Friday, September 11, 2015

Event Update #1: Anchorage, Fairbanks, Skagway, and Homer

It has been a slow-going process, but we are delighted to inform you all of some of the events that will be taking place during Alaska Book Week! If you have any questions about the particulars of the events or promotions listed here, we encourage you to contact these venues directly. For all other questions related to Alaska Book Week, please contact the coordinator at Please join our celebration this year!

Please note that the following list represents a tentative offering; the details contained in each event are subject to change. Please check back here as we continue to update this event list. You can also find these events in Anchorage Events and Events Around the State.


Saturday, October 3 from 1:00pm-3:00pm at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307
Time to Walk:  The Extraordinary Life of Explorer Dick Griffith

According to Jon Krakauer, “Griffith is simply afflicted with an irresistible inclination to attempt what others say can’t be done. When asked what possesses a man to repeatedly strike out alone across hundreds of miles of rugged, lonely country, he replies, Every so often, it’s just time to walk.”  For over six decades, Dick Griffith journeyed across Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and the American West .  At this event, he shares stories and photos of his  journeys and his exploration and mapping of canyons and creeks in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1952. 

Joining Dick Griffith is Kaylene Johnson,  author of  five books including Canyons and Ice, the Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith, and  A Tender Distance: Adventures Raising My Son in Alaska. 
This even is held in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and Alaska Books Week.
Monday, October 5 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307
Historian and Author  Katherine  Ringsmuth’s new book  Alaska's  Skyboys:  Cowboy Pilots and the Myth of the Last Frontier

In the book, Alaska's Skyboys:  Cowboy Pilots and the Myth of the Last Frontier, historian Katherine Johnson Ringsmuth--through personal stories, industry publications, and news accounts--uncovers the ways that Alaska's aviation growth was downplayed in order to perpetuate the myth of the cowboy spirit and the desire to tame what many considered to be the last frontier.

Katherine Ringsmuth teaches American and Alaskan History in the UAA History Dept.,  serves on the Board of  Directors for the Cook Inlet Historical Society, acted as Alaska Curator, Anchorage Museum, and published numerous books as historian for the National Park Service.

All UAA Campus Bookstore events are informal, free and open to the public.  Due to construction, UAA Campus Bookstore events will be  held at the UAA/APU Consortium Library with free parking in the Library Lot, Library NE Lot and the East Garage.    For more information call  Rachel at 786-4782 or email  Note:  UAA Campus Bookstore podcasts are posted in iTunes or iTunes U--just search UAA or UAA Campus Bookstore.  Or see

Saturday, October 3: In celebration of Alaska Book Week, the Fairbanks Arts Association will host a Literary Reading & Concert with poet Jeremy Pataky and cellist Molly McDermott at 7pm in the Bear Gallery in the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts at Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way. This event is free and open to the public.


ASK MRS. MURDER with Marcy McDanel
October 3 from 1-4pm (3 hours)
Location: 161 E. 1st Ave., Door 15 (Alaska Humanities Forum)
Price: $45 members/ $55 non-members. Registration at

Want to write a good murder mystery, legal thriller, or are you curious about crime fiction? Don’t look like an amateur – ask Mrs. Murder!

Criminal defense attorney and ADN legal columnist Marcelle McDannel will provide you with an insider’s look into the mechanics of murder investigations and criminal cases. The course will include an overview of trends in the investigation and courtroom presentation of murder cases, and recent developments in forensic science and crime scene reconstruction.  Using real-life case examples, Marcelle will discuss common investigative errors and how they can be converted into plot twists, along with a discussion of where reality typically diverts from fiction. Participants will be encouraged to generate new ideas for their work, asks questions about works-in-progress, or fact-check published work.

Let’s talk murder!

The Future of Fiction - Crosscurrents Event on Sunday, October 4 at 7pm at the Anchorage Museum

Join us for a conversation with Frank Soos, Justin Herrmann, Eowyn Ivey, and Deb Vanasse about the Future of Fiction. 

These are the opening words of a review by Tom Perrotta in the 5/10/15 NY Times Book Review:

In recent years a number of talented novelists have experienced a sudden and alarming loss of faith in their chosen literary form.  David Shields thinks most novels are boring and disconnected from reality.  Nicole Krauss is “sick of plot and characters and scenes and climax and resolution.”  Rachel Cusk has decided that conventional fiction is “fake and embarrassing.”  Karl Ove Knausgaard goes even further, dismissing the entire enterprise:  “Fictional writing has no value.”

I think most of us who write fiction would have something to say about these ideas.  What, for example, is the value of fiction, have the conventions of fiction worn themselves out?  Is nonfiction simply more honest and accurate and a better form for this time? 


Skagway is doing 15% off titles by Alaskan authors during Alaska Book Week at Skaguay News Depot & Books.


13 Ways of Looking: Writing Deeply In Place with Christine Byl -
Cosponsored by 49 Writers and Kachemak Bay Campus
October 9 from 1-4pm (3 hours)
Location: Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer
Price: Free for 49 Writers members/ $55 non-members (membership and registration at

Wallace Stevens' famous "Blackbird" poem uses fragment, perspective, repetition and clean, spare language to great effect. These qualities are equally relevant when writing about place. In a 3 hour class, we will dig deeply into the idea that knowing a place requires looking from many angles. Humor, haiku and history will all make appearances as we read and write together.

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