The UAA Campus Bookstore actively organizes free special events to promote expression and engaged discussion. Literary Events Live embrace a variety of topics and genres which welcome memoir, mountaineering literature, Alaska Native writers and themes, Alaskan authors, visiting guest writers, and new "book" forms. Panel discussions and author readings are held to encourage discourse and time is dedicated for Q & A. All events are offered and recorded by the UAA Campus Bookstore Events Manager, unless otherwise noted. They are taped live and posted without cutting or editing. Note, gaps in sound may occur due to lack of microphone usage.
Alaska Native Voices and Environmental Conservation Movements in Alaska
Professors Paul Ongtooguk and Jackie Cason discuss Alaska Native voices and environmental conservation movements in Alaska. Topics include Alaska Village and Native Corporation jurisdictions, John Muir's legacy, the Sierra Club, and the book The Firecracker Boys by Dan O’Neill.
Paul Ongtooguk is the director of Alaska Native Studies at UAA. Amongst his many research projects, he designed and contributed to the websites alaskool.org and akhistorycourse.org. He currently teaches the course Alaska Tribes, Nations and People in AKNS. Jackie Cason is professor in the UAA Department of English. Her courses include Critical Thinking; Writing and Rhetoric; and Narrative Nonfiction. This event is held in celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day,
The Man Who Became A Caribou with Craig Mishler, Elder Kenneth Frank and Allan Hayton
Dinjii Vadzaih Dhidlit: The Man Who Became a Caribou is a new bilingual volume based on a series of oral interviews with Gwich'in elders living in rural northeast Alaska and the Yukon Territory. Richly illustrated, the book covers a wide range of topics based on traditional harvesting and use of caribou from ancient to contemporary times. It also reveals traditional beliefs and taboos about caribou and includes a detailed naming system for caribou anatomy, conversations about potlatches and sharing, as well as personal experience stories and traditional stories. The book was made possible by research grant from the National Science Foundation and a publication grant by the Alaska Humanities Forum.
Craig Mishler is a cultural anthropologist and folklorist who has worked continuously in Alaska since the late 1960s and is the author, co-author, and editor of eight books, including Neerihiinjìk: We Traveled from Place to Place: The Gwich'in Stories of Johnny and Sarah Frank (2001) and The Blind Man and the Loon: The Story of a Tale (2013).
Kenneth Frank is an elder, indigenous scholar, and a fluent speaker of the Gwich'in language. He was raised in Venetie, Alaska, lived for many years in Arctic Village, and now resides in Fairbanks. Kenneth is in frequent demand for drum making and singing workshops and is the leader of the Di'haii Gwich'in dancers.
Allan Hayton is the Language Revitalization Program Director at the Doyon Foundation. A Gwich'in translator, he grew up in Arctic Village, and is the son of Lena Pauline Hayton from Fort Yukon, Alaska, and James T. Hayton from Natick, Massachusetts.
Other project team members and collaborators for the project include Crystal Frank, and Caroline Tritt-Frank.
Traditional Tales for Modern Times, Alaskan Native Children's Literature
Children's book authors Barbara Jacko Atwater and Ethan J. Atwater (How the Raven Got His Crooked Nose), Phyllis Adams (Gingerbread Moose and Alaska Boots for Chelsea) and Cindy Baldwin (Sarah's Days) talk about the Alaska Native traditions they share through writing modern children's stories. Carols Sturgulewski, with Alaska Center for the Book, actrs as moderator. Topics will range from who "owns" a story, to bridging urban-rural and generational divides, to working with illustrators and publishers.
Barbara Jacko Atwater was raised in the village of Pedro Bay in southwest Alaska. A retired teacher, she has worked with her son Ethan to share the stories passed on to her by her great-uncle, respected Dena'ina elder Walter Johnson.
Phyllis Adams was born in Fairbanks and raised in Nenana. A retired Anchorage schoolteacher, her first stories were created for her grandchildren, to share traditional values adapted to contemporary settings.
