Alaska Book Week shines light on Alaskan’s creativity

Ian Larsen/Sun Star Reporter

In order to spread interest of Alaskan novels and poetry to students, UAF held an event celebrating Alaska Book week at the Wood Center on Oct. 8.

The Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Press, the Alaska Native Language Center, Permafrost and the UAF Bookstore put together the event. In order to get writers and poets interested in the event, book readings and an open mic were held. The booths set up in the Wood Center showcased Permafrost, the creative writing graduate short story book, library information on Alaskan text and Alaskan titles sold at the UAF bookstore.

Joan Braddock, the Director of the University of Alaska Press helped organize the event for UAF.  The celebration of ABW is statewide, but for a while has mainly been celebrated in Anchorage since the host of ABW, 49 Writers, headquarters is there, Braddock said. This is Fairbanks’ first year hosting the event.

The event went much better then expected, Braddock said.

49 Writers held a raffle in which two Alaskan novels were given away each day during the week in celebration of the event.

“This is a good event for students who write to get their name out there,” said Daryl Farmer, an English Professor at UAF.

Published writers from Alaska such as UAF English Professors, Gerri Brightwell, Derick Burleson and poet laureate Peggy Shumaker read from their novels and poems for students during the book reading.

Open mic was held from noon to two. Students were able to go up to the four seasons wall and recite their own or published works Although the theme of the event was “Alaskan books,” many of the speakers did not stick with that theme.

Eric Alain Parker, a creative writing graduate student, shared two self-penned about freight driver accidents.  This was his first time taking part in an open mic reading.

“I normally write about human insignificance, disasters,” Parker said. “I’m trained as a science major, so I wholly believe in evolution and specie‘s ups and downs. We are definitely on a down, I guess that’s my inspiration.”

“I think there is a lot of things going on campus with writing and books that people don’t know about, Braddock said. “It’s nice to showcase established authors, like faculty writers and to encourage student authors with things like the reading and open mic.”


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