Alaska Book Week

 Alaska Book Week is a statewide celebration, coordinated by the Alaska Center for the Book, that annually celebrates the multi-faceted ways that we appreciate books, from readings to panels, lectures, discussions, and youth activities. Alaska Book Week takes place around the first week in October.

Alaska Book Week 2021 Schedule of Events

Video Invitational

Stir up interest in Alaska books and authors! Are you a publisher or an author of books about Alaska? A reader of books about Alaska and books by Alaskans? Help us stir up interest in these books. By September 30, create a video or podcast to share with others during Alaska Book Week.  More information…

Clia
Awards

Literacy and Literary Work Honored in 2021 Awards

Innovation and dedication to literacy and literature mark the four winners of the 2021 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards from the Alaska Center for the Book.

Honorees are Anchorage health communicator Nyabony Gat, Imagination Library volunteer Elisabeth Jacobson of Bethel, Vered Mares of Writer’s Block in Anchorage, and the University of Alaska Press in Fairbanks.

More information about the CLIA 2021 Award winners here..

The CLIA awards are presented annually by Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska’s liaison with the U.S. Library of Congress Center for the Book. Since 1993, the awards have been presented to more than 90 people and institutions making a significant contribution in literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written or spoken word.

The CLIA Award winners will be honored during Alaska Book Week, Oct. 3-9.

Founded in 1991, ACB is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. It participates in the National Book Festival, Alaska Reads, Alaska Book Week, and other events. For more information, see www.alaskacenterforthebook.org/

Moderators:
Heather Lende, Alaska State Writer Laureate, and Ronald Spatz, Alaska Quarterly Review Editor-in Chief

Biographies of Weike Wang and Cara Blue Adams here

Biographies of the Pièces de Résistance Reading Series participating authors here.

First event in this series is on October 8: Fiction Readings and Conversation. 4PM to 5PM Alaska Time; 8PM to 9PM Eastern Time with  Weiki Wang and Cara Blue Adams. Find the entire  Pieces de Resistance schedule here.

Book price is $18
All proceeds for Museum fundraiser.

Video Trailer Book Link here…

Book Signing with Col. Suellyn Wright Novak, USAF, Ret

Alaska Veterans Museum, located in the blue Market Place Mall, 4th and D.

Saturday, October 2
Saturday, October 9
Noon to 4:00 pm each day.

SHORT HISTORY OF THE ALASKA VETERANS MUSEUM (AVM)
We began in 2001 with a dream, a few VFW Brothers and sisters and other concerned citizens. They wanted a museum to tell the stories of individual Servicemen and Servicewomen, as well as showcase the military’s contributions to Alaska, using weapons, uniforms, artifacts, photos, posters, models, dioramas and more. Forest and Cathy Brooks had helped form a similar museum in Centralia then Chehalis, WA and were ready to help start one here. MORE…

BIOGRAPHY OF COL. SUELLYN WRIGHT NOVAK
Col. Suellyn Wright Novak, USAF, Ret. was born June 4, 1951, in Sharon , Pennsylvania and raised on an orchard/ranch outside nearby Greenville, Pennsylvania. She graduated with honors, from Reynolds High School in 1969 and then attended Grove City College in Grove City, PA. She graduated May 19, 1973 with a major in biology and a minor in secondary education. She was also commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force on the same date, fulfilling a dream from the third grade! MORE…

Col. Suellyn Wright Novak, USAF, Ret.

Black History in the Last Frontier

Black History in the Last Frontier: 
Historians Ian Hartman and Cal Williams discuss the history of African Americans in Alaska and the book, Black History in the Last Frontier, published in cooperation with the National Park Service. This little known history connects to broader themes in U.S. history such as the Great Migration, the Civil Rights Movement, community activism, and the more recent Black Lives Matter movement. 
 
Cal Williams is a historian and community archivist. He was an advisor to the exhibit Black Lives in Alaska at the Anchorage Museum. 
Ian Hartman is a professor of history at the University of Alaska Anchorage. 
 
Link to Ian Hartman’s interview with Cal Williams here.

Link to pdf file of the book Black History in the Last Frontier here.
Ian Hartman
Cal Williams
Mark Adams

Virtual Alaska Story Hour for Adults Kickoff

Presented by the Alaska State Library

Tip of the Iceberg, by Mark Adams
Kickoff Friday, October 8, noon-1 pm
Continuing Fridays, noon-1 pm

Free, Register online or by phone at 907-465-2920 to obtain access info

Story hours for kids are great, but why should they get all the fun? Join us for the kickoff of the new Virtual Alaska Story Hour as author Mark Adams helps us get started with his book, Tip of the Iceberg.  We’ll continue working our way through the book in weekly sessions on Fridays.

