
I remember a graduate school professor talking about starting out in her own career writing book reviews for The New Yorker. She was raising two kids. “I could write anywhere,” she said. No special time, no special place, no special pen or notebook. She wrote on the subway and everywhere else. Habits can be useful, but it’s helpful not to get too precious about how you do your work.
For now, I’ll keep getting up at 5:30 in the morning. It’s easy and it’s cheap. No childcare needed when the kids are asleep. And it works. The results are pages and pages of writing. Just like this one.

Miranda Weiss is a science and nature writer who lives in Homer. Her natural history memoir, Tide, Feather, Snow: A Life in Alaska, was a bestseller in the Pacific Northwest. Her Northern Lights column about life in and around Homer appears weekly on the website of The American Scholar. In addition, her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Economist, Alaska Dispatch News, and elsewhere.
Categories: Arts & Culture

Singing Tlingit Songs With Harmonies

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 9:00pm

In the early 70’s I learned the songs from the Mt. St.Elias Dancers in Yakutat, Alaska via Harry K. Bremner, Sr.  As a teenager, I sang with many of the elders at that time.  At the time, I didn’t know they were singing two and sometimes three-part harmonies.  By the early 80’s all those elderly singers were all passed on.  Since then, I have always felt all the songs of the Tlingit need to include harmonies.  In this way, we can truly hear and feel the meaning of the songs.  The many drums in the dance groups of today is okay for those songs that just have vocables, however, the songs that have actual verses with meaning and history, need to be listened to, and what better way than the beauty of harmony.  In this way, the beauty leads the way to retention of the story and the tune.

http://clarissarizal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/John-K-Smith-Song.m4a

For nearly 15 years, my sister Irene Jean Lampe has taken it upon herself to learn the Tlingit songs of our T’akDeinTaan Clan songs.  Like Chilkat weaving has served me well, I believe her learning the songs is what carried her through some very tough times in her life.

Here’s an example of a song composed by one of our clan relatives John K. Smith.  One early evening in a moment of spontaneous combustion, Irene sang the melody and I sang the harmony in the lobby of the Walter Soboleff Building in the presence of our cousin, Miranda Belarde-Lewis.

Categories: Arts & Culture

My Father’s Day

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 3:22pm

Asiatic lilies and 5 red roses grace the headstone of my parent’s graves; William and Irene Lampe — June 2016

A few weeks before my father passed in December 2008, he requested that when I visit his grave, I put 5 red roses in the vase.  I asked why?  He told me:  “In WWII, 4 of my childhood friends were blown up in a tank; we all grew up together, we were best of friends.  I would have been amongst them in that tank had I passed the qualifications of joining the army; I was 1/2 inch too short…”

For Father’s Day this year, I placed 5 red roses to his grave.  In honor of my Mother, I added the fragrant, Asiatic Lily.

Alone in the afternoon misty rain, I stood wondering if I had ever visited graves alone before:  No.

The headstone of my maternal grandparent’s: Juan and Mary Sarabia — June 2016

 

Categories: Arts & Culture

JUMP 2016 Summer Film Fest

JUMP Society - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 2:36pm
Thursday, August 11 · 7 pm Friday, August 12 · 7 pm & 9 pm Saturday, August 13 · 7 pm & 9 pm Gold Town Nickelodeon The JUMP Society Film Festival features locally made short films. Admission is free and tickets will be available at the Alaska Robotics gallery at 220 Front Street. Call […]
Categories: Arts & Culture

Matthew Komatsu | “Artist vs. Parent”

