Let Skagway inspire You

North Words • September 3-5, 2021

Let Skagway inspire You

North Words • September 3-5, 2021

Let Skagway inspire You

North Words • September 3-5, 2021

Let Skagway inspire You

North Words • September 3-5, 2021

Let Skagway inspire You

North Words • September 3-5, 2021

Let Skagway inspire You

North Words • September 3-5, 2021

Let Skagway inspire You

North Words • September 3-5, 2021

“Exploring the Frontiers of Language”

North Words Writers Symposium • September 3-5, 2021
July 23, 2021 – REGISTRATION LIMIT RESET.  Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 Delta variant cases in Alaska, our board has decided to return to the previous limit of 20 participants at this time for the 2021 conference in early September.  In early July we were approved by the Municipality of Skagway to increase our registrations, allowing us to proceed at a level that we were comfortable with for our limited venue space this year.  And for a time, we thought that a safe cap would be 25-30 participants plus faculty, but now we would rather wait and see how the current situation in Alaska plays out.  As of July 23 we were right at 20 participants, so we will again start a wait list (see email info on Registration page). Persons from the wait list will be allowed to register if someone drops from the conference, or if we determine it is safe to allow five more participants.
June 28, 2021 – Tommy Orange moves to 2022; Kim Heacox will keynote 2021 conference Sept. 3-5.  North Words is a couple months away and we are moving forward with the in-person conference. However, we recently received word that Tommy Orange will not be able to join us this year, but he did commit to being our keynote in May 2022. Our board was left to either try to pursue a new keynote author from the Lower 48 for this year, or move forward with those committed to gathering with us in September. We chose the latter, because we are unsure how our numbers will be, and we already have a great line-up from Alaska and the Northwest.  Since he is a great speaker, Kim Heacox was approached to give our keynote address this year and he has enthusiastically agreed to do it. We also had Nancy Lord coming to interview Tommy, but now she will shift to being a regular faculty member. Check out the updated Faculty and  Schedule pagesRegister and start making your Travel arrangements.

May 2021 – North Words Schedule released & limits announced – The North Words Writers Symposium will begin on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 3, but there will be a Sup & Slam poetry event for early arrivals on the evening of Sept. 2.   In order to have a safe conference – protecting ourselves and the people of Skagway – we also will be requiring everyone to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with some exceptions. See details on the  page or email us if you have questions. Make sure you check out the information under our Attendee Resources tab above, and watch for further announcements this summer. We’ve also had another faculty change. Caroline Van Hemert will replace Bryan Fierro, who unfortunately cannot be with us this year.

March 2021 – North Words moves to Sept. 3-5 – The North Words Writers Symposium will move from its usual time at the end of May to a conference on Labor Day weekend.  The 12th annual symposium will run September 3-5, beginning after the ferry arrives on Friday afternoon and concluding with the keynote on Sunday evening. This decision was made so we could have an in-person conference this summer. “Our aim is to have a COVID-safe conference late in the summer, working with our municipality and various vendors,” said Jeff Brady, a member of the organizing faculty.  “Our board and faculty wanted us to try to make it happen, rather than go virtual two years in a row.” Nome poet Marie Tozier and Gustavus writer Hank Lentfer.  

October 28, 2020 – North Words 2021 faculty announced; registration opens Nov. 2:  In his ground-breaking 2018 debut novel, There There, one of author Tommy Orange’s ensemble of characters admires a radio show mix of old and new Indigenous music, commenting, “The problem with Indigenous art in general is that it’s stuck in the past. The catch, or the double bind, about the whole thing is this: If it isn’t pulling from tradition, how is it Indigenous? And if it’s stuck in tradition, in the past, how can it be relevant to other Indigenous people living now, how can it be modern? So to get close to but keep enough distance from tradition, in order to be recognizably Native and modern-sounding, is a small kind of miracle (in the music he hears from three First Nations producers from Canada).” Read More…

October 12, 2020 – North Words announces 2021 Keynote Author: Tommy Orange! On Indigenous People’s Day we were pleased to announce on our Facebook and Instagram pages that Tommy Orange, the Oakland, California writer of the best-selling novel There There about the lives of urban Native Americans, will be next year’s keynote author. Tommy is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma. We also will welcome Laureli Ivanoff, an Inupiaq and Yupik writer from Unalakleet, Alaska as a member of our Alaska NW faculty, thanks to a new partnership with the Skagway Traditional Council (Marie Tozier replaced Laurie in March; we hope to have Laurie in 2022).

August 16, 2020 – North Words founder Buckwheat Donahue (1951-2019) remembered with special Buckwheat Memories Tribute . This photo memory with Buckwheat performing one of his favorite Robert Service poems played at the start of North Words 2020 and was released to public on his birthday. He would have been 69 today. 

Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange

2022 Keynote Speaker Bio

Tommy Orange is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel There There, a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans

 

Presented by the North Words Organizing Faculty under the fiscal sponsor Skagway Development Corporation – Community Development Services, with generous support from the Municipality of Skagway, Skagway Traditional Council, and additional SponsorsMeet your writing community at the North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway, Alaska.