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'Tidal Echoes' celebrates 10th anniversary at UAS Friday

Posted: April 19, 2012 - 12:00am

This Friday’s Sound and Motion series at the University of Alaska Southeast will celebrate the special 10th anniversary launch of Tidal Echoes, Southeast Alaska’s literary and art journal. The journal features a wide range of artwork, such as photography, mixed media, pottery, and basket weaving. Literary content includes poetry, prose, memoir, and excerpts from unpublished works.

Student editor Alex Brown said working on the journal was an eye-opening experience.

“The work published in ‘Tidal Echoes’ is very much like the community of Southeast Alaska: it’s rich in culture and full of surprises,” Brown said. “I have lived in Juneau my entire life, graduated high school, lived down the street, or took a class from some of the writers that were published in this year’s edition. I had no idea just how brilliant these people were. It really makes you stop and think for a moment, is it possible that the barista who made your skinny latte just might be the next Emily Dickinson? In a town like Juneau it most definitely is a possibility.”

Even after the long process of working on this year’s edition, Brown said he never got tired of reading through it.

“I have read every piece in this journal at least 15 times yet it’s still so gratifying to see it printed down on the page, and I could easily read each piece 15 more times, maybe even 100 more times,” Brown said.

According to Emily Wall, UAS Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, who oversees the journal, part of the publication’s appeal is its diverse range of contributors.

“UAS students are published alongside some of the best writers in the state of Alaska,” she said.

This year’s featured writer is world-renowned Gustavus author and photographer Kim Heacox, who will offer a sneak preview from the manuscript of his upcoming memoir called “Fixing a Hole in the Ocean.”

“This memoir is about the essence of true community and the transformational power of music, water and wildness,” he explained.

Heacox is also the author of numerous books, including a memoir “The Only Kayak,” the novel “Caribou Crossing” and several books published by National Geographic.

The launch party will also feature a presentation by Juneau photographer Patrice Helmar. Other featured contributors include Richard Dauenhauer, Ernestine Hayes, Nahaan Aya, Robyn Holloway and Ryan Perez Cortes.

Ten years ago, “Tidal Echoes” began publishing the works of students at UAS. Eventually, the journal opened the doors to accept creative works from anyone living in Southeast Alaska. Today, the journal continues to be published by UAS with funding from Chancellor John Pugh and a statewide grant from Dan Julius.

This year’s student editors in addition to Brown were Tom Bay and Jacqueline Boucher. The team received more than 300 submissions, including works from Alaska Native, African American and Filipino-American writers and artists. The journal also received submissions for the first time from writers with special needs who work with The Canvas Community Art Studio.

“We would like ‘Tidal Echoes’ to reflect the rich diversity of our communities,” Wall said. “We were so happy to see that diversity reflected in this year’s journal.”

Wall expressed gratitude toward the UAS community for making the journal a success, including Richard Caulfield, Marsha Sousa, Virginia Berg, Sol Neely and the editorial board.

“It’s an amazing project that brings together students, faculty, staff and administrators,” she said.

For creative souls in Southeast Alaska, it is never too early to consider submitting work to next year’s journal. The deadline for the 2013 publication will be December 1, 2012.

This year’s launch party starts at 7 p.m. Friday at the UAS Egan Lecture Hall. Southeast Alaskan artists and writers will be available to give readings of their works and sign copies of the journal, which will be available for purchase for $5 at the door and will be for sale later at the UAS Bookstore and Hearthside Books. Refreshments will be provided, and the event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit www.uas.alaska.edu/arts_sciences/humanities/tidalechoes/

• Jennifer Nu is a freelance writer in Alaska. Contact her at jennu.jnu@gmail.com

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