Alaska Literary Reading
Sponsored by the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA Program at Pacific Lutheran University.
Four writers from Alaska, including Peggy Shumaker, the Alaska State Writer Laureate, Joan Kane, Amber Flora Thomas, Nicole Stellon-O’Donnell, will read from their new books published by The Alaska Literary Series of the University of Alaska Press. The event is FREE.
The Alaska Literary Series of the University of Alaska Press publishes three titles a year in poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction that has a strong connection to Alaska or the circumpolar north, making the northern experience available to the world.
About the Artists
Joan Kane, “The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife”
A young Iñupiaq poet whose work speaks to the upheaval of families exiled from their ancestral lands, Ms. Kane was educated at Harvard and Columbia universities and now lives in Anchorage. Her poems’ syncopated cadences and evocative images bring to life the exceptional physical and cultural conditions of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions that have been home to her ancestors ten thousand years.
Amber Flora Thomas, “The Rabbits Could Sing”
Ms. Thomas’s first book, “Eye of Water: Poems,” won the Cave Canem Prize. Her poetry invites us into a world thick with the lush bounty of summer in the Far North, where the present is never far from the shadow of the past. She teaches at University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Nicole Stellon-O’Donnell, “Steam Laundry”
Ms. Stellon-O’Donnell found a cache of letters to and from one of the first women to arrive in Fairbanks during the Gold Rush. From these letters grew a novel in verse form, the latest title from Boreal Books. She will speak about her research in the Alaska and Polar Regions collection and how that work turned into a book of poems. She is the winner of a Rasmuson Foundation grant, and teaches AP English at Lathrop High School.
Peggy Shumaker, reading from Marjorie Kowalski Cole’s “The City Beneath the Snow”
Ms. Shumaker will give voice to excerpts from Ms. Cole’s last book, published posthumously. This final collection of stories from an award-winning writer offers portraits of contemporary Alaskans. Some readers will know Ms. Cole’s novel “Correcting the Landscape,” chosen by Barbara Kingsolver for the Bellwether Prize.