MARK ADAMS is the award-winning author of books that blend history, geography, and the modern experience.  He has also been published in national publications, including GQRolling Stone, Outside and the New York Times. He lives near New York City with his family.

In Tip of the Iceberg, Adams follows the path of the 1899 Harriman Expedition, exploring where, how, and why things have changed…or stayed the same. The Anchorage Daily News says that “with its fresh descriptive writing, strong character development and presentation of contemporary Alaska within a historical framework, is a valuable contribution to our state’s literature. Long-time Alaskans as well as newcomers and visitors will find much to appreciate here.

David Stevenson, High Places, Sacrifices, Mysteries Book Release

Writers Block, Friday October 8, 7 p.m.  Planned as an in-person event with livestreaming, Subject to change!

David Stevenson has received the Boulevard Award for Emerging Writers, the Montana Prize for  Fiction, and the Banff Mountain Book Award for Fiction and Poetry. He was awarded the H. Adams Carter Literary Award by the American Alpine Club. High Places, Sacrifice, Mysteries is his fourth  book. He lives in Anchorage.

Link to recorded video of David Stevenson’s Book Release here.

David Stevenson

Remembering Frank Soos

Sunday, October 10, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

The members of the Alaska Center for the Book hosted a celebration of the life of our dear friend, mentor, supporter and wonderful human being, Frank Soos.

Link to the recorded Zoom event.

Link to Lila Vogt’s Opening Remarks

Link to Frank Soos Obituary

Readers for Frank Soos Tribute:
Moderators:
Peggy Shumaker & Kes Woodward

Readers:
Robert Hannon – Audio of Frank (in his own words)
Nancy Lord – Unpleasantries, Kinds of Ambition, Pages 156-187
Tom Kizzia – a selection from Bamboo Fly Rod
Wendy Erd – The Blue Fish
David Stevenson – Saint Sheryl Ann, from Lives of the Saints and a portion of Meditation on My Cousin, Lou, Dead at Thirty-three, from Unpleasantries
Nancy Cook – Upside-Down with Borges and Bob from Unpleasantries 
John Gimbel – More Light (49 Writer’s Blog post) 
David Abrams – Preface to Unpleasantries
Dave Musgrave – A selection from Why Is It That We Do This?from Unpleasantries and Another Kind of Loneliness (2016 Sportliterate)

Frank Soos’ Books:
Unpleasantries: Considerations of Difficult Questions

Bamboo Fly Rod Suite

Unified Field Theory

Double Moon

The Getting Place (Available for preorder-Published January 2022)
Red Hen Press

Stan Jones Presents Seventh Nathan Active Mystery Novel

Alaska mystery author has just released his seventh mystery novel, Ghost Light, featuring Nathan Active, the police chief of a small northern Alaska town. A book signing is scheduled for November 5, at Georgia Blue Gallery.

“With the help of an Alaska Native grandmother suffering from dementia, Chukchi police chief Nathan Active hunts down the killer who hid a woman’s expertly dismembered body in the ice cellar of an abandoned Inupiat fish camp. Theinvestigation pulls Active into a dark tangle of love and jealousy, even as he struggles with the PTSD that has haunted him since being wounded in a shootout in an earlier case.” More…

Link to Stan Jones introducing and reading the first chapter of Ghost Light.

Martha Amore
Lucian Childs

Writing Rescue Stories

Writers Lucian Childs and Martha Amore share their personal stories of being rescued by Alaska’s heroic emergency workers, many of whom are volunteers. In the discussion, Childs and Amore focus on ways to approach, structure, and detail rescue stories to maximize effect. They also share further reflections on their own stories. 

Martha Amore lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her family and teaches writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in fiction and an Interdisciplinary Studies Ph.D. in creative writing. Winner of a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award, she is a contributing editor of the University of Alaska Press anthology Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaska LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry, which was a finalist for a LAMBDA Literary Award. Her collection of short fiction, In the Quiet Season & Other Stories, was published in 2018. She is currently hard at work on a new book.

Lucian Childs is a fiction writer, a long-time Alaskan now living in Toronto, Ontario. In 2013, he was a recipient of a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award. He has been an artist in residence at Byrdcliffe Art Colony and at Artscape Gibraltar Point and was a Peter Taylor Fellow at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. His stories explore issues of family, identity and community and have appeared or are forthcoming in the literary journals Grain, The Puritan, Cirque and Prairie Fire, among others. His debut novella, “Dreaming Home,” is forthcoming from Biblioasis. You can follow him on Twitter at @lucianchilds or on the web at www.lucianchilds.com.
 

Link to the video discussion here.

Link to Lucian Childs’ story here.

Link to Martha Amore’s story here.

What's in a Name?

