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ArtsUp! Whats happening this week in Juneau!

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - 2 hours 48 min ago
Events happening in Juneau for the week of October 8-13 ArtsUp 10-08-15 (PDF version) Thursday, October 8 7:30pm-8:30pm      Empty Chair Project “Within the Silence” UAS Egan Lecture Hall,  – FREE 9pm-1am                                    AbbyOke Karaoke McGivney’s Sports Bar & Grill, 907-789-0501 … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture

Deb: Making Change

49 Writers - 14 hours 39 min ago
Denali sunrise from my office window
We humans are strange creatures. We crave routine, and yet in many ways, we’re inspired by change. As writers, we can tease out our best work by playing to both aspects of our creative selves.
At the end of my Jumpstart Your Writing workshop, I ask students to write down what will be different as they move forward with their projects—what they’ll allow themselves, what they’ll remember, what actions they’ll take. Among their responses are this yin-and-yang—creating “mini-routines” that get them into writing mode and also making changes that energize their work.Among the changes that can move your writing forward:
·         Break free of the linear: In our culture, we’re trained from a young age to think and work in linear ways, from beginning to middle to end. But especially in the early stages of a writing project, linear thinking inhibits creativity. There’s no reason to write straight through from beginning to end. Stuck in the middle? Jump ahead. Write key scenes from later in the piece. Write your ending. Then go back and fill in the rest.·         Switch up the way you write: Writing will never be efficient, but with the advent of word processing, writers are able to work faster than ever. Still, typing has disadvantages. Handwriting jars us out of the keypad-to-screen rut. By putting pen to page, you can explore in more freewheeling ways. Visual activities such as mapping, illustrating, and webbing help you access the more creative parts of your brain.·         See your work differently: When it’s time to revise—literally, to re-see your work—find ways to make it look different. Change the font. Load up the file on an e-reader. String a line across your work space and hang pages with clothespins. Spread pages out on the floor.·         Acknowledge the reader’s desire for change: Part of what keeps readers turning the pages is their desire to vicariously experience change. Active readers enjoy anticipating how characters, setting, and event will activate changes in a protagonist. A helpful goal for a writer: By the end of each scene, at least one of the characters has experienced a change of mood, attitude, or direction. A slight change, perhaps, but a change.·         Refresh yourself with new perspectives: Writing retreats and residencies aren’t just about getting away from it all. One reason so much good work happens there is that changes habits and scene nudges us to think and see in new ways. Travel is wonderful, but there are other ways to shake things up. Take a writing workshop. Join a writing group. Write in new places that are easily accessible from your home. Write in new places within your home. The bathtub? Sure. Just remember that water and laptops don’t play well together.
As I write this post, I’m in the midst of acting on this last point—packing up to leave Alaska after thirty-six years. It’s hard to leave the familiar, especially as wild and beautiful as Alaska, landscape on a scale that amazes no matter how long you’ve lived here. A place where the routine never feels routine, where even daily walks with the dog immerse you in natural wonder.
Alaska is also the place where I've grown into myself as a writer. It's where I've written all my published work (and a good amount that's unpublished). It's where I’ve enjoyed the generosity and warmth of the writing community, right here at 49 Writers. A place where I’ve even built something of a reputation, with one Library Journal reviewer kindly referring to me as “one of Alaska’s leading storytellers.”
Still, I’m excited about the new perspectives that come with relocating, a prospect I hadn’t entertained until a few months ago, when my husband suggested a move to the Oregon coast. Family and job prospects (his) are a huge draw, as is living within walking distance of the ocean. I’ll miss the Denali sunrises, viewed from my office window. I’ll miss the moose strolling through the yard. And I’ll miss seeing all of you in person.
But we’ll stay connected. For now, we’re keeping our Mat Glacier cabin. (No, not so we can continue to collect PFDs.) I’ll still be writing these posts. I plan to teach online workshops. And if you’re venturing Outside, in the vicinity of the Oregon coast, a few miles south of Astoria, you’ve got an open invitation to stop by for a visit.
Alaska has been good to me in more ways than I could ever name. And in some small way, I hope I’m leaving it a little better than I found it.

But change is good. I intend to make the most of it.
Co-founder of 49 Writers and founder of the independent authors cooperative Running Fox Books, Deb Vanasse has authored sixteen books. Her most recent are Write Your Best Book, a practical guide to writing books that rise above the rest; What Every Author Should Know, a comprehensive guide to book publishing and promotion; and Cold Spell, a novel that “captures the harsh beauty of the terrain as well as the strain of self-doubt and complicated family bonds,” according to Booklist. Her next book, Wealth Woman: Kate Carmack and the Klondike Race for Gold, comes out in April, 2016. A regular contributor to the IBPA Independent, her views here are her own.
Categories: Arts & Culture

Ernestine Hayes: Writing in the Shadows

49 Writers - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 8:23am
I write in shadows. I write in the shadows of women who if they were features of landscape would be the tallest mountains, the widest rivers, the deepest part of our literary oceans, while I cling to narrow shores. While I wade in ankle-deep shoals. While I bluster at barnacles.

I imagine myself swimming out beyond safety into the deepest waters. I find myself wishing I could reach those literary masters, but I’m afraid that I will drown before their human voices wake me.

I write in the shadows of men who whose words paint the wings of the brightest songbirds and echo the most lyrical rustlings of the forest. I haunt the near borders, listening, hoping one day to understand, to hear their message, to believe in what they say.

I aspire. It’s good to have models I know I will never approach. It’s good to read words that in a lifetime of work I could never have formed. It’s good to catch only a glimpse of ideas I know I will never be able to grasp. It’s good to take inspiration.

I read works of accomplished writers and I am struck by concepts I’ve never before encountered but which seem so tenderly familiar. Words that bring from me a surprised breath followed immediately by – of course!

