The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will host a reception for Nora Dauenhauer, Alaska’s newest Writer Laurate, on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The reception will run from 5-6 p.m. and will include comments from Rosita Worl, President of Sealaska Heritage Institute, and JAHC executive director Nancy DeCherney, as well as UAS chancellor John Pugh.
Dauenhauer may read a few poems during the event, and all of her books, including the poetry collection, “Life Woven with Song,” will be on display in the JACC gallery.
Dauenhauer was named Alaska’s State Writer Laureate last month, and will hold the position from 2012 to 2014. She is a highly respected writer, poet, linguist and researcher, and her work has been widely anthologized. Raised in and around Juneau in a traditional subsistence lifestyle, she spoke only Tlingit until the age of 8. She received a degree in anthropology from Alaska Methodist University, in the mid-1970s, where she met her husband, Richard Dauenhauer. The couple have published many works together, including the “Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature” series, published by Sealaska Heritage Institute; the fourth volume in the series, “Anooshi Lingit Aani Ka, Russians in Tlingit America: The Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804” with Lydia Black, was honored with the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2008.
Dauenhauer also worked as a Tlingit language researcher for the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, from 1972 to 1973 and was principal researcher in language and cultural studies at Sealaska Heritage from 1983 to 1997. She has also been honored with the Humanist of the Year by the Alaska Humanities Forum in 1980, with a Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1989, an Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award in 2011, and the First Peoples Fund’s Community Spirit Award in 2005.
For more information on the reception, visit www.jahc.org.