Heather Lende hosts a presentation and conversation with Dr. Thomas Thornton,  author of Being and Place Among the Tlingits and editor of Haa Léelk’w Has Aaní Saax’u / Our Grandparents’ Names on the Land, which is a collaborative project with Native communities of Southeast Alaska to record indigenous geographic names. Dr. Thornton is dean of Arts and Sciences and vice-provost of Research and Sponsored programs at the University of Alaska Southeast and affiliate professor at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute.

Link to the video discussion here.

Heather Lende
Dr. Thomas Thornton

IQSANIM ANCIRSUUTII—IQSANI'S TROUT HOOK

Qanitiisa and her brother Iqsani are young, but they have important jobs at fish camp. There are salmon to carry, a fire to feed, plants to collect, and trash to dump. Follow these Alutiiq children as they help their parents with fall fishing and have lots of fun along the way.

While Qanitiisa and Iqsani are imagined, their world is real. Their story is set in an old Alutiiq fish camp on Kodiak’s Karluk River. Archaeologists studied the camp, and their finds provided clues about Alutiiq life three hundred years ago. Enjoy the story and then learn about the sod houses, artifacts, and animal remains that inspired Iqsanim Ancirsuutii—Iqsani’s Trout Hook.

eBookDownload a free copy.
Glossary – Hear Alutiiq vocabulary spoken by author Alisha Drabek.
Lesson Plan – Share the book with your classroom.
Purchase a copy from the Museum Store online
Complete Audio Book – the story and the discussion of Karluk Lake archaeology
Iqsanim Ancirsuutii – Iqsani’s Trout Hook (fictional story audio)
Nanwam Caniani Nuansinalleq – The Big Old Village by the Lake (non-fiction audio)
[click audio book to listen online, or right click to download]

A publication of the Koniag Cultural Library.
Produced by the Alutiiq Museum with a grant to Koniag, Inc. from the Institute for Museum & Library Services.

Alaska Women Speak: An Anthology of Photographs, Art, and Words from the Journals, 1992–2017

Editors, MaryLee Hayes and Angie Slingluff, discuss highlights from their new anthology celebrating nearly three decades of Alaska women’s writing. From Arctic travel and outdoor adventures to baking sourdough bread and dog mushing, the collection’s topics showcase the vibrant lives of women of the north. The anthology was published by Ember Press in 2021 For additional information please visit www.emberpressbooks.com

View the video discussion here.

MaryLee Hayes and Angie Slingluff

Watch a video of Arin Underwood reading Anna Across the Arctic here.

Anna Across the Arctic

Award-winning Children’s Book

Alaskan co-authors Liz O’Connell and Arin Underwood, illustrated by Arin Underwood, present an Arctic science story about a four-pound blue morph fox tracked by a satellite collar, in the longest, fastest fox journey ever recorded. The surprising distance and speed of the small fox generated news internationally in July of 2019:Scientists “speechless” after fox makes 2,176 mile 76-day trek from Norway to Canada.
CBS News by Caitlin O’Kane
One Arctic fox’s incredible journey from Norway to Canada.
NPR radio, The World
An Arctic Fox’s Epic Journey Norway to Canada in 76 days.
NY Times by Megan Specia
Arctic fox amazes scientists with 2,000 mile trek in 76 days.
CNN by Jack Guy

Arin was completing her graduate degree at the University of Tromsø, Norway, when the story broke. Her interactions with the research scientists, Eva Fuglei and Arnaud Tarroux, allowed us to include first-hand accounts and to cooperatively share this story.   
Liz O’Connell chose to make this book an Alaskan product. The talented Alaska collaboration includes artwork scans by Digital Blueprint, printing by Color Art Printing, and Carleen Dawn, an Alaskan trekking layout artist. Both Arin and Liz are undergraduates from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Their collaborative interest in the Arctic blend well to tell this story. This is an approved Made in Alaska product.

Watch a video of Arin Underwood reading Anna Across the Arctic here.

Seth Kantner, photo by Kiliii Yüyan

Seth Kantner Interview

Nancy Lord interviews Seth Kantner about his new book, A Thousand Trails Home, Living with Caribou.

Seth Kantner was born and raised in northern Alaska and has worked as a trapper, wilderness guide, wildlife photographer, gardening teacher, and adjunct professor. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Outside, Orion, and Smithsonian. Kantner is the author of the award-winning novel Ordinary Wolves, memoir Shopping for Porcupine, and a collection of essays Swallowed by the Great Land: And Other Dispatches from Alaska’s Frontier. He has been a commercial fisherman in Kotzebue Sound for more than four decades and lives in the Northwest Arctic.

Nancy Lord is the former Alaska State Writer Laureate and author of ‘Early Warming,’ ‘Rock, Water, Wild’ and other books of fiction and nonfiction.