49 Writers - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 5:30am
A great essay appeared a little while ago on NYMag about how and why parenting and writing conflict with each other. If you haven’t read it, check it out here, but I can save you a little time for now. The essay’s author, Kim Brooks, asks her friend Gina Frangello (also a writer+parent) why parenting and writing don’t play nice. Frangello’s answer: “Because the point of art is to unsettle, to question, to disturb what is comfortable and safe. And that shouldn’t be anyone’s goal as a parent.”
Of course, this line of reasoning seems to omit a huge factor. If you’re a parent, and reading this, I bet your response is similar to mine: uhhh, time?  I could be great at everything if I just had the hours in the day. So, it’s a little mountain-from-molehill but Brooks brings up some great points in the essay. And here’s mine: pull any book off your shelf and flip to the author photo. See any family portraits? Even the book industry knows that we like to picture our writers as solitary beings.
My son was still in the womb when I decided I should try this writing thing three years ago. So, it’s safe to say that my journey as a writer has been inextricably linked to my evolution from spouse to spouse+dad. Add work. Add an MFA. Add a new home and its necessary home improvement projects. Add, add, add; time, time, time. You get it.
Still, there’s something beyond the conflict between time and art, and that quote above gets to it. Art is unsettling. There’s this great lie about life and art, that art is therapy. But that type of thinking leaves out the unfortunate reality that art is often (and especially in the case of the literary memoirist) the equivalent of picking at a scab. I was talking to someone about an essay I recently published in The Normal School and she remarked that she hoped it was cathartic to write. But it wasn’t. It gave me goddamn nightmares when I was working it through revisions. I spent every free moment imagining death, re-imagining it, re-creating it and its offspring, grief, on the page. And amid all this, I might have found myself raising a spoon of mush to my son’s grinning mouth, or perhaps been rinsing shampoo from his dirty blonde locks.
An extreme example, I suppose, but no less relevant. Attempt meaning-making, and you must necessarily dissolve the associative bonds of human memory before re-assembling them into the artifice that most closely represents what you believe to be the story’s truth. If you’re not confused at some point with what you’re writing, chances are good you’re not writing literature. And this is not a place that we seek to re-create for, or around, our children. Not for a while at any rate.
Brooks is careful, however, to leave us on a hopeful note with the idea that parenting might also make you a better artist. She happens upon the idea that parenting is about mastering the chaos that our children bring into our lives, and that this is a skill that might just come in handy with that story that’s currently an absolute mess. It’s an idea I can get behind, mostly because I can’t stand to have my writing completely opposed to the rest of my life. But I also think she misses a bigger rhetorical opportunity in that parenting is also heavily invested in both gaining and teaching empathy. Which turns out to be really important to any kind of writing.
So, the next time you’re bashing your head against the wall trying to figure out your kiddo, and wishing you’re writing, maybe tuck that nugget away. It might get you through a tough spot. At the very least, all of it will someday make for a hell of a story. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

49 Writers board member Matthew Komatsu is just trying to find a balance. You can watch him flail on Twitter (@matthew_komatsu) if you like.
Categories: Arts & Culture

Weekly Roundup of Writing Opportunities for June 17

49 Writers - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 7:00am
EVENTS IN ANCHORAGE
Tuesday, June 28th, at 7:00 pm, Mountain View Library The Anchorage Public Library is thrilled to announce that New York Times bestselling literary fiction author Sharyn McCrumb will hold an Author Talk during her first visit to Alaska.
Up for discussion will be McCrumb’s stunning Depression-era novel, Prayers the Devil Answers. It is a story of courage and tragedy that weaves Appalachian folklore and history
For more information, please visit www.anchoragelibrary.org events or call Stacia at 907-343-2909. Hope to see you there!
UAA Bookstore
Monday, June 20 from 12:00pm-1:30pm at the UAA Campus BookstoreJoan Tovsen presents Calendars and Time in the Eyes of Science & History
Joan Tovsen received a  BA Public Communications with a minor in Geology at UAA and has done graduate work in environmental northern studies at UAF.  Her  business ventures include owning of a map  store,  working  in the travel industry, in education,   and as a tutor with therapeutic essential oils. 
Joan's foundation in scientific inquiry enables her to explore Biblical research in methodical and logical ways.  At this event on the summer solstice, she  will explain different meanings of time, astrology/astronomy and calendars.
There is free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, Sports Campus West Lot.
Thursday, June 23, 2016, 12:00 pm-1:30 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore
Waging War in Remote Areas: The Falklands War as a Case Study with Major General Kenneth L. Privratsky, USA (Retired)Over the past two decades, the U.S. military has focused almost exclusively on operations in the Middle East.  However, U.S. strategy specifies that military services must be ready to operate in remote areas, aka expeditionary warfare.  At this event, today’s U.S. military situation is compared  to that of Britain’s in 1982 when, while concentrating exclusively on NATO and the Warsaw Pact, it  found itself waging a war 8,000 miles away with little wherewithal.  And the dramatic difference of deploying to and operating in remote areas will be highlighted using a photo slideshow of the Falklands War.

