April is National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!
In celebration of the month and Alaska’s poets we are sharing the 2021 49 Writers Poetry Broadside Invitational selections here
The Broadside Invitiational is an online poetry exhibit posted during the month of April. The exhibit features
30 “broadsides” of poetry distributed daily through the 49 Writers blog and social media platforms. In addition, we invite you to view
Anchorage Public Library’s recordings of invited featured poets reading their  poems  that are posted  on the website throughout the month and that you can view here.

Seeking Nominations for Contributions to Literacy in Alaska Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for Alaska Center for the Book’s annual Contributions to Literacy in Alaska awards. Someone you know could join the more than 90 teachers, tutors, librarians, authors, researchers, historians, and community volunteers who have been recognized for their contributions to literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written and spoken word. Nominations may be made online at our website, here The deadline for nominations is May 15, 2021. Past winners can be viewed here.

Friends of the Library

Writing the Wild will be a discussion between Marc Cameron and Dana Stabenow, Alaskan authors who use Alaska wilds as a huge part of their stories! To be held April 24, 2021.
go to www.librarychampion.com for ticket information.

Anchorage Public Library Launches Alaska Reads 2021

“Anchorage Reads” is a community led program to promote reading, literacy and community-building by inspiring people of different ages and backgrounds to talk about the same book. Groups and individuals are encouraged to participate by reading the book, attending events or organizing their own.
 
This year the program has selected Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. The Anchorage Public Library works to ensure that all people in Anchorage have free and equal access to information, and this goal cannot be achieved without addressing racial and social inequity. By choosing Stamped and Stamped from the Beginning, Anchorage Reads and the Anchorage Public Library seek to build a community where we can learn from each other and work together to create a better future for everyone. 
 
For a complete list of “Anchorage Reads” events, suggested supplemental reading and film lists, a reader’s guide, and much more, visit the Anchorage Public Library’s website HERE.

49 Writers Reading and Conversation Series

This free series takes place at 6:00 – 7:00 pm on the third Thursdays of the month via Zoom. Writers scheduled are:

January 21
February 18
March 18
April 15
May 20

Don Rearden
David Stevenson
Marie Tozier
Tom Sexton
Ernestine Hayes

Alaska Artist Wins Caldecott Medal for Children's Book

Michaela Goade won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in “We Are Water Protectors,” a children’s book that takes a stand on environmental issues. She is a member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and is the first indigenous artist to win this award. The book was written by Carole Lindstrom. 

The American Library Association, which gives this award, also announced other winners in children’s media, including the John Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, the Michael L. Printz Award and others.
More information…

American Indian Library Association Read Native Initiative

The AILA is sponsoring a reading challenge for 2021. They are bringing together these reading prompts to help expand the reading of Native authors. They plan to hold quarterly webinars/books talks, and hope to be fairly active on social media. 

They have created two challenges, a bingo type reading challenge for kids, and the main reading challenge. They plan to curate booklist suggestions, and update their webpage at least once a week. Click here for a pdf with information resources about the Reading Challenge.
 
Here are the links to their webpage and their social media pages. If you have questions, or would like to ask for reader advisory suggestions, send them an email. 

PICK. CLICK. GIVE

The Alaska Center for the Book is included in the Permanent Fund Dividend’s Pick.Click.Give. charitable contributions program. It’s a secure and easy way to make a donation to an organization that stimulates public interest in literacy through the spoken and written word. When you file for your PFD online, you will be given a chance to donate money from your PFD. When you do, please remember The Alaska Center for the Book.

Just check the box that authorizes the State to send your name, contact information and the amount you give when it sends contributions to an organization so we can recognize your support.

Thanks to all who contributed. Your help allows the Alaska Center for the Book to continue its programs, events and unique projects to support and build literacy in Alaska.

For more information click here:  Pick. Click. Give.

Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference May 15-18

The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference resumes this spring after a one-year hiatus. For nineteen years, the conference has brought together hundreds of writers from around the state and the country to learn from nationally-renowned faculty. Due to COVID mandates, this year’s conference will be entirely virtual. Conference participants can take part in twelve classes, three writers’ craft conversations, a panel discussion by writers from the Peabody Award-winning PBS show Molly of Denali, as well as various networking and community building activities. More information…

Thank you for a great Alaska Book Week!

Thanks to all who helped make this year’s Alaska Book Week a success. Coordinating an all virtual Book Week was a challenge, but we ended up with a lot of engagement for both live and pre-recorded events—more than we had with past in-person only events.

This year’s Alaska Book Week offered a lot! Participants were invited to write haikus and to share videos, which we posted on our website. Viewers enjoyed a reading by AQR contributing editors. They heard from prominent women writers coping with the pandemic, from climbing and skiing guidebook writers concerned with ethics, and from women writers who considered the connections between gender, writing, and periods of immersion in the natural world. They learned about Native art history. They got a sense of what it’s like to write romance as Alaskans. They listened to a writer discuss the inspiration for her book. They learned how to take their writing projects from manuscript to print, and they got good advice about finding an agent and getting published. And finally, they watched writers share their poems.

Nobody knows what next year will look like but we are committed to taking advantage of the lessons learned this year and in past years to once again organize a viable and robust Alaska Book Week. We welcome any suggestions and ideas to accomplish our goals.

Pièces de Résistance

Alaska Quarterly Review’s benefit series celebrating AQR’s 40th anniversary kicks off with a live reading featuring Amy Hempel and Stuart Dybek and continues for 20 more free, live, online readings and conversations featuring 58 exceptional new, emerging, and established poets and writers who have appeared in AQR. The series is hosted by the Anchorage Museum in collaboration with The Center for Narrative and Lyric Arts and is moderated by author Heather Lende and AQR Co-Founder and Editor Ron Spatz.
Link to the event.
Link to the series.
Link to all of the events.

Opportunities

Seeking Alaska Native Writers Calling all Alaska Native writers, poets, and content creators! We are seeking submissions for stories, poems, photo essays, and other creative works that center what Spring means to you from an Indigenous lens. This is a paid opportunity, and we would like to share your work with our community.If you’re interested, please contact Presley West at pwest@alaskanative.net. Haw’aa!

Hometown Reads is in Anchorage! A website dedicated to locating authors near you, Hometown Reads has a section for Anchorage. Sign up to have your book displayed and join the Facebook page to brainstorm ways to advertise and sell books locally. Check it out at https://hometownreads.com.

Youth Poet Laureate. You probably know that there is a United States Poet Laureate, but you may have never having heard of the Youth Poet Laureate. Here is a link to a excellent article from TheLilly.com that features a conversation with two Youth Laureates. more…

“Baby Raven” Books Wins AILA Award

Sealaska Heritage Institute’s (SHI) Baby Raven Reads book Raven Makes the Aleutians has won a Picture Book Honor award from the American Indian Library Association (AILA).

The AILA, an affiliate of the American Library Association, announced winners of its biennial Youth Media Awards today in Philadelphia, calling the selected books “the best of the best in children’s and young adult literature.” More…