Grateful for an open door

posted in: Treasures | 0
Sunrise the day after spring equinox

If you follow me on social media, you know that fairly regularly I throw up a plea that people who run conferences or reading series or just any old writerly opportunity consider inviting writers from Alaska to take part. I mean, there are so many writers in Alaska, and we so rarely have those doors opened for us. I want to stress that this lack of opportunity has nothing to do with how talented writers in Alaska are; it simply has to do with the fact that we don’t have the same ability to make connections. Or, as I’ve been told a couple times now, travel is expensive from Alaska (not that most of us wouldn’t use some of our huge stash of air miles to teach at your conference or appear in your reading series). 

All this to say, Michael Mercurio, a poet and editor who lives in Massachusetts, asked me if it might be possible to put together an all Alaska poet edition of the What The Universe Is: A (Virtual) Reading Series that he curates and runs. And of course, I jumped. I thought of two poets, Peggy Shumaker and Annie Wenstrup, that continually astound me with the depth of their work. There was some back and forth about what to read and how to read, but the whole process was so smooth and downright fun! 

Let me share the video of the reading and also say See, that wasn’t so hard; Alaskans show up for these opportunities. To all the people who attended the reading and to all the people who might take a bit of time now to watch the video of it, thank you. Thank you for your support of poetry in the world. And to Michael Mercurio, thank you so much for your taking a chance on us and for contributing rich readings of our work and making us all so comfortable and taken care of. Thank you for not only opening the door, but for bringing us right across the threshold into a beautiful event.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *