English 49 Writers Reflection Essay

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New releases

Marilyn Sigman’sEntangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay (University of Alaska Press) | details | See below for upcoming events and stay tuned for more

Kathleen Tarr’sWe Are All Poets Here (VP&D) | details* (49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk in ANC on March 1, details below)

Laura Hartema’sBering Sea Strong | A memoir: “How I found solid ground on open ocean.”

Brian Turner’s The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers | Featuring an entry by 49 Writers board member Matthew KomatsuThe Kiss is a diverse anthology of essays, stories, poems, and graphic memoirs, where writers explore the deeply human act of kissing. For sale on Amazon and orderable from your local bookshop

 

SOUTHCENTRAL

ANCHORAGE | *SOLD OUT* Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 10-3 PM (bring a snack) | Join Anchorage Daily News writer/editor Julia O’Malley for a half-day 49 Writers workshop called Fancy Seeing You Here on how to write newspaper columns about life in Alaska. The theme: small world-ness, odd connections, and too few degrees of separation. Writers will work on fleshing out narratives and learn strategies for working quickly and structuring complete short pieces. In the weeks following the workshop, willing writers with promising pieces may work with Julia to revise and polish the piece for possible publication in AND. Find O’Malley’s work at juliaomalley.media. Class will occur at the ADN offices, 300 W. 31st Ave. Learn more

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 12-2 PM | Blackout Poetry: Use old books, magazines, and newspapers to create new poems. Held at the Anchorage Public Library. Facebook event

ANCHORAGE | Cirque, a literary journal, has just re-cast itself as Cirque Press (CP). CP will publish the collected work of many of the fine writers whose work is found in Cirque. The first is Apportioning the Light, a collection of poems by Karen Tschannen. Anne Coray says this about the work, “It’s a rare and somewhat envious feeling for those of us who work with words: to page through a book of poetry and think, ‘I wish I had written that.’…” Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 7 pm, at The Writer’s Block, Cirque Press will launch Apportioning the Light and the 17th issue of Cirque. Poetry, music, prizes and a toast to fine literature.

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 7 PM 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series presents Kathleen Tarr, author of We Are All Poets Here (VP&D House), presenting On the Literary Road with Thomas Merton: Writing As a Pilgrimage| Writers must often dance in the “clarity of perfect contradiction,” as the famous Trappist monk and bestselling writer,Thomas Merton observed. Writers work in quiet isolation, and yet confront and answer the impulse to hit the road, turning themselves into wanderers and explorers. Whether physically or metaphorically, writers become pilgrims. In this 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series event, author Kathleen Witkowska Tarr discusses her newly-released book, part-memoir, part-biography, We Are All Poets Here (VPD House, January 2018), a shared story about spiritual seeking, and a surprising literary pilgrimage.” Held at the Indigo Tea Loungeon 530 E Benson Blvd #8. Facebook event

ANCHORAGE | UAA Books of the Year, Alaska Native Studies and Native Student Services invite you to view an important and fascinating film about the central role of drumming in the Yup’ik village of Emmonak, followed by a discussion with Yup’ik professors Dr. Walkie Charles from UAF and Marie Meade of Anchorage. Thursday, March 1, 2018, 7:30 pm, Rasmuson Hall room 101. Free and open to all.

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 6 – 8 PM | Book Talk: We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet with Dr. EJR David. David discusses his new book, We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet: Letters to My Filipino-Athabascan Family. David was born in the Philippines to Kapampangan and Tagalog parents, he grew up in Pasay, Las Pinas, Makati, and Utqiagvik, Alaska. Through a psychology lens, David talks about the effects of colonialism, intergenerational trauma, immigration, racism, sexism and internalized oppression. Included with admission. Facebook event

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 5-7 PM | The Spenardian Launch Party: hyperlocal news source is becoming a quarterly magazine. Live music, drinks available for purchase. Event free, donations accepted. Held at Church of Love Spenard, 3502 Spenard Rd. Facebook event

SEWARD | 49 Writers presents Marilyn Sigman, author of Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay, presenting The Ecology of Desire: A Reading & Talk, March 2, 2018 at 6 pm at Resurrect Art. According to archaeologists, people have lived in Kachemak Bay and the traditional territories of the Alutiiq/Sugpiaq and Dena’ina peoples for around 9,000-10,000 years. According to oral histories, they have been here since time immemorial. The ocean, too, has a history, which serves as the “memory of the climate system.” Marilyn Sigman will describe the insights she gained while researching and writing her book Entangled. The book explores the interactions and entanglements of people as they have fulfilled their needs and desires, and what we might learn about possible human responses to times of rapid climate change. Join us for this reading, talk, and discussion.

ANCHORAGE | The UAA Campus bookstore will host several literary events during March 2018.

  • Saturday, March 3 from 1-3 PM | Jean Anderson presents ShadowPlay: Writing Introspective Fiction in an Action-Oriented World. She will read from her collection, Human Being Songs: Northern Stories and discuss her writing process and explores the notion of introspection as shadow play for fiction writers. Anderson moved to Fairbanks in 1966 and holds BA and MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she taught for nearly ten years.
  • Monday, March 5 from 5-7 PM | Patricia Watts debuts her new noir suspense novel, The Frayer. The novel’s protagonist is a living building in Fairbanks named Big Blue that is plunged into a duel to the death with the Frayer, who seduces Big Blue’s tenants and threatens the existence of Big Blue itself. This event will challenge participants to creating their own inanimate objects as protagonists in a story. Watts has lived in Alaska for more than two decades, raising her children and working as a journalist and a human-rights investigator.
  • Wednesday, March 7, from 5-7 PM | Mystery and suspense authors Stan Jonesand Patricia Watts present ThePitfalls and Triumphs of Co-writing a Book. The discussion will cover their collaboration on The Big Empty, a forthcoming book in the Nathan Active series based in the fictional Inupiat Eskimo village of Chukchi.
  • Thursday, March 22 from 5-7 PM | Book Launch: Martha Amore presents In the Quiet Season and Other Stories with local artist Indra Arriaga. Amore’s story collection features modern day Alaskans navigating life’s issues. Arriaga is the co-founder of Green Bee Studios and also co-founded the Day of the Dead art exhibit and celebration that is held annually in Anchorage.
  • Wednesday, March 28 from 5-7 PM Marilyn Sigman presents Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay. The novel, Entangled,contemplates the patterns of people staying and leaving, nesting her own journey to Kachemak Bay within diasporas of her Jewish ancestors and of ancient peoples from Asia to the southern coast of Alaska. Along the way, Entangled weaves in scientific facts about the region as well as stories told by Alaska’s indigenous peoples.

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 6:30-8:30 PM | Literature with a Listening Heart with Brendan Kiely: A discussion about the intersection of literature, social justice, and the art of listening. Kiely received an MFA in creative writing from The City College of New York. His debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, has been published in ten languages, it was selected as one of American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015, and it was a Kirkus Reviews selection for best of 2014. Facebook event

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 6:30-8:30 PM | Author’s Reception held in the Z.J. Loussac Public Library atrium. Come introduce your work, sell copies, and meet other artists. Open to authors, writers, illustrators, and creators. Fee for table: $50. Other fees, more information, and registration here. For questions, email program chair Teressa Williams here.

GIRDWOOD | Tuesday, March 13, 2018 from 1-2:30 PM | Youth Book Discussion: “Read A Wrinkle in Time before you see the movie and then we’ll discuss it together.” Youth of all ages are welcome to participate. Hosted by the Anchorage Public Library system, Scott & Wesley Gerrish Library at 250 Egloff Dr.

ANCHORAGE | An Evening with Seanan McGuire: the multi-award winning speculative fiction author who wrote Every Heart a Doorway in 2017. She will be holding three separate Anchorage events during March 2018:

  • Tuesday, March 20, from 5-7 PM: Mountain View Library
  • Wednesday, March 21, from 6-7:30 PM: Chugiak-Eagle River Library
  • Thursday, March 22, from 7-8:30 PM: Z.J. Loussac Public Library

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 7-9 PM | Anchorage writer Jamey Bradbury debuts her book The Wild Inside with a reading, Q&A, and signing at The Writer’s Block on 3956 Spenard Rd. Facebook event

HOMER | Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 6:30 PM | Poet Jericho Brown will hold a public reading and book signing at Kachemak Bay campus. Brown won the Whiting Writers Award; his first book, Please, won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament, was named one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal.

ANCHORAGE | Sunday, April 15, 2018 | Demystifying Literary Journals will be a 2-hour class taught by Ronald Spatz, founding editor of Alaska Quarterly Review. With a focus on literary magazines, the class will help students with their own submissions build a strong cover letter, learn about the market, and learn strategies to get noticed by current magazines. All experience levels welcome. Held at the Alaska Humanities Forum, 421 W 1st Ave, Suite 200. Fee: $35 / members: $28. Learn more and register here.