Of course!

Someone is living my life. Someone knows my song. Someone casts a shadow as I sit here dreaming that I write. As I sit here wondering about a place called Saginaw Bay. A place called Flounder Hill. A place called We Also Cherish Words that Remind Us of Our Ancient Ones. A place called But This is the Way It’s Always Been Done.

Individually, we choose the works we value. Collectively, those choices too often become the overwhelming, dominant voice. When a majority of people take inspiration from words they find somehow familiar, words they find somehow comforting, words that lead them to exclaim Of Course!, we run the risk of finding ourselves in a dry, repetitive desert instead of our rich, wet forest. And when we look around and realize where we have come, perhaps we should find our uneasy way back to the forest and the ocean instead of making ourselves comfortable in privileged beds set high in a desert tower.

We are here to become one another: all my life I have been forced to study and practice how to become you, and all your life you have imagined me. We write in one another’s shadow.

I don’t aspire to conquer those high mountains so I can then write about my triumphs. I don’t aspire to forge those deep rivers so I can then write down my adventures. I don’t aspire to cross that deep ocean so I can then journal a record of my voyage. I aspire only to write in their shadows, and to nurture the plain hope that I might recall to a reader’s mind the fecund smell of a handful of earth, the numbing thrill of fast-moving water, the profound taste of grainy clam raked from the oozing beach. To Muir and his disciples I leave the panorama. I am content to write in the shadows.

Categories: Arts & Culture

Read Local | An Alaska Book Week Celebration 10/10 @ Coppa

What Turtle Blood Tastes Like - Tue, 10/06/2015 - 4:06pm

Excited to be working with the Alaska Center for the Book and to take part in the Alaska Book Week Celebration with an event here in Juneau.  Ernestine even asked if I planned on reading, I better get some poems revised.  Hope to see some familiar faces.   Download a flyer to post around town anywhere I missed.  

Read Local | An Alaska Book Week Celebration  
October 10, 2015 | 7:00-9:00 PM | Coppa (917 Glacier Avenue)

Join us for a celebration of Alaska’s books and authors plus an exciting announcement!

  • A reception for Ernestine Hayes, author Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir the 2015-16 UAS One Campus, One Book selection.
  • Author readings by Ernestine Hayes (Blonde Indian), Carrie Enge (Crab Bait), Aleria Jensen (A Soldier’s Station, 2015 Poems in Place Selection) and Joan Kane* (Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, Hyperboreal)
  • Special announcement by Alaska Writer Laureate- Frank Soos, of the title of the book for the upcoming statewide reading program, Alaska Reads.
  • Coffee and ice-cream available for purchase.
  • Sponsored by UAS One Campus One Book, 49 Writers, Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska State Library, Anchorage Public Library, the Alaska Quarterly Review.  
  • * Kane and Soos will participate via Google Hangouts.

More info at

Facebook Event page:

Author Bios:

Ernestine Hayes was born to the Wolf House, Tlingit Kaagwaantaan clan in Alaska at the end of World War II. In Blonde Indian, an Alaska Native Memoir, she weaves reminiscences of her life, stories from her grandmother, Tlingit history, nature writing, and fiction into a testament of the twentieth-century Alaska Native experience and a love song to the land.

In 2007, Blonde Indian received an American Book Award and Honoring Alaska Indigenous Literature award, was named October 2006 Native America Calling Book of the Month, was a finalist for the 2007 Kiriyama Prize and the 2007 PEN Non-fiction Award and is the 2015-16 UAS One Campus, One Book selection.  She received her MFA in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.

Carrie Enge has taught English for the last forty years, first in Petersburg, Alaska and later at University of Alaska Southeast. She received her masters in creative writing from University of Alaska limited residency program. Miss Howe, her third grade teacher, told Carrie she should be an author, but it took 60 years to implement the plan. Besides teaching and writing, Carrie has commercial fished, squeezed herring, coached debate, pulled a lot of weeds, and raised two lovely daughters.

Aleria Jensen’s poems and essays have appeared in Orion Magazine, Potomac Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Tidal Echoes, Camas, Sea Stories, and the 49 Writers Blog.    She has work included in the collection Wildbranch: An Anthology of Nature, Environmental, and Place-Based Writing, released in October 2010 by the University of Utah Press. In 2015 her poem, “Soldier’s Station” was selected by The Poems in Place Project of the Alaska Center for the Book for placement at Caines Head State Recreation Area near Seward, AK.  She lives in Juneau, Alaska with her partner, six year old son and three year old daughter.

Frank Soos has published two works of fiction: Early Yet, and Unified Field Theory, the 1997 winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and one book of essays, Bamboo Fly Rod Suite. The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alaska State Council on the arts, he is professor emeritus of English at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  In 2009 he published, Double Moon: Constructions and Conversations with visual artist Margo Klass. Klass and Soos began their collaboration in 2002. They make their home in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Joan Naviyuk Kane is the author of The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife and Hyperboreal. She has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, the USA Projects Creative Vision Award, an American Book Award, the Alaska Literary Award, and fellowships from the Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Alaska Arts and Cultures Foundation, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and the School for Advanced Research.

