I’ve spent the last four years writing and editing for the Capital City Weekly. Those four years have made for positive, lasting memories.
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Yakutat, Skagway, Haines, Ketchikan, Angoon, Hoonah, Gustavus, Petersburg, Wrangell, and Tenakee Springs. I’ve gotten to report on business like Tenakee Logging Company, also known as TLC; The Flying University at Lemon Creek, created by University of Alaska Southeast associate professor Sol Neely; Petersburg’s Little Norway Festival; the first basketball tournament Angoon hosted in years; some of the many incredibly important Alaska Native language revitalization efforts; and talented artists and writers around Southeast. One of 2016’s highlights for me and many others was traveling to Glacier Bay for the dedication of Xunaa Shuká Hít, the Huna tribal house, and the return of the Huna Tlingit to their ancestral home.
Serving as Capital City Weekly editor for the last year and a half, and as staff writer for two and a half years before that, has immeasurably enriched my understanding of Southeast Alaska. So has working with talented writers, columnists, freelancers and photographers from around Southeast Alaska.
I’ll be away from the job of Capital City Weekly managing editor as of May 5, leaving it in current staff writer Clara Miller’s capable hands. In May I’m heading to Alderworks, a writers and artists retreat in Dyea, run by Jeff and Dorothy Brady. There, I’ll be working on a novel based in the summer of 1898, during the Klondike gold rush.
After the North Words Writers Symposium, also organized by the Bradys, my boyfriend Bjorn Dihle and I will retrace the route stampeders took to the gold fields. We’ll hike over the Chilkoot Pass and float from Lake Bennett to Dawson, Canada, a distance of around 550 miles.
This won’t be the last you’ll hear from me, however. I anticipate writing a dispatch from North Words, perhaps another on Bjorn’s and my journey, and you may find me right back here come mid-August.
When I talk about writing for the Capital City Weekly, I often describe it as writing about “interesting people doing interesting things.” I could just as easily describe it as people doing interesting and important things. Art is essential, period. As I’ve heard many carvers, weavers and other Alaska Native artists say over the last few years, in Southeast Alaska pre-colonization, art wasn’t known and set apart as such: it was simply a part of daily life.
Hopefully, the Capital City Weekly has helped bring a little more of Southeast Alaska’s rich arts, culture and community into your own life.
It’s been a real privilege serving as editor of the Capital City Weekly. Thanks, as always, for reading.
— Mary Catharine Martin, Capital City Weekly managing editor