ANCHORAGE | On Saturday, May 5, 2018 in conjunction with the Spring Friends of the Library booksale, Z. J. Loussac Library will host their first ever Local Author book fair. Authors and illustrators will be featured in the atrium of the library for this one-day local author sale. Authors can begin registering on Monday, February 12 at 10 am. Spots will be on a first come, first reserved basis. Learn more and register here.

SEWARD | 49 Writers presents a Reading & Craft Talk Series event with Nancy Lord at 6 PM on Monday, April 9, 2018 at Resurrect Art.

ANCHORAGE | ThursdayMay 17, 2018from 6:30 – 8 PMReflections on Attu: Art Show and Reception at Anchorage Public Library. Join USFWS Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge for a slideshow and talk by author Nancy Lord followed by a reception and art show opening. | Facebook event

 

INTERIOR

FAIRBANKS | Friday, February 23, 2018 at 7 PM | Alaskan poet Emily Wall will present as part of UAF English Department’s Midnight Sun: Visiting Writers Series.

FAIRBANKS | Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 6-8 PMAlaska Reads and Fairbanks North Star Public Libraries present Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, Fairbanks resident and author of Steam Laundry, winner of the 2013 WILLA Literary Award for Poetry. Alaska Reads is a statewide reading initiative with the goal of bridging the vast distances of our state by bringing together a living Alaskan author with readers in a variety of communities and, in doing so, fostering interest and pride in Alaskan literature. During the winter months, the program focuses on garnering enthusiasm around the selected book and encouraging Alaskans to read the story. In the spring, the program culminates with a statewide tour by the author where individuals who have read the book have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the author of the book. Details and Facebook event.

FAIRBANKS | Rumor has it that poet Jericho Brown appears March 30, 2018

FAIRBANKS | Marilyn Sigman will be teaching “The Wild, the Ruined, and the Merely Anomalous: What’s an Alaskan Environmental Writer to Do?” through 49 Writers at the Northern Alaska Environmental Center on April 11, 2018. She will also present a public reading and talk on April 12, 2018. Details coming soon.

 

SOUTHEAST

JUNEAU | Monday, March 5, 2018 at 7 PM at the APK Building | 49 Writers, in partnership with ASCA and the Alaska State Library, presents Vivian Faith Prescott. Details to come FREE

JUNEAU | Tuesday, March 6, 2018 | Statewide Poetry Out Loud recitation competition.

JUNEAU | Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 5:30 PM | 49 Writers presents a class with Nancy Lord: Science, Nature, and Outdoor Writing. This 3-hour workshop will examine examples of narrative writing (in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry) that brings the outdoors in, and scientific principles and characters to life. This class invites writers of any level, with or without science backgrounds. Lord was an Alaska Writer Laureate 2008-10, is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books including, most recently, pH: A Novel. Member fee: $45 | Nonmembers: $55 | Learn more and register here.

KETCHIKAN | Friday, March 16, 2018, 6 PM | Nancy Lord presents pH: a Novel at the Ketchikan Public Library.

WRANGELL | Flying Island Writers & Artists group meets every other Monday 6:30-8 PM. Contact Vivian Faith Prescott for more information doctorviv@yahoo.com.

 

SOUTHWEST

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ARCTIC 

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OUT OF STATE

SEATTLE | Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 7 PM | Laura Hartema releases her memoir, Bering Sea Strong: How I found solid ground on open ocean. Hear the struggle and the humor in her personal account as the only woman and scientist working alongside commercial fishermen on Alaska’s Bering Sea. Books will be available for signing. Free event. Held at University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, Seattle, Washington.


CONFERENCES, RETREATS, and RESIDENCIES

McCARTHY | 2018 Meg Hunt Residency Program: applications are open through Wednesday, February 28, 2018 for a 2-week residency program in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. Two residencies will be held: July 30 – August 13, 2018, and August 16 – 30, 2018. Designed to foster artistic inspiration, residents will enjoy simplistic dorms and meals and striking natural scenery. Fee: $65/day. Click here for more information and to register.