Kane graduated from Harvard College, where she was a Harvard National Scholar, and Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she was the recipient of a graduate Writing Fellowship. Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, she raises her children in Anchorage, Alaska, and is a faculty mentor with the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Filed under: Poetry
Categories: Arts & Culture

Burning with Love

49 Writers - Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:00am
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that falling in love is the single most delicious kind of panic available to us as human beings. “Panic” not only because when you’re in love you’re in a constant state of “Holy smokes what shirt will I wear what’s going on how can I form a sentence?” (or, after a time, “How could I possibly get so lucky that this person understands me so deeply they don’t mind—they actually enjoy—when I sing depression dirges to the cat on Monday mornings; what would I ever do without them?”), but also because the feeling itself is so big and unstoppable that it extends well beyond our own mental hard drive capacity (kind of like picturing the size of the universe!), and when things feel this big, it’s a little overwhelming. In an awesome way.
If there’s anything that comes close to the excellent panic of love itself, it has to be the frantic need to consume and create art that follows love. Music sounds more incredible than ever before; faces appears in modern art paintings at the museum like one of those hidden image optical illusions; and words—be they in a sonnet or on a street sign—drip with meaning. 
From a writing perspective, love is at first incredibly useful. First of all, when you love someone, your brain turns into a superhuman love-words beast frothing at the mouth for a piece of paper to list and describe every last tiny detail about this emotion, this person, this experience. There’s just. So much. To say. Writing all of the feelings down, it seems, will preserve them, immortalize them for the ages (especially if you’re Shakespeare), and most importantly, give you a chance to process them in your limited-hard-drive brain, which always seems to turn to language first as a way of computing the un-computable.
And, if you’re lucky enough to be loved back mutually by the apple of your eye (more on clichés soon), your access to new and honest language material is unparalleled—in the safe harbor of this other human’s beautiful, safely familiar ears, you can truly be yourself and say whatever comes to your mind, no matter how nuts it is (for example, that cleaning out your inbox makes you feel like Sisyphus doomed to forever roll a boulder up a hill that inevitably comes crashing down only moments later. Not that I’ve said that to anyone I love recently). 
But at the same time, when you’re a writer and you’re in love, you’re always wearing this hyper-critical, panicky, Kurt Vonnegut “kill your babies” self-revision hat. “Did I just sound like a total idiot?” you ask yourself after talking to the person you love, questioning each word that poured out of your idiot mouth into their beautiful ears. Then there are the added self-critical layers of clichés and sentimentality. We want to use the clichés—after all, they’re cliché for a reason, namely that they feel accurate—but we know as artists that we shouldn’t. We know we shouldn’t use the words “heart,” “rose,” “soul,” or “lips” in the poem, because Shakespeare already did that 500 years ago so it’s old news now. We know we shouldn’t gush on and on about “love at first sight” or “butterflies in the stomach” because those have been used a million times before and they’re trite. And yet…
It’s these dual impulses—to say and to not say, to gush and to self-efface, to generate and to look back in panicked horror at how over-the-top everything you just generated is—that writers face each time they tackle the subject of love. And it’s these dual impulses that I’m most interested in. How can we keep writing about love—the single most timeless emotion on the planet—in new ways? How can words achieve this impossible goal?  
My point here is this: love is a powerful, potent, radioactive spider that, if it’s bit you, can turn your writing into the most brilliant, charged, surprising work you’ve ever produced OR the most melodramatic, cliché, overly sentimental drivel you’ve ever produced. How on earth can we harness this feeling into the former while avoiding the latter at all costs? As a poet who primarily writes love poems, I often think that this question is my life’s work. And I want to explore this question—and offer you my take on it so far—in the one-day “Burning with Love” craft workshop through 49 Writers. 
The Greeks were smart enough to invent names (eros, agape, philia, and storge) for all the different types of love we experience with all the many different people we meet in our lifetimes. Sappho put it even simpler: “you burn me.” Join me in the “Burning with Love” class for tips on how to write about all these types of love without making yourself blush (except the good kinds of blushing), without treading into cliché waters, and without worrying that you sound like a total idiot (except the good kind). Harness the power of the radioactive panic spider! Tame him and make him your emissary—or better yet, your muse. 
~Alyse Knorr
Alyse will be teaching a workshop BURNING WITH LOVE: HOW TO WRITE ABOUT LOVE WITHOUT BLUSHING on November 3 from 7-10pm. Register here!
Categories: Arts & Culture

P&R Newsletter

Parks and Recreation Special Events - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 8:44am
Take a minute to look over the latest Parks and Recreation Department news.
Categories: Arts & Culture, Outdoors

A Writer's Apprenticeship

49 Writers - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 7:00am
One of the first things I ask writers is who are you reading? I ask this because I’m always looking for new authors and poets, and to be honest, I read so dang much that I’m often ready to start a new book. It puzzles me when someone who professes to be a writer admits that they don’t read. Reading and writing go hand and in hand in my book. I learn so much every evening when I cozy up on the sofa with a book, the pages opening me up to new ideas, new ways to express familiar ideas, new language, new forms, new structures.
Several years ago I started an apprenticeship that has been very fruitful to my writing. I began by pinpointing three authors that I’d found influential. I set out to read everything each of them had written. And then I read some literary criticism about their work and even some of each author’s letters if they were published. I was on a hunt to see who had been identified as their influences. Then I took that list and tried to read everything those authors had written. I looked for similarities - themes, syntax, diction. The I took another step down the family tree, who had influenced the authors who’d influenced the authors that influenced me? Well, you get the picture; I had plenty to read. And then when I’d reached some dead-ends, I started looking for my literary siblings. Who had been influenced by the same authors that had influenced me? What were they writing?
By following my writing lineage up and down the family tree, I learned about writers obscure and famous. I learned to read more critically the work of others and my own. I read older and more recent authors. It is a vast apprenticeship that hasn’t ended yet.

I encourage you to try it. You’ll learn a lot about how styles come and go, themes disappear and resurface, and how you are built as an author by everything around you. And you’ll read a lot. Stephen King wrote, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” I tend to agree with him.

~Erin Coughlin Hollowell
Categories: Arts & Culture

Under the Influence and The Way of Tlingit

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Sun, 10/04/2015 - 4:20pm

Grand-daughter Amelie made a pancake to eat while on my way to the airport

Under the recent influence of Haiku poets Alan and Donna (Beaver) Pizzarelli, I woke up to my first Haiku poem I have written in over 45 years!

