Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Alaska Shorts: Visiting with AQR, Eva Saulitis featured

Throughout the next few months, we'll be featuring excerpts of writing by Alaskans who've been published in Alaska Quarterly Review. AQR is published by the University Alaska Anchorage and is without a doubt one of the nation's best literary magazines, as noted by The Washington Post Book World. Each issue of AQR is rich with fine writing and social consequence. We hope by featuring this work on the 49 Writers blog, you'll be enticed to look further into this fine publication.

From Volume 31, No. 3 & 4

by Eva Saulitis

for Ieva

Opening Scene

She enters from the right, stops to survey her surroundings. In the far distance, a figure in a yellow trench coat bends to pick something up from the line of sea-wrack.

She walks directly toward the Baltic's mud-blue pastiche. Out there, a ship plies toward the industrial canal, another lurks on the horizon. Small waves churn, churn, worrying the same ribbon of sand. The sun works also, ceaselessly, to clear the morning sky. And the ever-present wind off the Baltic sweeps the dune grasses of detritus. These constants, like old men hired to collect trash with their long pokers, persevere, all day, every day, back and forth, forth and back.

Decorated down its length the beach sports empty swings, monkey bars, and other children's whirl-a-gigs, which she considers, for a time, as resting spots.

Instead, she sits on the cold sand. What am I doing here, she asks herself, meaning not this beach, but this place, Ventspils, Latvia. Her parents left Latvia in 1944, two of the war's displaced millions. That's what they called them, Displaced Persons. They never returned. Now, on another continent, an ocean away, her father is dying.

She feels displaced – and also carefully – placed. Deliberately. Like a stone someone pocketed, carried, then added to an evolving arrangement on a window sill. She's anonymous. An old Russian woman doesn't recognize her as displaced, foreign, asks her the directions to Olas Iela, Egg Street. She's halfway struck dumb, her Latvian a shattered, bastard tongue.

Now here's the sun – just in time. New figures enter the scene, suddenly. An old couple in long coats, one black, one brown, they stoop, add something to their white plastic sacks. Stones. Or amber. Who's to say?

She is a piece of amber in which tiny human figures are trapped. Her mother and father walking arm in arm away from the Baltic.

The camera pans right to ugly Soviet-era structures near the industrial canal. Fish-plants. Office buildings. History enters, as fog tendrils blow in off the Baltic.

Read the rest of this wonderful piece of creative nonfiction on the AQR website.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Bob Holman – The Man, The Myth, The Legend – or a really amazing guy who knows a bunch about poetry and endangered languages

Let me tell you a little about Bob Holman. He’s been kicking around Alaska for almost a month now, and I had the great good fortune to cross paths with him in Homer at the Bunnell Arts Center. Many of you may have already had a chance to hang out with him, but if you haven’t, he’s going to be in Anchorage at the Great Harvest Bread Co. on October 15 for a Reading and Craft Talk.

Equal parts spoken word performer, professor, impresario, activist, proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, filmmaker and host of Language Matters, a two-hour PBS special on Endangered Languages, to Bob Holman it's all just part of the job. He's a poet. From Slam to Hiphop, from performance to spoken word, Bob's been a central figure in redefining poetry in the US as existing on, off, and beyond the page. I’ve got tell you, Bob doesn’t just read a poem, he embodies it.

Author of 16 poetry collections, most recently Sing This One Back to Me (2013) from Coffee House Press, Bob has been dubbed a member of the "Poetry Pantheon" by the New York Times Magazine. He's been featured in a Henry Louis Gates, Jr. profile in The New Yorker. He's been crowned "Ringmaster of the Spoken Word" (New York Daily News), "Poetry Czar" (Village Voice), and "Dean of the Scene" (Seventeen).

As an arts administrator, Bob's served as coordinator and readings curator at St. Mark’s Poetry Project, original Slammaster and a director of the Nuyorican Poets Café, as well as founder and proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club. His study of Hiphop and West African Oral Traditions led to his current work with Endangered Languages—he is a co-founder and co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance.

After he leaves Alaska, Bob will head back to the east coast then bounce back around to California and then to India following the trail of the Beat Poets. So, make sure you catch him at the Great Harvest Bread Co. at 7pm on Thursday, October 15. He’s going to blow you out of the water with his amazing poetry and a talk he’s entitled: Bob Holman Answers All Your Questions About Orality, Endangered Languages, and the Mediaization of Poetry.

Learn more about Bob at his website: http://www.bobholman.com/.

And have a fabulous week. Write a lot and when you get a chance, drop us a line and tell us about it.

Take care,


Friday, October 9, 2015

Weekly Roundup of Writing Opportunities for October 9

There are still a few In Person and Online Workshops organized by 49 Writers that you can sign up. Check out the details and register at the 49 Writers website

November 3 from 7-10pm
Location: 161 E. 1st Ave., Door 15 (Alaska Humanities Forum) Register here!
All genres

Price: $45 member/$55 non-member
November 10, 12, 17, and 19 from 7:00-9:30pm
Location: 161 E. 1st Ave., Door 15 (Alaska Humanities Forum)
Price: $150 member/$170 non-member. Register here!
All genres

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.

November 4 and 11 from 7:00-8:30pm (3 hours total)
Price: $45 members/ $55 nonmembers. Register here

November 2 to November 22
9+ hours over 3 Weeks
Online. No scheduled meetings, asynchronous instruction
Price: $150 member/$165 non-member. Register here
Genres: Fiction/Nonfiction

Alaska Book Week will soon be upon us scheduled for Oct. 3 -11. We would like to invite everyone to sign up by clicking the participation form on the right side of the website at www.alaskabookweek.com Once you submit your form, the coordinator will be in contact with you soon. This year, we are making more of an effort to create lists of Alaskan authors and possible venues so that we can expand on our yearly celebration--and provide more representation for authors and their wonderful books!
We would also like to remind Alaska Book Week participants that we are incorporating a YouTube campaign into our yearly celebration.
For questions or comments, please contact the Alaska Book Week coordinator at akbookweek@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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: alaskawomenspeak@yahoo.com
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 http://bit.ly/1JbAN8H.

