Unique Experience with Synergies

Our Synergies series offers uniquely experiential, literary-centric events. Synergies evolved out of local poet and 49 Alaska Writing Center board member Jeremy Pataky’s Still North Reading and Performance Series, which began in 2009, prior to official establishment of the 49 Alaska Writing Center. The series is currently coordinated by volunteers Jeremy Pataky and Susanna Mishler in collaboration with writing center staff.


Hyperboreal: Live Poetry, Live Music
private house in Anchorage, AK
December 31, 2013

A New Year’s Eve house party poetry reading launched Joan Naviyuk Kane’s second award-winning book, Hyperboreal. Kane read selections from the book, preceded by Alaskan songwriter Michael Howard.

Joan Kane: HyperborialJoan Naviyuk Kane is Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, Alaska. She received a 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award for her first poetry collection, The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, published in its first edition by NorthShore Press Alaska and in its second edition by the University of Alaska Press. Her second book, Hyperboreal, was chosen as the winner of the 2012 AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry and is available from the University of Pittsburgh Press. She has received both an individual artist award (2007) and an artist fellowship (2013) from the Rasmuson Foundation, a fellowship from the Alaska State Council on the Arts (2009), the Alaska Conservation Foundation’s Native Writers on the Environment award (2010), a Literature Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (2013), and a Creative Vision Award from United States Artists (2013). She will be the Indigenous Writer-in-Residence at the School for Advanced Research in 2014 and faculty in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the Institute for American Indian Arts. A graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University’s School of the Arts, she lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her husband and sons. Kane’s focus as the Indigenous Writer-in-Residence at the School for Advanced Research in 2014 begins in January 2014 and will focus on an autobiographical novel, Held, and a third book of poems, Then the World Was Milk.

Michael HowardSongwriter Michael Howard was born and raised in Alaska. His first solo album, The Caribou and the Wolf, was released in 2012, and his second album, The Martyr and the Magician, is being recorded now. The video for his song “Tiny Birch Basket” won 1st place in the third annual 2013 F-Magazine Music Video competition.

Thanks to: Broken Tooth Brewing, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Michael Howard, Linda Ketchum, Jeremy Pataky,University of Pittsburgh Press and Maria E. Sticco.

Workaday: New Poems, New Play
Out North Contemporary Art House
October 13, 2012

Celebrate Alaska Book Week and join us for an evening of new work—on the subject of work – from nationally-acclaimed poet Linda Gregerson and Anchorage’s own esteemed playwright, Arlitia Jones. Linda Gregerson will read from her fifth collection of poems, The Selvage, and Arlitia Jones’s one-act play, The Children of Light, will debut from her new production company, Toss Pot. The reading and performance will be followed by a book-signing and no-host after party. The event is free but donations are encouraged.

Linda GregersonA 2007 National Book Award finalist and a recent Guggenheim Fellow, Linda Gregerson is the Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, where she teaches creative writing and Renaissance literature. She’s the recipient of the prestigious Kingsley Tufts Award and four Pushcart Prizes, among many other honors and fellowships. Gregerson’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Granta, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, The Best American Poetry, among other journals and anthologies.

Gregerson is the author of four books of poetry and two books of criticism. Poet and critic Dan Chiasson notes, “. . .of all the terrific American poets working today, Gregerson is best at complex, disabused acts of empathy. Probably no poet so smart (Gregerson is also a leading scholar of the English Renaissance) dares to take people and sadness so seriously.”

Arlitia JonesArlitia Jones has authored several plays, two of which were staged at the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Summer Play Festival (Grand Central and 42nd, a finalist in 2007, and The Empirical Eskimo in 2012). Other short plays have been staged in Anchorage’s Overnighter Theatre and at the 2006 Last Frontier Theatre Conference. Her first full length play Sway Me Moon was produced by Three Wise Moose at Out North in February of 2008 in Anchorage and again at the 2008 Last Frontier Theatre Conference. Her ten-minute play Shoe Story was produced in Great Britain as part of the Northwest Playwrights’ Alliance British Tour. She is also the author of The Bandsaw Riots, a collection of poems which won the 2001 Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize.

When asked to describe herself as a playwright in five words, Jones says this: “Insomniac Carnivore Poet Ninja Thief. And one bonus word: Pie.” Poet Jim Daniels writes, “Arlitia Jones? This woman can flat-out write. Her work is so fresh and full of energy, the smoke’s still rising from the page. She takes the grit of our daily lives and shapes it into wonder and surprise.”

This event was in partnership with Out North Contemporary Art House and Fireside Books.