Friday, February 24, 2012

Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up

A big thank you to the hundred or so writers and readers who came to this week’s Crosscurrents event to enjoy the on-stage conversation between Alaskan authors Andromeda Romano-Lax and Eowyn Ivey. Andromeda read from her latest novel, The Detour, released earlier in the week, and Eowyn – just back from a book release tour in the United Kingdom – shared some passages from The Snow Child, which is currently at No. 27 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. They then treated the audience to an engaging talk about craft and the writing process.

Our deepest gratitude goes to Andromeda and Eowyn for creating such a memorable evening, to Mark Weber of the Anchorage Museum for arranging the book sales and signings, to the Museum for providing the perfect venue, and to Jeff Oliver for recording the event so others can enjoy it too. The podcast will be available shortly on the 49 Writers website. 

Our next Crosscurrents event takes place on Saturday, April 7 at 7:00 pm. Entitled “Literature in an Age of Moral Depravity,” it will feature short story writer and essayist Steve Almond, whose work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, and local writer David Stevenson, director of the Creative Writing and Literary Arts program at UAA.

This week we have three authors in Anchorage classrooms as part of our Writers in the Schools program. Carol Loftfield is teaching young writers at Turnagain Elementary how to tap into their imaginations; Kelsea Habecker is inspiring young poets at Kasuun Elementary; and Stefanie Tatalias is energizing students to write flash fiction at Rogers Park Elementary. Thanks to the Anchorage School District for the opportunity to go into the schools, which have welcomed our writers warmly.

We are already half-way through our spring schedule of classes for writers but there is still time to sign up for the remaining workshops. Tomorrow, February 24, Cherilynn Stone starts a two-part class on “Building a Strong Presence Using Social Media.” On March 7, Kelsea Habecker begins a four-week series, “Pursuing Poetry: A Course for Intermediate Poets,” and on April 7, Steve Almond offers two classes that are filling up quickly: “Obsessive Writing” and “Funny is the New Deep.”

Kelsea's poetry class is designed for intermediate students, for writers and poets interested in honing their skills in poetry. It  will include both workshop elements (with peer and instructor feedback) and direct instruction on formal poetic elements for developing craft. Contemporary poetry will be read and discussed to foster awareness of current poetic styles. Emphasis will be given to writing process. Students will complete the course with a short portfolio of poems that have been peer-reviewed and critiqued by the instructors. 

Mark your calendars now for the 49 Writers annual Writeathon on Friday, April 13, at 5:30 p.m. at Snow City Café. Plan to write, to pledge, or to help organize. If you’re interested in joining our Writeathon team just email 49Writers@gmail.com. More details about this key fundraiser to follow soon.

Tomorrow, Saturday February 25, 10am, there will be a Writers Critique Group at Title Wave Books, Northern Lights Mall, Anchorage. The group is open to any genre of writing and all levels are welcome. For more information, call Mary at (907) 569 5075.

You're invited to read Martin Luther King Jr's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and gather at Fireside Books in Palmer on Saturday February 25, 4pm to discuss the questions it raises about racial equality then and now.

Also tomorrow, Saturday, February 25, 5-7pm, The UAA Poetry Club will host the fourth of six V.O.I.C.E Youth open mic's in the UAA Student Union Den, as part of UAA Student Union & Commuter Student Service's Winterfest 2012.

Jaystone will be the fourth featured reader, and Ilina Sauceda will
serve as youth co-host for this event. Both have been active members
of the Young Writers Venue Development Committee and Jaystone served
as the youth co-host for our first Youth Open Mic at Indigo Tea Lounge
in November. The Youth Open Mic will be followed by an All Ages Poetry
Slam. Contact Brian Hutton 907 350 4580 for further info.

On Tuesday, February 28, 7pm, the Anchor Park Reading Group will meet at Barnes at Noble to discuss the month's selected book, The Big Short: Inside the Money Machine by Michael Lewis. 200 E. Northern Lights, Anchorage.

Also on Tuesday, February 28 at 7pm, come to the Wilda Marsten Theater, Loussac Library, for Persepolis Jeopardy! Calling all fans of graphic novels, comic books, current events, Iranian history and Persepolis. Teams of 3 (age 15 and up) can sign up at coliver314@gmail.com (space limited). Prizes and support from Alaska Center for the Book.

On Thursday, March 1, 7.30pm. the 7th Annual Shakespeare Polaris Lecture will be delivered by Shakespearean actor Barry Craft. ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building, UAA. 

The Alaska Quarterly Review First Friday Series will be hosted by Jitters Café (11401 Old Glenn Hwy, Eagle River, AK) on Friday, March 2, 2012, 7-8.30pm.  The featured reader will be Jeff Silverman reading selections from the Fall 2011 edition of the Alaska Quarterly Review.  Musical Guest will Flat Baroque, including recorders, krummhorns, violin, guitar, harpsichord, percussion and vocals.  Sponsored by the Alaska Quarterly Review, the AQR First Friday Series brings together creative voices in visual, performing and literary arts.

The Alaska-based artists/scientists consortium In a Time of Change (ITOC), with several collaborators, is producing a creative project in 2012-13 that focuses on the dynamics of predator/prey interactions, entitled In a Time of Change: Trophic Cascades. Applications are solicited from artists of all disciplines and media. Full application call: http://www.nps.gov/dena/upload/Call-for-Applications-ITOC-Trophic-Cascades-FINALrevised.pdf
Selected artists will participate in a 3-day field workshop in Denali National Park, July 25-27 2012, and other daytrips around Fairbanks. These experiences will provide two-way interaction with scientists expert in predator/prey interactions and trophic cascades in Alaska. There will also be the opportunity for long-term interaction with scientists via ongoing dialogues, exchanges of ideas, and feedback. The field workshop and daytrips will be free, including lodging and food for the Denali workshop, but artists must provide their own transportation. Artists will be expected to generate original creative works on the theme of predator/prey interactions and discover new ways of expressing, demonstrating or representing some of the basic concepts that underlie complex webs of ecological interdependence among plants, animals (including humans) and habitats. ITOC's aims are to catalyze thought and creativity, connect scientific concepts with human ideas, actions, the subconscious, and emotions, and foster new social-ecological dialogue. The project will culminate in an integrated exhibit, featuring works by the selected artists. Tentative date: August 2013 at the Bear Gallery in Fairbanks, and possibly going on tour to other AK cities and beyond.
Applicants must be Alaska residents over 18 years of age.
Applicants must be available to attend the summer workshop in Denali NPP, July 25-27 2012.
Artists of all disciplines and media are encouraged to apply, including: Writers (poetry and prose), Visual artists, Musicians, Dance ensembles, Playwrights/theater ensembles, New Media artists, Video/film documentarians.
Deadline for applications: March 15. See this link for full information and details.



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