Cindy Baldwin grew up in the Athabascan region of Alaska, with Yup'ik, Aleut, German and Russian ancestry. Her children's picture book is a cautionary tale about enjoying nature within limits.
This event is sponsored with Alaska Center for the Book and is held in celebration of Alaska Native/American Indian Heritage Month.
Alaska Authors Jan Harper Haines, Phyllis Fast , and Jane Harper: A Family Affair:
Alaska authors discuss their books and writing in different genres. Jane Harper discusses Unequally Divided, her novel based during the Vietnam era (2:40-23:10), Phyllis Fast discusses her forthcoming mystery Red Paint Woman (23:58-38:40), and Jan Harper Haines discusses her family biographyr Cold River Spirits (39:01-1:24:20).
Here is a brief description of the authors: Jan Harper Haines’ Cold River Spirits: Whispers from a Family’s Forgotten Past is a classic in Alaska literature. It brings together stories from the life and times of her Koyukon Athabascan mother and grandmother. Her cousin, Professor Emerita Phyllis Fast, is an anthropologist and author of the acclaimed Northern Athabascan Survival Women, Community, and the Future. Her current focus is writing Alaska Native mysteries. At this event, she presents her newest book, Red Paint Woman. Alongside Phyllis is her sister in law, Jane E. Harper, who was born in North Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania. Her novel Unequally Divided is a vibrant novel portraying difficult choices of love and life’s direction during the tumultuous Vietnam era
Poets Jon Davis and Joan Naviyuk present Skills, Prosody, and Wildness in the Academy
How is everything poetry while nothing is poetry? How does teaching others govern one's own creative process? Are poets different from writers of other genres? These questions coupled with poetry readings are the focus of this unusual literary event where taking in poems makes poems.
Jon Davis is the author of four full-length poetry collections—Improbable Creatures, Preliminary Report, Scrimmage of Appetite, and Dangerous Amusements; five chapbooks; and Heteronymy: An Anthology. Davis also co-translated Iraqi poet Naseer Hassan’s Dayplaces. He has received a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, the Lavan Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the Off the Grid Poetry Prize, and two NEA Fellowships. After teaching for 27 years, he founded the MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts and directed it from 2013-2018. David Foster Wallace referred to Jon Davis’s poems as being “off-the-charts terrific!".
Alaskan poet Joan Naviyuk Kane is the author of The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, Hyperboreal, The Straits, Milk Black Carbon, A Few Lines in the Manifest, and Sublingual, She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, and numerous fellowships. A Harvard National Scholar, she became 2018 Guggenheim Fellow in 2018.
2 Authors: Phyllis Ann Fast presents The Dire Wolf Alliance and Jane E. Harper presents Unequally Divided
Jane E. Harper's Unequally Divided is a vibrant novel portraying difficult choices of love and life’s direction during the tumultuous Vietnam era. The story takes place in Columbus, GA, near the Fort Benning Army base and highlights the struggles of soldiers training for war while depicting the era's history with flashes of music, religion, domestic abuse, and women’s issues. Author Jane E. Harper was born in North Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania. She earned a bachelor's degree from Auburn University, taught middle school in Georgia, Utah, and overseas. Later, she moved to Alaska and pursued a career in accounting.
Author and anthropologist Phyllis Ann Fast presents her book The Dire Wolf Alliance, A Native American Saga is a story told by spirits Baasee’ and Grandfather Kwaiikit, which help Deloo come to grips with her own recent widowhood. Phyllis Ann Fast, born in Anchorage, is of Koyukon Athabaskan and white American heritages. She earned numerous academic degrees including a B.A. in English from the University of Alaska, an interdisciplinary Master of Arts from UAA, and a PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University. After teaching at UAF and the UAA, she retired Professor Emerita in 2014. Her previous books are Half-Bead of Fundy and Midnight Trauma. She currently resides in Washington State.