 A Time of Reciprocity:  Memorial Potlatch


We hold out an empty plate

Feed us


Categories: Arts & Culture

Clarissa’s First Cherokee Art Market

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Sat, 10/03/2015 - 10:33am

Clarissa’s 1st Cherokee Art Market booth will be in the “Sequoyah” room at the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 & 11, 10am to 5pm — If you are in the neighborhood, come on and check it out!


Categories: Arts & Culture

October First Friday Flyer

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 3:11pm
OCT 15 FF Flyer 4-fold (PDF version) Check out what artists featured in this months gallery first friday walk!
Categories: Arts & Culture

Weekly Roundup of Writing Opportunities for October 2

49 Writers - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 5:00am

The first snow arrived early with smell of wood and warm fireplace. It’s time to grab a book and cuddle near the fire, or use the last bright sunlight, get a notebook and try out the knowledge provided by the great workshops and classes organized by a vibrant writers community.
For In Person and Online Workshopsorganized by 49 Writers. Check out the details and registerat the 49 Writers website
SONIC SYMPHONIES: HOW TO MAKE YOUR WRITING SING with Alyse KnorrOctober 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 8-10pm Location: 161 E. 1st Ave., Door 15 (Alaska Humanities Forum)Price: $120 member/$135 non-member. Register here!All genres.
BURNING WITH LOVE: HOW TO WRITE ABOUT LOVE WITHOUT BLUSHING with Alyse KnorrNovember 3 from 7-10pmLocation: 161 E. 1st Ave., Door 15 (Alaska Humanities Forum)Price: $45 member/$55 non-member. Register here! All genres.
THE SPIRITUAL IN WRITING: ACROSS FAITH, GENRES, AND TIME with Kathleen TarrNovember 10, 12, 17, and 19 from 7:00-9:30pmLocation: 161 E. 1st Ave., Door 15 (Alaska Humanities Forum)Price: $150 member/$170 non-member. Register here!All genres
IN HOMER co-sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Campus:13 WAYS OF LOOKING: WRITING DEEPLY IN PLACE with Christine BylOctober 9, 1:30-4:30pm Location: Kachemak Bay CampusPrice: Free for members/ $45 non-members. Register here
NO BLOGGING REQUIRED! HOW TO MATCH YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE WITH WHO YOU REALLY ARE with Cindy DysonOctober 7 and 14 from 7:00-8:30pm Price: $45 members/ $55 nonmembers. Register here!
 NOTE: This class will be conducted by Skype. Students must have a basic knowledge of computer functionality, internet browser functionality and word-processing software.
The following classes are asynchronous: there are no scheduled meeting times but there will be weekly assignments and expectations, and everyone will complete the work on their own time. Interaction will utilize text-based formats such as discussion boards.
SCENE, SUMMARY, AND TIME with Andromeda Romano-LaxOctober 12 to November 19+ hours over 3 WeeksOnline. No scheduled meetings, asynchronous instructionPrice: $150 member/$165 non-member. Register here! Genres: Fiction/Nonfiction
FIRST PERSON COMPLICATED--THE DUAL-VOICED NARRATOR with Andromeda Romano-LaxNovember 2 to November 229+ hours over 3 WeeksOnline. No scheduled meetings, asynchronous instructionPrice: $150 member/$165 non-member. Register here! Genres: Fiction/Nonfiction
CrossCurrents Anchorage invites you for a conversation with Frank Soos, Justin Herrmann, Eowyn Ivey, and Deb Vanasse about the Future of Fiction on Sunday, October 4, at 7pm at the Anchorage Museum.The 49 Writers CrossCurrents series presents onstage conversations that unite authors and audiences through lively, moderated discussions on questions pertaining to art, culture, and science as illuminated by writers and their work
Alaska Women Speak is searching for a volunteer interested in serving as the new layout editor! The position requires a familiarity with Adobe InDesign.  If this might be you, please contact: 49 Writers Volunteer Seta
Annual Great Alaska Book Fair, sponsored in part by The Mall at Sears and Anchorage Public Library, will be hosted by Publication Consultants, in association with Alaska Book Week, Saturday October 10, from 10 AM to 6 PM. Tables will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Authors are responsible for their own sales. There will not be a central check out register. There is a charge of $50 per table, which authors may share if they'd like. The book fair is held the same day the mall is featuring their annual sidewalk sale. High traffic is expected. For questions or to sign up please go to
49 Writers Readings and Craft Talks
Renowned poet and scholar Bob Holman will begin the fall season of Readings and Craft Talks on October 15 at 7pm at the Great Harvest Bread Company with Bob Holman Answers All Your Questions About Orality, Endangered Languages, and the Mediaization of Poetry...   
Events at the UAA Bookstore
Saturday, October 3 from 1:00pm-3:00pm at theUAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307Time to Walk:  The Extraordinary Life of Explorer Dick GriffithAt this event Dick Griffith shares stories and photos of his journeys in Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and the American West and his exploration and mapping of canyons and creeks in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1952.Joining Dick Griffith is author Kaylene Johnson. This event is held in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and Alaska Book Week. It is sponsored by the UAA Campus Bookstore and is held at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307.  There is free parking at UAA on Saturdays.
Monday, October 5 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307Historian and Author Katherine Ringsmuth’s new book Alaska's Skyboys: Cowboy Pilots and the Myth of the Last Frontier
In the book, Alaska's Skyboys: Cowboy Pilots and the Myth of the Last Frontier, historian Katherine Johnson Ringsmuth uncovers the ways that Alaska's aviation growth was downplayed in order to perpetuate the myth of the cowboy spirit and the desire to tame what many considered to be the last frontier.  Katherine Ringsmuth teaches American and Alaskan History in the UAA History Department and serves on the Board of  Directors for the Cook Inlet Historical Society.
