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Kate Troll, Assembly Candidate, on the Arts

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Mon, 09/12/2016 - 9:27am
Describe your involvement/participation in the arts and cultural activities in Juneau. How many times per year do you attend an arts and cultural event?   Counting most nights at Folkfest or Jazz and Classics, the Symphony, etc. I would say that … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture

Kitty Morse | From Casablanca to Anchorage

49 Writers - Mon, 09/12/2016 - 6:00am
Kitty Morse is visiting Anchorage Sept. 24 - 28, 2016 through an author exchange program sponsored by Adventures by the Book. In partnership with the Alaska Writers Guild, 49 Writers is featuring these visiting authors in workshops at the AWG conference on Saturday, Sept. 24 and also at a members-only salon event on Sunday, Sept. 25. Kitty will also conduct a special program called "Sprinkle Flowers on Your Plate" as part of the Alaska Botanical Garden Lecture Series, conducted in partnership with 49 Writers (buy tickets here).  

My life as a writer developed by accident. Never in my wildest imagination did I think upon emigrating from Morocco to the US, and obtaining my master’s degree in French, that I would end up three decades later the author of ten cookbooks and a memoir. And now, I’ll visit Anchorage on a book tour!
In the beginning, I freelanced, opting to write about my passions – food and travel. My first byline plastered on the front page of the food section of the San Diego Union-Tribune sealed my fate. I was hooked. I submitted query upon query to every publication I could think of. Most queries were rejected, and I learned rule #1: Never take rejections personally. The next published article would send my spirits (and my ambition) soaring.
A strange thing happened over time. I fell in love with the process of writing. Magazine and newspaper assignments gave me the liberty to satisfy my curiosity about any subject that struck my fancy. I can still remember how excited I was one particular month to have a byline in 6 different national publications simultaneously. I learned rule #2: It takes perseverance, perseverance, and more perseverance, as well as timing and luck.
To this day, I advise beginning writers: “Practice the vow of chastity. NEVER sleep under the same roof as a rejected manuscript.” As a freelancer, a rejected article repackaged in a new envelope and shipped to a new address left my house the next day. Rule #3: DARE to query! You have nothing to lose.
My love of food led me to write cookbooks, and I have written 10 to date. Since I was born in Morocco, I focused on what I knew: Moroccan cuisine. The first book, Come with me to the Kasbah: A Cook’s Tour of Morocco, was hatched at the request of cooking students. I met the challenge, though it took over a dozen years to get it into print.
Closer to home, I frequented my weekly farmer’s market. The California Farm Cookbook eventually took me around the state to interview hundreds of farmers and request their favorite recipes. What a deal! And what a trip!
Tired of writing recipes, I set myself a new challenge in 2002 to write a memoir of Dar Zitoun, the historic Moroccan mansion my father willed me in the medieval town of Azemmour, 90 kilometers south of my native Casablanca. But how to make the switch from cookbook writer to memoirist? I took courses in poetry and creative writing at my local university. Once again, I fell in love with the process.
I think of Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories, as a cookbook with very long headnotes. To get it into print, I sought the help of professional editors and a book designer. Then, off it went to China to be printed. Mint Tea and Minarets turned me into an author/publisher. My new “job” is marketing, and to that end, I publish a monthly enewsletter called The Kasbah Chronicles.
The path I took to become a writer, then an author/publisher, has been arduous at times. But 10 published cookbooks, a memoir (and a very supportive husband and food photographer) allowed me to follow my heart. For that, I thank my lucky stars every day.
Kitty Morse’s writing and cooking career spans more than more than three decades. She is the author of 10 cookbooks and a memoir. She has been a guest on radio and television around the US and abroad, and her articles have appeared in a number of national and international publications.
Kitty hopes to meet up with some of you at one of the following events:
Saturday, September 24: 2:10 to 3:10PMAlaska Writers Guild annual conference, Anchorage, Alaska, in partnership with 49 WritersKitty Morse on How to write and market a cookbook.2:10 pm to 3 10 pm:BP Energy Center900 E. Benson, Anchorage, Alaska 99519-6612

Saturday, September 24: 6PM. Reservations required.CHAT WITH THE AUTHOR and SAVOR AN AUTHENTIC MOROCCAN DINNERTURKEY RED RESTAURANT550 S Alaska, Suite 100, Palmer AKEmail: turkeyredak@gmail.comCall: 1-907-355-3242Books for sale provided by David Cheezum, Fireside bookstore, Palmer, AK.
Monday, September 26. 6-8PM. Reservations required.Cooking Class: A Taste of MoroccoAllen and Peterson Home store3002 Seward Highway, Anchorage AK907-276-0111
Tuesday, September 27. 6PM. Open to the public.Presentation on Moroccan cuisine and cultureAnchorage Public LibraryChugiak-Eagle River Branch 907-343-1533 
Wednesday, September 28: 6:30PM to 8PM. Fee charged.Sprinkle Flowers on your plate! Alaska Botanical Gardens Lecture Series in partnership with 49 Writers September 28 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pmBP Energy Center900 E. Benson, Anchorage, AK 99508
Thursday September 29, 7PMPresentation on Moroccan cuisine and cultureAnchorage Public Library, Loussac Branch 907-343-1533
Kitty Morse,
Edible Flowers: a Kitchen Companion with
Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan MemoriesBest Book/Arab Cuisine/USAGourmand World Cookbook
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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