KETCHIKAN | Deadline: Thursday, March 1, 2018 | Calling applications for the Voices of the Wilderness artist residency program for the Tongass National Forest. Sponsored by the US Services of Forest, National Park, and Wildlife, this residency will pair participants with wilderness specialists actively engaged in research, monitoring, and education stewardship projects. As a volunteer, each artist will assist in light ranger duties such as boat tours or beach cleanups; but emphasis for the participant will be experiencing the wilderness and communicating those experiences through art. Residencies open to artists in all media including visual, audio, and film. The Tongass National Forest has five participating Wilderness Areas. Learn more and register here.

ORCAS ISLAND, WASHINGTON | Friday and Saturday, March 2-3, 2018 | Artsmith is presenting Writer Island: Generosity and Joy with Peggy Shumaker. The workshop will focus on language that opposes hatred and fear, using curiosity and pleasure as a way to heal trauma and pain. Held on Orcas Island, Washington. Visit www.orcasartsmith.org for more information and to register.

PALMER | May 11-13, 2018 SCBWI Alaska’s 2nd Annual Alaska Big Thaw Retreat For all Authors: picture book, middle grade, young adult, adult literature, and illustrators at the Knik River Lodge.  Workshops by Stephen Barr of Writers House Lit. Agency, optional critique groups and loads of quiet writing and illustrating time, optional professional critique, AK cuisine, a cabin, a classroom yurt with a wood burning stove, and amazing views, and more. Register

SKAGWAY | May 30 – June 2, 2018 | North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway is now taking registrations for its 2018. Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, is the keynote writer. Other faculty include Juneau Writer Laureate and Ernestine Hayes, Portland novelist Willy Vlautin, Juneau poet Emily Wall, Ketchikan writer-artist Ray Troll, Washington writer Colleen Mondor, and Fairbanks writer Frank Soos. Features include author panels, writing workshops, and outdoor activities. Limited to 40 participants. Organizers include Buckwheat Donahue, Jeff Brady, Daniel Henry, and John Straley. For more information, see http://nwwriterss.com.

HOMER, ALASKA | June 8-12, 2018 | Registration is open now for the seventeenth annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference. Held in Homer, Alaska, this nationally recognized writing conference features workshops, readings and panel presentations in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and the business of writing. Keynote presenter Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award finalist, will be joined by fifteen other writers, poets, and publishing industry professionals. Optional manuscript reviews, agent/editor meetings, post-conference workshop and boat cruise. Scholarships available. All information and faculty bios at our website: http://sites.kpc.alaska.edu/writersconf/.

TUTKA BAY LODGE | The 9th Annual 49 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with Hannah Tinti will take place September 7-9, 2018. Retreat details to be announced soon along with application information.

 

OPPORTUNITIES and AWARDS for WRITERS

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, March 10th, 6:30-8:30 PM | Author’s Reception, part of the Alaska Library Association Annual Conference, will be held in the Z.J. Loussac Public Library atrium. Come introduce your work, sell copies, and meet other artists. Open to authors, writers, illustrators, and creators. Fee for table: $50. Other fees, more information, and registration here. For questions, email program chair Teressa Williams here.

Rasmuson Foundation is now accepting Individual Artist Awards grant applications. Project Awards and Fellowship nominations are due March 1, 2018. Learn more Monthly deadline on the 15th: Awesome Foundation Alaska Chapter | $1,000 grants for awesome ideas. Learn more and apply.

Wildheart, a new print publication featuring Alaskan women’s writing, photography, and art is soliciting work for its first issue. Accepting submissions for its summer issue through March 31. Information here.

Permafrost Magazine | 2018 New Alchemy Contest deadline April 15, 2018. All formats welcome. $500, publication, and web feature prizes. More details.

SANTA FE | deadline: June 1, 2018 | The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is currently accepting applications for its low-residency Masters in Fine Arts program. The program is set to begin on July 21, 2018. For details about the program, download the College Catalog here; the program is covered on pages 89-102. Email the MFA director, Jon Davis, with questions at jdavis@iaia.edu. For more information and to apply, click here. Anchorage-based poet and former 49 Writers instructor and presenter Joan Naviyuk Kane is one of the faculty members.The program is open to everyone, with a focus on creativity in Native American arts and culture.