This event is held in celebration of Alaska Book Week and is sponsored by the UAA Campus Bookstore. For this event, there is free parking in the Library Lot, Library NE Lot and the East Garage.
Saturday, October 10 from 1:00pm-3:00pm at theUAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307Lithuanian Poet Judita Vaiciunaite, with Svaja Worthington andLeslie FriedThe art, life, and times of Lithuanian Poet Judita Vaiciunaite (1937-2001) with be highlighted at this event with Svaja Worthington and Leslie Fried. Leslie Fried is the curator of the Alaska Jewish Museum in Anchorage. Her poems have appeared in Cirque Literary Journal. Svaja Vansauskas Worthingtoncalled Alaska home for the past 40 years. In 2013, she was named the Honorary Consul from the State of Alaska to the Republic of Lithuania. Her translations of 2 poems by Judita Vaiciunaite appeared in Cirque Literary Journal Vol. 6, no. 2.
This event is sponsored by the UAA Campus Bookstore and is held at UAA/APU Consortium Library, in room 307. There is free parking at UAA on Saturdays. 
All UAA Campus Bookstore events are informal, free and open to the public. UAA Campus Bookstore podcasts are posted in iTunes or iTunes U –just search UAA or UAA Campus Bookstore.    
Local Library EventsBook Signings
The next installation of The Living Room: Stories for Grownups, will be held Friday, Oct. 9 in the back room at Jitters coffee house in Eagle River. You will hear stories and poems from people in the community who love all things literary. The program starts at 7 pmand is free, with refreshments served afterwards. Come mingle with other writers and readers. See our Facebook page at: The Living Room. Sign up to read or just come and listen. For more info, call Monica Devine at 444-4633
SOUTHEAST INTERIOROn Saturday, October 3rd at 7pm in the Bear Gallery in the Alaska Centennial Center at Pioneer Park, the Fairbanks Art Association will kick off Alaska Book Week with a reading by poet Jeremy Pataky, author of Overwinter, and a performance by cellist, vocalist and songwriter Molly McDermott. This event is free and open to the public. 
360 North will start the 2015-16 season of Writers’ Showcase. All Alaska writers are invited to submit fiction and nonfiction pieces. Stories are read before a live studio audience by professional actors, and later broadcast throughout Alaska on statewide public TV and radio. Stories should be about 10 minutes long when read aloud. Profanity will need to be edited for broadcast. SUBMISSION DEADLINE              RECORDING DATE October 15, 2015                                November 13, 2015 January 18, 2016                                February 25, 2016 April 25, 2016                                    June 2, 2016 Submit to arts [at] ktoo [dot] org. For questions contact Scott Burton
Arts, Culture and Music Producer at 907.463.6473 The 2016 Governor's Awards ceremony will be held in Juneau on Thursday, January 28th. We will also continue the tradition of scheduling CHAMP Day (Culture, Humanities, Arts & Museums Partners), a legislative fly-in day, on Wednesday, January 27th. Please start brainstorming ideas for nominees and consider submitting a nomination! The nomination process will open in August. This year's Arts categories will be: Margaret Nick Cooke Award for Alaska Native Arts & Languages, Business Leadership, Arts Advocacy and Individual Artist. A list of previous awardees can be found at
2016 Statewide Arts and Culture Conference will take place in Anchorage, Thursday, April 28th through Saturday, April 30th. We are in the process of exploring compelling themes, topics and national speakers for the convening. Like our last conference, we will be engaging Alaskan artists in the planning and production of the event. Be on the lookout for the opportunity to apply to be a conference Partner Artist, which will open in the fall. If you have any ideas to share with us, please send them our way by emailing
Poetry Out Loud registration deadline for schools is October 15, 2015Click here to hear from the 2015 National Poetry Out Loud Champion from Alaska, Maeva Ordaz. 
13 Chairs Literary Journal, a new literary journal publishing short stories and poetry from new and emerging authors, seeks submissions and volunteers. They are currently composing their flagship issue, straight out of JBER, AK. To learn more, and to submit, email or visit
Alaska Women Speak is now accepting submissions for the Winter 2015 issue.  The upcoming theme is "Talking over Coffee (or Tea)."  Submissions are due November 15th.
Write to Publish, in partnership with the Timberline Review and Cirque, offer a flash fiction contest and a Pacific Northwest poetry contest this year. Submissionsopen September 8 and close October 30, 2015. Entries for the Pacific Northwest poetry contest may be original, unpublished works up to 40 lines and should be centered on a Pacific Northwest theme. Entries for the flash fiction contest must be 700 words or fewer, original, unpublished, and double spaced. Winners will be notified the first week of December and will win a cash prize of $100, a reading at the conference and publication in Timberline Review for poetry and Cirque for flash fiction. The contest fee is $10, and only one story or poem may be submitted per person, per contest. Please send submissions via email to with “Flash Fiction Contest Submission” or "PNW Poetry Contest Submission” as the subject line.
For more detailed information about the contests, the conference, or to purchase tickets, visit
Alderworks AlaskaWriters and Artists Retreatwill be accepting residency applications November 15, 2015 - January15, 2016. For more information visit
The Alaska Quarterly Reviewwill publish Sparks: A Conversation in Poems and Paintings in its entirety in the May 2016 issue. You can see, in order, each of Peggy Shumaker's poems and each of Kesler Woodward's paintings from their year-long collaboration.  
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Categories: Arts & Culture

ArtsUp! What’s happening this weekend in Juneau!