Major General Kenneth L. Privratsky, USA (Retired), served in the infantry in Vietnam before becoming a logistics specialist.  He taught at West Point, was a military fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and commanded organizations supplying U.S. forces worldwide.  In civilian life he was an executive in the ocean transportation industry.  He has lectured on military subjects to both national and international audiences and is the author of the recently published Logistics in the Falklands War.  Now retired, he lives in Anchorage.There is free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot , Sports Campus West Lot.
EVENTS AROUND ALASKA
FAIRBANKS
The Fairbanks Arts Association is the host of the oldest Literary Reading in the State. Every month, the public is treated to writers reading their own work and 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 6: Paul GreciSeptember: UAF Faculty ReadingOctober: TBANovember: TBADecember: Rosemary McGuireAdditional readings and literary events may be held, but the First Saturday Literary Reading Series will always be at 7 pm the day after First Friday (Except February). 
JUNEAU
June 25, 2016 Woosh Kinaadeiyí Summer Showcase presents Christy NaMee Eriksen at the Rockwell. Doors open at 6:30.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERS
Seeking Writers and Photographers for New Alaska Food MagazineEdible Alaska, a new magazine focused on food culture and practices in Alaska, will hit the newsstands in June. Currently they are getting ready to launch their website with lots of new content. They seek writers, photographers, recipe writers, and local chefs (who want to be a resource to them). 
Article pitches should fall (loosely) into the categories: eat, drink, and food for thought. Web articles will be between 250-400 words and will pay about $50 per piece and an additional $25 for an accompanying photograph. The rate is somewhat negotiable for more experienced writers/photographers and for longer pieces. 
They seek original recipes that can include your standard recipe and a "how-to" video. They are not looking for another profile about a great microbrewery or reviews of well-known restaurants. They want to expand what people know and think about food (and food culture) in Alaska while creating an archive of food practices throughout the state (both urban and rural).
Please email your pitch to bree@edibleak.com with the subject line: Edible Article Pitch.  Please include in your pitch sample writing clips, if you have any. The magazine is particularly interested in recruiting writers from outside of Anchorage and writers who live in rural/bush areas of the state.  Don't let a lack of writing experience deter you from pitching a story, they are interested in cultivating new writers who have great stories to share.”
CONFERENCES, AWARDS, RETREATS & RESIDENCIES
Register now for the 2016 Tutka Bay Writers Retreat, a 49 Writers program which will take place on September 9-11, 2016 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 constructive atmosphere, the engaged student will emerge with improved techniques for further work. Registration fee is $600 for members and $650 for nonmembers. Learn more and register.
Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop's Riversong float trip July 20-26, 2016in beautiful McCarthy, Alaska and the surrounding Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve.  This year's workshop features a dynamic staff including poet, essayist and singer/songwriter David Lynn Grimes; professional singer/songwriter Michelle McAfee; visual artist, writer, and songwriter Robin Child; and longstanding workshop director, poet, and essayist Nancy Cook.  The workshop will include two nights and a full day of craft sessions at the Wrangell Mountains Center in McCarthy, followed by a four night educational float trip along the Kennicott, Nizina, Chitina, and Copper Rivers of South-central Alaska.   $975 includes all meals, instruction, and guided river trip with McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters.  (And yes, that's an amazing deal!)  Check out the smiles in last year's Riversong album, or paddle on over to the Wrangell Mountain Center's website to register.  Workshop limited to eight student writers/songwriters.  Register now!  
Thank You for Your Support!Over 10,000 people read the blog each month. The blog is made possible by 49 Writers members, along with all of the workshops, author tours, Crosscurrents events, readings, and craft talks we offer. Won't you join them by becoming a member? Join Us 49 Writers Volunteer Seta
Have news or events you'd like to see listed here? Email details to 49roundup (at) gmail.com. Your message must be received by noon on the Thursday before the roundup is scheduled to run. Unless your event falls in the "Opportunities" category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email.

