A group of Alaska authors visits communities in Southcentral Alaska this summer to meet with readers, discuss the wide range of topics on which they’re written and share the writing experience. Touring are authors Mike Chihuly of Ninilchik, McKibben Jackinsky of Homer, George Harbeson of Homer, Kelly Marre of Kasilof and Wasilla, Mary Perry of Anchor Point, Bill Richardson of Anchor Point, Marianne Schlegelmilch of Homer and Care Tuk of Wasilla.
They read at these places and dates:
• Anchor Point Library, 2-3:30 p.m. June 28. Authors: Chihuly, Harbeson, Jackinsky, Marre, Perry, and Richardson
• The Peddler, Ninilchik, 5:30 p.m., June 29. Authors: Chihuly, Harbeson, Jackinsky, Marre, Perry, and Richardson
• Cooper Landing Library, Noon-2 p.m., June 30. Authors: Mike Chihuly, Jackinsky, Perry, and Richardson
Events also have been planned in Eagle River, Hope and on the Kenai Peninsula later in the summer, ending with a celebration of Alaska Book Week at the Homer Public Library, 6 p.m. Oct. 4.
Chihuly’s book, “Alaska Fish and Fire: Alaskan Outdoorsman, Biologist, Fishing Guide and Fire Chief,” documents his personal journey beginning with his arrival in Alaska as a young child in 1957. Chihuly has lived in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Ninilchik and the bush, traveled widely across the state as he’s fished, hunted, trapped, was educated, worked as a fisheries biologist, guided fishermen on Cook Inlet, and was the head of a small rural fire department.
Harbeson of Homer has taught school in the rural Alaska communities of Selawik, Kivalina, Noorvik, Emmonak, Alakanuk and Anchor Point. Harbeson’s short story “Simeon’s Anipaq” won the Anchorage Daily News/UAA Creative Writing Contest’s 1990 Grand Prize and was published in the North Dakota Quarterly. His memoir of the Harbeson family’s move to Alaska to homestead near Knik in 1954, “Homesteaders in the Headlights,” was awarded the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association’s Best Migration Memoir-2011.” His short story collection, “Shadowed Times: Alaska Stories of Another Age”, is soon to be published.
Jackinsky is a retired Homer News reporter who grew up in Ninilchik, but now claims Homer and Ninilchik as her hometowns, and spends her winters on the Oregon Coast. Prior to a career in journalism, she spent 10 years working in Alaska’s oil industry. In “Too Close to Home? Living with ‘drill, baby’ on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula,” Jackinsky explores the positive and negative impacts of oil and gas development on Kenai Peninsula residents and on a state highly dependent on fossil fuels, while at the same time telling her personal decision-making after an oil and natural gas company offered to lease her piece of family land in Ninilchik to expand the company’s operations.
Marre, a mother of three, grandmother of three, and full-time graduate student, is currently in remission from leukemia. In “Killing Leuk: A Story of The Courageous Journey of Faith of a Mom and Son Who Both Battle Leukemia,” she documents the heartbreaking story of her son Logan’s diagnosis with leukemia and the grief of his death. It continues with Marre being diagnosed with leukemia 16 years later and her battle to continuing living.
Perry moved from the big city of Anchorage at the young age of four, along with her parents and six brothers, to homestead in Anchor Point. Perry’s first book, “Onward, Crispy Shoulders!”, touches readers’ hearts with the story of her oldest brother who, in spite of having Down Syndrome, thrived and served as an example to his entire community by living a life filled with joy and purpose. Her second book, “A Lot to be Thankful For,” turns the spotlight on her mother, who came to Alaska in 1935 with the Matanuska Colonization Program. Perry’s latest book, “Mystery on Cheechako Island,” is an Alaska adventure story for young readers 10 and older.
Richardson has been in Alaska just short of a half century and currently lives in Anchor Point. His many Alaska adventures include being a single-engine private pilot, a survival instructor, a public and private school teacher, a businessman, a U.S. Navy search and rescue navigator in the Aleutians, a fisherman, sailor, fisheries technician and a whole lot more. Richardson brings all of that together in five books starring fictional Alaska bush pilots Corky and Mark to entertain readers of all ages: “Corky and the Alaskan Bears,” “Corky’s Courage, an Alaskan Adventure,” “Corky and the Alaskan Oldtimer,” “Corky and the Alaskan Quake,” and “Corky and the Alaskan Gold Digger.”
Schlegelmilch of Homer has 11 books to her credit, including children’s books “Solo Flight,” “Coho Waterboy” and Slugs Forever; modern Alaska tales “Raven’s Light” and “Gaston’s Crow’s Nest”; the five-part mystery series “Feather From a Stranger,” “Two Tickets and a Feather,” “Driftfeather On the Alaska Seas,” “Feather for Hoonah Joe” and “Feather For Forever.” Her latest book, “Lavender White Arctic Blue,” is her first historical novel and was published this summer.
Tuk of Wasilla has channeled her incredible battles against overwhelming odds onto the pages of “Loose Screws and Skinned Knees,” turning life’s obstacles and adversity into opportunities and adventure. It chronicles Tuk’s victory over cancer not just once but an amazing 14 times, being hit by a drunk driver, and suffering traumatic brain injury.