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 5:08pm
Events happening in Juneau for the week of October 1-7 ArtsUp 10-01-15 (PDF version) Thursday, October 1 6:30pm-7:30pm                  Sustainable Shellfish Harvest in SE AK Hickel Room, Centennial Hall 7pm-9pm                  UAS Presents the film: Rising Voices UAS Egan Lecture Hall, 796-6509 – … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture

Andromeda: Reading between the lines of readers’ feedback: scene, summary, time, voice, and more

49 Writers - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 7:34am

 Note: Andromeda will be teaching two online classes coming up soon: 
SCENE, SUMMARY, AND TIME with Andromeda Romano-LaxOctober 12 to November 19+ hours over 3 Weeks Online. No scheduled meetings, asynchronous instruction
FIRST PERSON COMPLICATED--THE DUAL-VOICED NARRATOR with Andromeda Romano-LaxNovember 2 to November 229+ hours over 3 Weeks Online. No scheduled meetings, asynchronous instruction
"I just don't love it." What does that mean?
I still learn a tremendous amount from peer feedback, and I am inspired by veteran authors like Philip Roth, who even at the end of his career was asking friends and acquaintances to make pre-publication comments on his manuscripts.
But one thing I didn’t realize for many years was that you have to learn how to interpret feedback. Peers – and even agents and uninvested editors, especially when they are in a hurry and skimming your manuscript – may attempt to diagnose a vague problem but mislabel it. And rarely do they provide a solution using precise craft terms.
This leaves revisions back in our hands as writers, more often than not. Starting again, we can try to proceed intuitively, but pure intuition can be dangerous, or at least limited. We may spend years writing some things that work and other things that don’t. We may have flawed, beloved projects wasting away in files or desk drawers, never quite sure why people were bored by them. We may approach new projects with apprehension, still not sure our tools are working properly.
By returning to craft and by becoming experts in patterns – noticing why certain books work, what things are said about our work repeatedly, which of our intuitive “fixes” seemed to work and why—we can sometimes rise above these issues.   
Here are some of the murky, muddy, or misleading comments I’ve heard applied to manuscripts (my own and many others’) –and the under-described craft issues sometimes lurking behind those unclear comments.
I just don’t love it. I can’t get grounded. I’m not interested. It feels lifeless or bloodless. I don’t believe. The characters or plot don’t grab me. I kept putting it down.
So many criticisms, and more than half of the time it boils down, in my experience, to a failure to write in scene. Simple, right? It isn’t. Writers often think they are writing in scene, but instead are in summary mode. They are not dramatizing, showing us what’s happening, letting the characters speak for themselves. Or they are writing half-scenes that are not fully developed, with insufficient detail and unfocused progression.  
I kept turning the pages, I didn’t put it down. But I just didn’t love it. It was forgettable. It was breathless. It was too even, somehow. The voice didn’t grab me. The characters felt shallow.
Wait, isn’t this the same set of criticisms? Not always. When a writer effectively writes simple, competent scenes, and stitches them together, many readers will keep reading. Every scene is a potato chip, and after a couple hours the reader feels – well – like he’s eaten a lot of potato chips. What was tasty in the beginning didn’t satisfy in the end. There are a lot of reasons for this, but sometimes the problem is too many scenes, usually of the same length and development pattern, with little summary. Scene after scene, everything seems to be of equal importance. There is no fastforwarding or little pausing for reflection. The pacing is too even. Voice is sometimes less audible in fully dramatized scenes than in reflection. The relentless scenes with lots of surface action or “showing” and no thoughtful “telling” prevent deeper meaning from developing. We are often told “show don’t tell” but the truth is we need to show and tell, show and tell, in proportions that are unique to each writer.  We need scene and we need summary, reflection, and very small bits of exposition.
I’m confused!
One of the simplest ways to stop confusing readers: pay more attention to time markers. It only takes a few words. Tell us when this scene is happening. It can be as simple as “The next week,” or “Later that day.” If you jump around in chronology, be especially careful to ground us, chronologically, before proceeding. Don’t make us reserve precious attention for these minor details, like time (or a character’s name or relationship, if that’s unclear). Just tell us so we can move on to the more important things.
I’m just not into the subject. There are too many cancer memoirs out there. I don’t care about that period of history. I’m not interested in… (caribou, Detroit, archaeology, divorce, rowing, climate change, record collecting, ferns, cranky old ladies, whatever).
You have a story to tell, fiction or nonfiction. But people keep telling you the general subject or setting is the problem. They want you to write something different altogether. Maybe they’re right. But probably not. How you are telling the story is often more important than what story you are telling. Look at the bestseller list. Look at recent books made into movies. The subjects can surprise us. Engaging stories are spun out of mundane topics, or out of subjects that seem already tired out – until the next bestseller (about cranky old ladies, horses or dogs, or illness) comes out. Don’t give up on your subject if you care about it deeply and feel you have something new to say. Just focus on how to say it better: in vivid scene and thoughtful summary, with clear time markers, and so on.

Andromeda Romano-Lax is the author of Behave, a novel about science, motherhood and the 1920s (March 1, 2016), as well as The Spanish BowThe Detour, and Searching for Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez. She is a co-founder of 49 Writers, teaches in the UAA MFA program, and is a private book
Categories: Arts & Culture

“Song Lake”

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 5:00am

In the middle of the night in the countryside of Rigaud, Quebec – 18″ x 24″ charcoal on paper by Clarissa Rizal

Categories: Arts & Culture

James Engelhardt: Obsessions

49 Writers - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 11:12am
As we pass through the end of September and my time as a guest blogger, I’d like to thank 49Writers again for the opportunity to offer a few thoughts. I hope they’ve been useful.

For this last post, I’d like to turn to two bits of lore I received from teachers. One will be immediately familiar: write what you know. The other, but only slightly less well-known (can’t resist a Princess Bride reference), is this: embrace your obsessions. I think they make perfect sense together, but I’d like to explore why. And I’ll start with an anecdote.