Categories: Arts & Culture

Spotlight on Alaska Books | Secondhand Summer by Dan Walker

49 Writers - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 6:30am
I drank, forcing the Kool-Aid in between my tongue and the swelling log of sandwich. The Kool-Aid was like glue that attached the massive wad of sandwich. More if it ran out both sides of my mouth as I gasp for air. Wiping my chin on my sleeve, I was thankful for the extra seconds to think. What should I say to Mrs. Taylor? No one had asked me that before. In fact, I had never met anyone before who didn't already know my parents and my whole life story. Mrs. Taylor handed Taylor another sandwich and took my silence as an invitation to ask another question. "Is your father stationed here at the Air Force base?"
           My face turned red. I could feel it. And my eyes watered. I shook my head, and, suddenly, the mass on my palette dislodged. I gulped it down and blurted out, "He's dead." (Dan WalkerSecondhand Summer)

Secondhand Summer begins in Ninilchik, a tiny Alaskan community where the Barger family fishes for salmon. The father's death forces a move from their homestead to an apartment in a poor section of Anchorage. The tale is about Sam, a twelve-year-old boy who loved the homestead fishing life he left behind. Like most kids his age, his physical abilities and his imagination exceed his judgment and knowledge. The story focuses on the boy’s adventuresome adjustments to the big city, the loss of his father, and becoming a teenager. An abandoned nightclub, which Sam and his friends take over as their "fort", absorbs Sam's attention, energy, and gives him chance to escape from an adult controlled world, but his time runs out when the teenagers take over and then the city steps in. By the end of the summer, Sam looses his club, one of his new friends, and his idealism, leaving him feeling quite alone as he enters seventh grade, wilder and wiser.           
“Secondhand Summer is based on my own experience when I had to move to Anchorage from our homestead near Ninilchik after my father died. It was a summer of great change and adventure for a boy from the woods to move to the big city. Many of the experiences are very real, but it is a novel. I worked for years as a teacher, and in the process of developing this book with my editor, I realized how important it is to write books that boys want to read, our most reluctant readers. I also want the book to be sophisticated enough that it would engage adults. I think it tells a good story of life in 1965 on Government Hill in Anchorage.” — the author
Dan Walker is an Alaskan homesteaders’ son who grew up to become a teacher and a writer. He has worked as a chef, innkeeper, merchant seaman, fisherman, and carpenter. Drawing from these varied – and storied – experiences, he has blogged at http://mybearlake.blogspot.com/and written essays, professional articles, and fiction in magazines and literary journals. Dan has over thirty years in education and was named Teacher of the Year for Alaska in 1999. Today, Dan works with schools in rural Alaska and shares life on a lake near Seward with his college sweetheart and muse, Madelyn.
Dan has been a member of 49 Writers for two years. His writing workshops and consulting work take him throughout Alaska from Sitka to Barrow to Perryville, where he is devoted to working with teachers and students and rewarded by experiencing the remote Alaska that few people get to know. Secondhand Summer was released in paperback by Alaska Northwest Books on June 7, 2016. 
Categories: Arts & Culture

Frank Soos | On the Road (Again)