What’s missing? Submit your announcement for the next Roundup. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to 49blog@gmail.com 

Thank You for Your Support! 49 Writers members and donors make this blog, our workshops, Crosscurrents events, Readings and Craft Talk series, and other special programs and activities possible. Not a member yet? Join Us

When I first enrolled into this course, I felt all different kinds of emotions and wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from WRD 103.  I would have thoughts in my head leading up to this class spinning in my head every night before the first day.  Some thoughts like, “Maybe this will be my best class!” and “This class will be easy because I love writing!” were good thoughts that helped me boost my confidence about my college course.  Other thoughts loomed in my head as well such as, “Do I really belong in this class?”, and “I’m probably going to fail this class with just one assignment!”  Such thoughts as these brought my spirits and gave me a pessimistic outlook on this class.  But now that I am halfway done with this class, I find myself to be more at ease with myself and have a newfound confidence in the way that write.

                Writing has been an important form of expression for me.  I find myself to be very soft spoken and speaking verbally is usually difficult for me because I can’t always seem to find the right words to say.  This has led me to be very shy in class.  With writing, I feel that I am more expressive and have more control over what I want to say.  Writing is therapeutic for me, whatever I cannot say directly I can just pour out my heart and soul.  I have been keeping a journal for the past eight years and it has done wonders for me.  I find myself not only a better person for it but it also serves as an aid for writing.  My journal is one of the best ways I take into consideration life’s difficult choices I make.  It serves as a permanent record for me to look back on in the future to see how much I matured in my life.

                Although I enjoy writing in such an informal way, I always felt that I was limited to my expressions in formal writing.  Throughout high school, I found myself constantly struggling to comprehend with the assignments while not shying away from my own personal style of writing.  My teachers would tell me that they understood what I was trying to write, but maybe I should try to be more formal.  I understood that while I tried to write formally, I never understood what they meant by what was formal and what wasn’t formal.  Now I think that what they meant was which audience I was writing my papers for.  There would be times where I would write something amazing down but not target the right audience, which were my English teachers.  This made writing for me very difficult in my English classes and I was constantly asking for help from others to overlook my papers.

                In WRD 103, I think one of the most important things I have learned so far is that when I start writing, I usually don’t have a definite idea of where I am going.  Back in high school, my English teachers would always tell me that the only way I can really get the main idea across is with a thesis statement at the start of a paper.  While it was easy for most of my friends to come up with a clear thesis statement, I found myself struggling with this concept at times.  What I have found through the writing assignments and the reading responses is that my main ideas are often unclear at first, but as I get to the end of a draft, they become clearer.  As I write more, I begin to focus on an idea and my essay begins to make more sense.  In many cases, I could take ideas from the end of a draft and bring them up to my introduction to give me focus.

                The writing samples I have chosen for my midterm portfolio were picked with different criteria in mind.  First, I choose writing that really defined and focused on the topic.  If I truly cannot believe in a topic that I am not passionate about, then I feel that what I write down will let me fail as a writer.  For this reason, the writing samples that are included in this portfolio are strongly rooted in my personal beliefs.  Second, I chose different kinds of writing so readers could see how I approached various writing assignments.  I need to be able to get out of my comfort zone every now and then and start to target a variety of different audiences so that I will let everyone get the chance to read what I have to say.

                I chose to include the narrative response in my portfolio.  While when it was first written, it was not the best narrative I have written.  However, I knew this was the one with the most potential.  For the first time, I felt that this was a chance for me to express myself without being too informal about my reading and writing experiences.  After trying numerous methods of brainstorming, I was frustrated with the fact that one particular method wasn’t working well enough for me.  But then I was able to play around with a variety of different writing techniques that allowed me to focus more easily on my assignments.  With all the different methods I had tried out, there was this constant flow of ideas streaming through my head that I just kept writing down until there was nothing left to write.  From this narrative, not only did I feel happy about the accomplishment I made with this narrative but it also allowed me to apply what I learned to the rest of my writing samples.

                I feel that this class has permitted me to continue to grow as a writer so far.  This class has allowed me to practice different kinds of writing.  I’m planning to major in communications and media and I understand that writing will be an important part of my upcoming career, as well as in my personal life.  For my career, writing will be a tool that I will often need to get my point.  I feel that I need to work on knowing when to put personal opinions into my writing and when I should be more objective.  Sometimes I get carried away by my feelings about a topic and it becomes opinionated.  This class will help me further understand different writing situations, and I think I am now better able to see when the personal side is appropriate and when it is not.  I hope that I also continue to find other ways to better myself as a writer such as writing in genres and applying structure to the format of the rhetorical analysis.

 

 

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