As a poetry reader at Prairie Schooner, I came across a very intriguing submission. The author taught pool—nine-ball and eight-ball—to seniors at an assisted living facility. I happily flipped the cover letter up and started to read. Unhappily the poems were predictable pieces about backyards, gardens, and relationships with grandmothers. All worthy topics, and probably what the author knew well. The opportunity the author missed was the obsession. That’s my reading, anyway. I mean, why else would you find yourself teaching pool in a rather unlikely spot if you weren’t obsessed with the game? It was this submission that got me thinking about pairing those classic bits of advice. 

Yet neither suggestion is easy, though they seem that way. What do you really know? Is experience enough? How much research might be enough? If you’re a novelist, you’re going to need to write the lives of people who are different from you, who aren’t you (the same can also be said of memoirists and poets). How much of those lives do you know? In the end, writing what you know is not so easy. When it comes to obsessions, the questions are different, though there’s a bit of overlap. How much do you know about the topic? How can you bring what you know to the page without boring the reader? What’s the story within the obsession? I’ve watched a book about taxidermy take shape over the course of several years. And if you’ve heard Sherry Simpson talk about bears, then you know how deep an obsession can go. Of course, an obsession might end up being the thing that you know. In that case, readers appreciate learning how other people get obsessed about unexplored aspects of the world.

Maybe I should combine the advice to read: write what you know about your obsessions. All the rest is typing. 

More seriously, there’s a balance to find between useful detail—from knowledge or obsessive research—and overwhelming the reader. Both pieces of advice suggest a way forward, but they’re quite open-ended. The task of the writer, then, is to find how to communicate what they know, to inspire the reader to explore an arcane topic with them. Clearly, and I’ll go back to the pool teacher, it can be hard for writers to trust themselves and their material. So now might be a good time to go back to your work with the basic advice turned into questions. What do I know? What’s my obsession? 

I’d like to end by going in a completely different direction for a moment, and I’m doing this because I was asked about novels in a comment. I haven’t written about novels this month for two reasons: First, we don’t receive a lot of novels, so I haven’t spent as much time thinking about the ways novels work. Second, the discussion around structuring novels is robust and voluminous. In short, I don’t have much to add to the conversation. But maybe I will. I would certainly like that.

Again, I want to thank 49Writers for this forum. They do great work for this state, and they are great advocates for writers. We are lucky to have them. So go sign up for a class, attend an event, and keep writing!

Categories: Arts & Culture

The Haiku Chronicles: Beaver and Pizzarelli

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 1:08pm

Poet/writer Al Pizzarelli and his wife Tlingit artist/writer Donna Beaver Pizzarelli and their Mini-Coup

Eight years ago Al Pizzarelli and Donna Beaver met at a Haiku Poetry convention out there on the East Coast (but pardon me, I forget where!?).  It was love-at-first-sight for Al; Donna didn’t know what to do with his notoriety, talent, charm and wit except to collaborate with him on a project that totally inspired both of them; years later, they are still at it!

Poet/writer Al Pizzarelli

Alan Pizzarelli is a poet, musician, and artist born in 1950 to an Italian-American family in Newark, New Jersey.  He is the author of 13 collections of poetry.  During the early 1970s, he began a serious study of haiku and related forms in New York City under the tutelage of Professor Harold G. Henderson, author of An Introduction to Haiku and Haiku in English.  Since then, many of Pizzarelli’s poems have achieved worldwide acclaim and have appeared in a variety of textbooks, journals, and anthologies.

Alan Pizzarelli’s latest anthology  hot off the press:  “Frozen Socks”

I recently read Al’s “Frozen Socks.”  Each brief piece of writing took me around the block and back again.  It’s the first book of poetry I read from front to back and then again!  I had three nights to hang out and work at Donna and Al’s home in New Jersey.  I divided the book into three sections.  When I tucked myself into bed each of those three nights, I read one section.  The writings brought me to tears, made me laugh too loud and stopped me in my tracks.  I tell you he is one heck of a Raven Trickster who reminds the reader of our vulnerable human condition!

This book is hot off the press available for purchase on Amazon for only $12.95 with additional shipping.  Order your copy today by CLICKING HERE

For his review and input, Donna shows Al the covers of her hand-printed books

A member of the Tlingit Kaagwaantaan (Wolf) Clan, Donna Beaver Pizzarelli was born in 1961 in Juneau, Alaska.  She hails from a long line of artists, most notably her late mother, beadworker/doll-maker Anna Beaver and her late grandfather, carver Amos Wallace.  A media artist who specializes in web-design, research and podcasts, she is a visual artist extraordinaire, a writer and is about to embark on the path of her grandfather Amos:  metal/stone jewelry.

In 2009, hosts Donna Beaver and Alan Pizzarelli produced the first Haiku Chronicles podcast. Today, more than 30 episodes later,  what started off as a grass-roots effort with just a few hundred listeners has now grown to over two million plays of their episodes around the globe!  You may visit their Haiku Chronicles website by CLICKING HERE.

Donna put Clarissa to work in giving a coat of gloss medium to the front and back of Donna’s book of poetry entitled “Rainforest Poems”

Donna and Al have a couple of weeks to complete their website updates, print and assemble Donna’s book of poems, receive their shipment of Al’s books, and pack their recorders, laptops, cameras, etc. into their little Mini-Cooper to drive up to Schenectady, New York State to attend the international Haiku Convention.  Non-stop they work together in their writings, productions, art and music.  Hanging out with them has reminded me of how a pair of people totally in love and committed to one another and their art forms can change a small aspect of the human race.

You may read more about Alan Pizzarelli and Donna Beaver Pizzarelli when their individual websites are back up and running.