49 Writers - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 10:57am
These days when I put on my State Writer hat, it mostly means I’m about to hit the road for some other Alaskan town, and more often than not it means I’m driving. Maybe I’d like to tell you about my travels, but what, I wonder, do we readers and writers want to know from all this traveling? Writing about our travels is not as old as our human desire to travel, but it’s at least as old as written language itself. The Odyssey might be thought of as a strange travel narrative around the Mediterranean Sea, true to geography to the point that people have tried to pin down the various stops in Odysseus’ journey. Here’s reportage of the strange and foreign. Haven’t writers from John Muir to John McPhee come into this country to report back to those too timid to face the mosquitoes and the minus 40 temperatures?
For a while that sort of travel writing may have been enough: the writer shows us places he’s been, the strange and exotic, the places we’re likely never to go. But, well, we manage to get ourselves to all sorts of places these days. I probably know a dozen folks who’ve spent time in Antarctica, for example. And with the gifts first of still pictures and then motion pictures, the most exotic locales have been made easily familiar in ways that writers may find hard to beat. There aren’t many corners of the world people have yet to be introduced to by photo spreads in magazines and TV documentaries.
What’s a writer to do? What fresh purpose might we have when we set out on the road? Bashō in his Narrow Road to the Interior offers the example of writer as spiritual pilgrim, and the form he chooses, the haibun, suits him well. Mostly written as a prose narrative, the Narrow Road to the Interior burst into haiku at moments of greatest intensity. It’s a good model for all us who do travel, for most travel is finally routine, placing one foot in front of another, or turning one more revolution of our bicycle’s cranks, or making another stroke with a paddle. Then, suddenly, a black bear steps into the trail ahead of us or a small herd of caribou swim the river. Such moments should elicit more than a mere “wow” from the attuned writer. There’s the surprise, the sudden turn from the ordinary to the moment worth savoring. This is what we came to see and to write about.
I used the haibun form to record a cycling trip my brother and I took on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive through North Carolina and Virginia. My awareness of the expectations of the form sharpened my attention throughout the trip. I was looking for the moments of intensity. And after a while, I began to shape those moments into rough haiku as I went, writing them down only at the end of each day.
Here’s one haiku written after a long rainy ride when the road grew suddenly filled with dozens of salamanders of various sizes:
Bright salamanderGlows orange on the roadway.A Crackerjack Prize.
From behind the windshield of a speeding car, all effects are diminished: the fauna, the weather, the lay of the land itself. And even more, the effect travel may have on the writer herself. Driving is a soporific.
Finally, though, isn’t travel in this time when there are truly few new places a means for us to discover ourselves? And isn’t an element of travel courting risk? Even if it’s only the risk of encountering an unfamiliar place? I suppose I’m arguing for a riskier risk, for putting oneself out there in ways that are more physically demanding, whether that means facing dangers of the natural world, or putting strains on our stamina or skills. Isn’t that how we learn who we are?
Even our descriptions of what we see and the people we might encounter are chosen for the way those things have affected us. As Montaigne might have it, our travels are our lessons about ourselves, for ourselves.
There may be a romance of travel. At least initially. Every copy of Adventure Cyclist features photos of cyclists pedaling along on sunny days before expansive vistas. Where are the days of driving rains, ugly headwinds, those days when the romance is replaced by the reality? I’d say that’s what we came for.
Which gets me to that other On the Road, the book celebrating the romance of the road—cut loose, take off, drive fast and recklessly in other people’s cars, do other crazy stuff with a crazy companion. Oh my. On the Road is not a particularly well-written book, and the insights (if any) are pretty slight. Why does it stick around?
It’s the representation of an idea as much as a novel, to get out on the road, no matter how naïve or ill prepared. With luck, though, a traveler may learn something of himself. Or he may end up starving to death in an abandoned bus on the Stampede Road and leaving no evidence of insight into himself behind.
So, writers, when you hit the road or the backcountry, remember your bear mace, bug dope and water filter. Take your map, all your senses, and your pencil and notebook.
~Frank Soos taught English and creative writing at UAF from 1986-2004 and is serving as the 2014-2016 Alaska State Writer Laureate. His most recent title is Unpleasantries: Considerations of Difficult Questions (University of Washington Press, 2016). Other publications include Double Moon: Constructions and Conversations with Margo Klass (Boreal Books, 2009) and Under Northern Lights: Writers and Artists on the Alaskan Landscape, co-edited with Kes Woodward (University of Washington Press, 2000), among others.  
This post was originally published online by the Fairbanks Arts Association (FAA) and appears here with permission from FAA and the author. 
Categories: Arts & Culture

