Arts Briefs

‘Cow Woman’ author signs new book

Joan Brown Dodd signs her latest book, “Welcome to 1960s Dutch Harbor, Alaska,” from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Bookstore. It is a prequel to her previous book, “Cow Woman of Akutan.”

Four Homer artists receive Rasmuson grants

Homer writers Tom Kizzia, Erin Coughlin Hollowell and Miranda Weiss and choreographer Breezy Berryman have received Rasmuson Foundation grants. Kizzia, Hollowell and Berryman all received $18,000 fellowships in the Individual Artist Awards program, and Weiss received a $7,500 project grant. Nine fellowships and 25 project grants were awarded.

Kizzia will complete an essay about history, time, and loss in McCarthy. He also will work on two memoirs, one delving into his family’s history in Arkansas, the second detailing Alaska’s transformation as he experienced it living in a cabin while working as a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News.

Hollowell will explore issues of patriarchy, culture and how family history shapes us for her third poetry collection, “Flung Stone, Dark Wing.”

Berryman will expand her original dance, “Nature’s Walk,” and turn it into a film that explores the four seasons, using Alaska’s landscape to inform and inspire the choreography.

Weiss will begin work on her second book, on the topic of snow. Each chapter will use one of the writer’s snow-bound adventures to illuminate the effects of climate change on “this magical form of precipitation.”

Awardees, who include poets, choreographers, writers, multi-disciplinary artists, carvers, composers, folk and traditional artists, and performance artists, were chosen from 450 applicants, and represent 14 Alaska communities.

Storyknife writers retreat gets funding for Eva’s House

Storyknife Writers Retreat has raised enough funds that with a 2-to-1 matching donation from Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli, the main house can be built and dedicated to Homer writer Eva Saulitis. Starting in November, donations were solicited to build Eva’s House, the main house where the chef/site manager will provide meals for residents throughout their stay. It also will have a dining/living area, office, and library/classroom for public presentations.

Storyknife Writers Retreat will have six cabins and host multiple residencies throughout the year. Three of the six cabins have been funded by Arliss Sturgulewski, Jeannie Penney and Cathy Rasmuson. Storyknife seeks funding for the rest of the complex. For more information, visit

Erdrich to teach at Tutka Bay Writers Retreat

Nationally acclaimed writer and poet Louise Erdrich teaches Sept. 8-10 at the 49 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat at Tutka Bay Lodge. The author of 15 novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood, she won the National Book Award for Fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

The writers retreat emphasizes fiction writing while also welcoming nonfiction writers interested in using elements of fiction in their prose. The format will blend craft talks, in-class writing, readings and discussion with unstructured time to experience the immersive natural environment or concentrate further on writing.

Because of the high interest in the retreat, admission will be based on an application process. Current 49 Writers members and Tutka alums will receive priority, though everyone is encouraged to apply. Applications will be reviewed and responded to as soon as possible, and no later than June 30. Enrollment is limited. A waiting list will be created in the event it fills. Retreat fees include instruction, meals and snacks, double or triple occupancy accommodations, round-trip water taxi between Homer and the lodge, sauna use, self-guided and guided hiking, and more. The regular registration fee is $845 for 49 Writers members and $895 for nonmembers. For more information, visit the 49 Writers website at

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