Clarissa Rizal and Donna Beaver Pizzarelli


Categories: Arts & Culture

How to "do" the Internet as an Author

49 Writers - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 9:35am
The internet is down at my house. Or close to it. I’m getting connection intermittently and slowly. My frustration and sense of isolation reminds me how dependent I am on the internet for work and for companionship. Perhaps this is the plight of many writers; working alone at our desks to create a world with our words, but how to share it?
In 2010, I attended the AWP conference partly to look at publishers for my first manuscript. I wandered through the giant book fair, gazing wistfully (perhaps even with jealousy) at all of the beautiful books of poetry. I stopped at the booth of a press that I admire very much and made some idle chit-chat with the editor. We spoke of my writing and when I said I had a manuscript ready for publication, he asked it I had a blog. I had been planning on creating a blog, but I didn’t have one. Oh, he said, we don’t publish anyone who doesn’t have a large social media following.
So, I went home and started a blog. And I considered Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram, and Pinterest, and…. Goodness, the list just stretched on forever. If I invested time in all of these different social media sources, when would I write poetry? And besides, who on earth would want to read a blog about my life or whatever it is you put on blogs. But I soldiered onward. I started a blog.
I found that I liked blogging but yes, it did take time from my poetry. I found that the introvert in me loved Facebook because I could keep in touch with my friends without having to actually, you know, talk with them. But each of these things took time away from reading and writing.
I would have loved to have taken a class about how to match my online presence to who I actually am without all the trial and error. Without feeling icky. Without wondering if I’m creating a system akin to shouting into an empty dark hole. So I’ve been pretty excited about Cindy Dyson’s upcoming class No Blogging Required! How to Match Your Online Presence with Who You Really Are. It’s an online class using Skype for just two short evenings on October 7 and 14. If Skype makes you nervous, register for the class and then contact me. I’ll walk you through how to set it up on your computer.

And in the meantime, be patient with me until my internet is back up to full speed. I’ll be the one crouched in the local coffee shop using the wifi and clutching a double latte in my hand.

~Erin Coughlin Hollowell, ED of 49 Writers
Categories: Arts & Culture

Frog Woman House Post

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 7:29am

Wayne Carlick and Debra Michel sing an honor song to commemorate the Frog Woman house post at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ — September 27, 2015

Montclair Art Museum in Monclair, New Jersey is the very first museum in the state to host Native American art.  A 9-foot house post carved a few years ago by Canadian Tlingit artist Wayne Carlick, was gifted to the museum by art collectors Carole and Malcolm Schwartz.  MAM acknowledged the gift by a dedication of the “Frog Woman” house post on Sunday, September 27th.  Wayne and his wife Debra Michel were the guests of honor, making their long drive from the remote village of Atlin, British Columbia down the ALCAN (Alaska/Canadian) Highway, then catching the flight from Seattle to Newark, New Jersey.

Montclair Museum staff, art collectors and the general public attended the dedication of the Frog Woman house post; Wayne gave a very moving story about the legendary Frog Woman

Wayne Carlick was born in 1958 in Atlin, Canada and was raised on the Taku River in British Columbia.  He is a member of the Tlingit Taltan Nation and a clan member of the Xooxhitan House.  His Tlingit name is Yaan Dec-kin Yeil, which translates to Flying Raven.

After completing his schooling, Carlick trained in carpentry.  he began carving poles, posts, bowls and clan regalia in 1992 when he apprenticed with famed Northwest Coast Indian artists Dempsey Bob.  Carlick has become a successful, versatile artists and his artwork is in many museums, including a few pieces in the Montclair Art Museum.

Traditionally, Tlingit families lived together in large clan houses often built in a row along a river bank or beach.  Four carved, painted house posts were placed at each corner of the house where they functioned as supports for the wood framework along the massive tree trunks.  If the posts became very worn over time and could no longer serve as supports, they were attached to undecorated posts since they continued to be held in high esteem.

Featured on house posts are crest figures belonging to certain Tlingit families or sometimes illustrating Tlingit legends such as the story of Frog Woman.

Debra Michel, Wayne Carlick, Frog Woman House Post, Clarissa Rizal and Donna Beaver Pizzarelli

After doing business in Seattle last week, I spent 4 days in Bloomfield working and visiting with my friends Donna Beaver and Al Pizzarelli.  Donna is part of the organization crew working on the Tlingit Mentorship Program along with Preston Singeltary and Sue and Israel Shotridge and I.  Earlier this month, Donna pointed out that MAM was hosting a house post dedication at the end of September and asked if I knew the carver.  I shuffled my schedule a bit to make the trip out East.  Amongst several other things I did in the brief visit, MAM’s dedication was intimate and moving, with lots of syncronicities.  I’m glad I attended!


Categories: Arts & Culture

Martha Redbone LIVE

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Sun, 09/27/2015 - 10:05am
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council is delighted to present Martha Redbone, a Brooklyn based, Independent Music Award-winning musician of Cherokee, Choctaw, Shawnee and African-American descent.  Tickets are on sale now at The Juneau Arts & Culture Center, Hearthside Books, and … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture

A Fabulous Tool: The “Rowenta” Steamer & Iron

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Sat, 09/26/2015 - 11:51am

Clarissa irons “NW x SW II” button robe with her brand new “Rowenta” Steamer Iron

After buying a brand new (or sometimes 2nd hand) iron averaging $10 to $40 every 3 or 4 years for since I began sewing in 1974, I invested in a $240 “la machine!”  I must have reliable equipment to get my work done in a timely manner; I cannot rely on “lesser than” equipment.  The last iron that conked out on me was terribly disappointing because I could not finish my job.  It’s not like I can just go out and buy me a new iron in a small remote town in Colorado Rockies whose stores are not open on Sundays!

So while I was shopping in Juneau’s “JoAnn’s” all the irons were on sale for 40% off.  I hauled this huge iron back to my studio in Colorado.  It’s been worth it.  Such a pleasure having a tool do its best.  In turn it helps me to do my best (and in a timely manner)!

Categories: Arts & Culture


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