Link to Nancy Lord interview with Seth Kantner here.

Link to Seth Kantner reading from “A Thousand Trails Home,” here.

Children’s Picture Book Talk

Sweet Denali Train Song by Nancy Gates and illustrated by Natalie Berens

Author Nancy Gates discusses inspiration, motivation, and collaboration in her delightful, rhyming story about a family’s journey by train to Denali National Park. A unique aspect of the book is that the author and illustrator are mother and daughter. The book was published by Ember Press in 2021 and is available from your local bookseller or from www.emberpressbooks.com

Link to Nancy Gates’ discussion about her book here.

Nancy N. Gates

The daughter of a Tennessee railroad man, author Nancy N. Gates fondly recalls family train adventures as a young child. She and her husband, Chris, raised their six children in Alaska and passed along the joy of train travel aboard the Alaska Railroad. Nancy has written and edited work for newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and Alaska travel guides. She co-authored The Alaska Homesteader’s Handbook.

Juneau Public Library's Annual Bookmark Contest

Juneau Public Library joins with Alaska Center for the Book in celebrating Alaska Book Week!  Since 1981, the Juneau Public Libraries has sponsored an annual Bookmark Contest, open to Juneau children from preschool through high school. The winning bookmark designs are printed for use in the Public Libraries throughout the year. Printed bookmarks are very popular with locals and have become a favorite souvenir of guests and tourists visiting the Capital City. We hope you enjoy seeing the creations, and printing them off to mark your spot in a great book!
 
Learn more about Juneau Public Libraries Bookmark contest and find past prize winning bookmarks here: juneau.org/library/bookmark-contest
 

SeaAlaska Heritage "Baby Raven Reads"

About Baby Raven Reads: Through its Education Department, Sealaska Heritage sponsors Baby Raven Reads, a program that promotes early literacy, language development and school readiness for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5. The project is based on ample research that has shown that Alaska Native students do better academically when culturally relevant content is incorporated into learning materials and classes. Twenty-nine books have been published through the program, all of which are based on the cultural themes of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people. The books also help educate non-Native families about Alaska Native cultures and languages, place-based storytelling, and traditional oral literature. 

The Alaska Center for the Book has chosen SHI’s Baby Raven Reads book Shanyáak’utlaax̱: Salmon Boy as the state’s featured children’s book at this year’s National Book Festival. The festival, which is sponsored by the Library of Congress, is an annual literary event in Washington, DC, book signings and other activities. 

  • Shanyaak’utlaax̱: Salmon Boy Told in Tlingit (with English subtitles): Shanyaak’utlaax̱ is a story based on an ancient oral narrative associated with several clans including the Tlingit Kiks.ádi, L’eeneidí and Lukaax̱.ádi. This version is based mainly on the Kiks.ádi story and features Tlingit Kiks.ádi narrator Ḵaagwáask’ Ishmael Hope and Kiks.ádi illustrator Sheit.een Michaela Goade. Most of the illustrations featured in the video were created for the children’s book Shanyaak’utlaax̱: Salmon Boy as part of Sealaska Heritage’s Baby Raven Reads series. The book, illustrated by Michaela Goade, won the 2018 Picture Book of the Year award from the American Indian Library Association.

Link to the YouTube video Shanyaak’utlaax: Salmon Boy here.

Links to more SeaAlaska video & audio stories

Talk of Alaska features Tom Kizzia

What stories do Alaska’s ghost towns have to tell? In his newest book, longtime Alaska writer Tom Kizzia explores that question in McCarthy, digging into the bygone days of the tiny community nestled into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Cold Mountain Path explores forgotten stories of mining, homesteading and loss. They will also discuss the new micropress based out of McCarthy that’s publishing the book. More information…

 LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021 at 10 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.

David Stevenson
Ray Ball
Dan Branch

Writer's Panel: New Books!

David Stevenson
Professor and coordinator of the Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing Department of English, University of Alaska Anchorage. David Stevenson has received the Boulevard Award for Emerging Writers, the Montana Prize for  Fiction, and the Banff Mountain Book Award for Fiction and Poetry. He was awarded the H. Adams Carter Literary Award by the American Alpine Club. High Places, Sacrifice, Mysteries is his fourth  book. He lives in Anchorage.

Ray Ball
Link to more information on Ray Ball here.

Dan Branch, Someday I’ll Miss This Place, Too, Cirque Press 2021. Link to more information about Dan Branch here.

Doug Pope, The Way to Gaamaak Cove, Cirque Press 2020

Joan Nockels Wilson, MFA 2011, thesis directed by Judith Barrington, The Book of Timothy: The Devil, My Brother, and Me, Red Hen Press 2021

Link to the panel’s video here.