Renowned poet and scholar Bob Holman will begin the fall season 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 10 from 1:00pm-3:00pm at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307
Lithuanian Poet Judita Vaiciunaite, with Svaja Worthington and Leslie Fried
The 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 Worthington called 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. 

Monday, October 12 at  6:30 PM at UAA Wendy Williamson Auditorium (Lake Otis & Providence Drive)
Beyond Limits Community Tour with Bonner Paddock, author of One More Step. The Arc of Anchorage is proud to present Bonner Paddock ­–the first person with Cerebral Palsy to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and complete the IRONMAN Kona challenge in Hawaii, unassisted. The event is FREE and open to the public! This event, with book signing, is sponsored by  OM Foundation, Young’s Market Company and The Arc of Anchorage, UAA Campus Bookstore.  Event parking is FREE in the West Lot (directly across the auditorium building.  For more information, contact Lisa Noland at lnoland@thearcofanchorage.org or 646-5710.

Tuesday,  October 13 from 1:00pm-2:00pm at the UAA Engineering and Industry Building, Express Café, 2nd floor
Tea and Conversation with Katherine Donahue author of  Steaming to the North: The First Summer Cruise of the US Revenue Cutter Bear, Alaska and Chukotka, Siberia , 1886
Come welcome guest speaker, author and anthropologist Katherine Donohue at this informal gathering

Tuesday, October 13 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at the UAA/ APU Consortium Library, room 307.
Author Katherine Donahue presents Steaming to the North: The First Summer Cruise of the US Revenue Cutter Bear, Alaska and Chukotka, Siberia , 1886
The life of Alaska Natives, whalemen, and photographs of the last sail-and-steam whaling ship, the Bear, are highlighted at this event. Katherine Donahue is professor of Anthropology at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Steaming to the North is published by University of Alaska Press.

Free parking for this event in the Library Lot, Library NE Lot , and the East Garage.

Saturday, October 17 from 1:00pm-3:00pm at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307
Professor Sudarsan Rangarajan presents  French Poets from A Gray Barn Rising. At this event, French poets from A Gray Barn Rising—including Francis Ponge and  Robert Desnos –will be highlighted with Sudarsan Rangarajan.  Sudarsan Rangarajan is professor of French and Coordinator of the French Program Department of Languages at UAA.  His areas of interest include twentieth century French and Québécois literatures, and critical theory. His book, Critical Essays on Michel Butor's L'Emploi du Temps, was published by Peter Lang in 2012.
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 Events
Book 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 pm and 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

Read Local: An Alaska Book Week Celebration
With local authors Ernestine Hayes, Carrie Enge, Aleria Jensen and a special announcement by Alaska Writer Laureate, Frank Soos.
October 10th, 7pm  at Coppa (917 Glacier Ave)
·         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, ice-cream and pastries 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.
For more information visit www.uas.alaska.edu/ocob

Looking for a writer in Juneau who could commit to cover 2-3 days each week (Monday-Friday) from 4-5:30pm during November’s NaNoWriMo to help give kids time to write, support and maybe even give some motivation and ideas. The writer will partner with Jennifer Walker who will be covering the other 2-3 days each week. To meet and plan, please contact her at paterjen@gmail.com.

The blog/website agingalaskans.info is seeking fiction and non-fiction submissions to publish as blog postings, newsletter items, and possibly in other venues such as an electronic compilation of items from the website. All interested writers are strongly advised to review the website in detail to get a feel for website which focuses on issues of concern to Alaskans in their 50s and older. We are interested in:
    short stories
    book reviews
Here are a few details and caveats.
    We are volunteers, so we cannot pay for submissions. Ask again when we are rich and famous :-)
    Subject matter must broadly fit the theme "aging in Alaska" involving and/or clearly targeting persons in their 50s and older.
    Submit whatever mix and number of items you want, but they must not total more than 1,000 words. 
    Do not submit anything else until we invite you in writing to do so.
    Submissions may have been published elsewhere (please indicate where), but you must indicate truthfully that you have all relevant rights to publish the article. We may ask for documentation.
    Please include a short, one paragraph bio, and a digital photo of yourself that we will post with your work.
    Please send submissions to: ldweiss@agingalaskans.info  and expect a response within weeks.

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.
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 https://education.alaska.gov/aksca/pdf/Past_Recipients_GAAH.pdf.

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 aksca.info@alaska.gov

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 info@13chairs.com or visit 13chairs.com.

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. Submissions open 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 w2p@ooliganpress.pdx.edu 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 http://ooligan.pdx.edu/writetopublish/.

Alderworks Alaska Writers and Artists Retreat will be accepting residency applications November 15, 2015 - January15, 2016. For more information visit http://alderworksalaska.com

The Alaska Quarterly Review will 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.  

Your Membership Counts!
Over 1,000 people receive these newsletters. Many of them are members of 49 Writers, knowing that their membership helps support all of the workshops, author tours, CrossCurrents events, readings, blog posts, and craft talks. Won't you join them by becoming a member? October is our annual membership and donation campaign; we hope you'll consider becoming an active part of the 49 Writers family.

Have news or events you'd like to see listed here? Email details to 49roundup (at) gmail.com. Your message must be received by noon on the Thursday before the roundup is scheduled to run. Unless your event falls in the "Opportunities" category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email.