Guest Blogger Miranda Weiss | A Column on Columns

49 Writers - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 6:00am
When Tide, Feather, Snow, my natural history memoir, came out in 2009, I thought there could be no greater thrill than to have strangers from all over the country contact me about the relationships they had with my book—relationships that had nothing to do with me. Then, seven months later, my first daughter was born.
I continued to write, sometimes sporadically, but not publish much for the next few years. During that time, after my second daughter was born and I was immersed in raising an infant and toddler, I was writing—personal essays, a very drafty draft of a second memoir, but with two very young children, I didn’t have the wherewithal to do anything with the pages.
Last spring, my youngest daughter turned three and learned how to ride a two-wheeler. I watched her ride down the street away from me and felt something had switched. Motherhood wasn’t as demanding as it had been. I was eager to write and publish. And I knew I needed to start modestly and with deadlines. I needed to have someone—aside from my children—waiting for me to give them something.
I pitched a summer series to one of Homer’s two weekly newspapers, the Homer News, and found myself as a reporter for three months. My beat: the Homer Spit, a four-and-a-half mile long finger of land that juts into the middle of Kachemak Bay and is home to Homer’s harbor, the town’s largest hotel, and the port that serves as the gateway to Cook Inlet. Each summer, the Spit turns into the region’s center for tourism, fishing, shipping, and dramatic biological and geological processes. I wrote about octopus and erosion, halibut and landing craft, and about how the Spit shapes kids who grow up out there. Each week I had to come up with 800–1,000 words and an image too. Each week there was space I had to fill.
As the series drew to a close, I panicked. What was next? I was writing again—nothing grand, not the pages of a next book—but something that felt like it was leading me somewhere. At the same time, I still felt I wasn’t ready to make a commitment to another big project
Late in the summer, as I was reporting on the last piece in the Spit series, an editor I had worked with at The American Scholarcontacted me and asked whether I would be interested in writing a weekly “letter from Alaska” column for the magazine’s website. Yes, was the answer. Whatever the Spit columns loosened in my head allowed me to write my weekly columns as well as pitch and write relatively furiously over the next months, publishing in Alaska Magazine, Alaska Dispatch, Edible Alaska, and The Economist.
This is a column in praise of columns, a shout out to small spaces to be filled with writing, especially when you need them most.

Miranda Weiss is a science and nature writer who lives in Homer. Her natural history memoir, Tide, Feather, Snow: A Life in Alaska, was a bestseller in the Pacific Northwest. Her Northern Lights column about life in and around Homer appears weekly on the website of The American Scholar. In addition, her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Economist, Alaska Dispatch News, and elsewhere.
Categories: Arts & Culture

Video Clip of Clarissa’s Chilkat Mask Dancing Celebration 2016

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Sun, 06/12/2016 - 9:17am

Clarissa Rizal’s Chilkat mask in the making; no eyeballs were woven for the allowance of the black warp to be cut so the wearer of the mask can see out — April 2016

Initially I wove this Chilkat mask with the intention of putting it in the Stonington Gallery’s show of Northwest Coast masks which opened on June 2nd; however, due to attending to immediate health issues this past Spring and other significant deadlines, I did not complete the mask in time.  Yet, I was determined to have the mask at least dance during Celebration, so during my few hours manning our booth at the Art Market, I finished the second part of the mask which was the headdress.

Click on the video clip (below) showing the dancing of the mask/headdress during David Boxley, Sr.’s dance group singing a great song and beat of their Exit song during Celebration 2016, June 11th.  Thank you, Stephanie Maddock for the video clip!

IMG_4150.MOV

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, http://www.davidbudbill.com/1500/a-conversation-with-david-budbill

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.

True.

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.

No.

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?

Yeah.

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

Yeah.

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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