Let Skagway inspire You

Let Skagway inspire You

Let Skagway inspire You

Let Skagway inspire You

Let Skagway inspire You

Let Skagway inspire You

“Exploring the Frontiers of Language”

North Words Writers Symposium • May 25-28, 2022

Lḵoot Ḵwáan has du aaní káx̱ woosh kanax̱ gax̱tuda.áat. Tlax̱ ḵúnáx̱ chʼáakw áwe wé tlʼátk káa yéi has wootee. Yeedát tsú yéi has yatee, ḵa chʼa tleix̱ a káa yéi has gug̱watée. Yá tlʼátk káa áwé has du sh kalneekxʼí kei nas.áx̱. Yá tlʼátk, yá nadaayi héen, ḵa yá Aas Ḵwáani has du séínáx̱ aawashée Lḵoot Ḵwáan x̱ʼasheexʼí. Wáa sá haa tuwáa sigóo at yáa awuné ldakát át a jeex̱ yeeteeyí. Gunalchéesh.

We are going to gather on the ancestral land of the Lḵoot peoples. From so very long ago they have been on these lands. Now they are here, and they will always be here. On this land, their stories are sounding off. Through the voices of the earth, rivers, and the Tree People sing the songs of the Lḵoot peoples. How much we want that you give respect to all things. Thank you.

— X̱’unei Lance Twitchell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages at University of Alaska Southeast and member of the North Words Organizing Faculty

March 18, 2022 – Unveiling our 2022 North Words Schedule (updated 4/20/22). Also check out our PRESS RELEASE. North Words dates are May 25-28 with some early bird arrival options as well on the 24th.

We still have about 10 spots left to fill, so register soon!

October 28, 2021 – Faculty complete for 2022 North Words, Registration Now Open – In addition to keynote author Tommy Orange, North Words will welcome these Alaska-NW authors at the 12th North Words Writers Symposium on May 25-28, 2022: Heather Lende (current Alaska Writer Laureate) , Kim Heacox, Laureli Ivanoff, Hank Lentfer, Tina Ontiveros, and Nicole Stellon-O’Donnell. See their bios and books under the NWWS 2022 Conference menu tab above. Registration is now open.  We will endeavor to have a safe in-person event in the spring. Note: M Jackson was previously on our 2022 faculty but is unable to attend.

October 11, 2021 – North Words welcomes X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell to Organizing Faculty On Indigenous Peoples Day we were pleased to announce an addition to our Organizing Faculty, the wonderful X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell!  X̱ʼunei (Lingít, Haida, Yupʼik, Sami) is an Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast, and lives in Juneau with his wife and bilingual children. He speaks and studies the Lingít language, and advocates for indigenous language revitalization through teaching, program development, and legislative changes. Twitchell is an author of poems, stories, and screenplays, and is a filmmaker, musician, and Northwest Coast Artist. He also has deep roots here in Shgagwéi and Deiyáa on the traditional lands of the Lkóot and was instrumental in the creation of the Skagway Traditional Council, our tribal government. Twitchell is excited to be on panels with our keynote Tommy Orange next May, and we are excited about working with him on planning North Words. 

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.

August 22, 2021 – North Words 2021 Cancelled – So sorry but we had no choice, given the high spread of the COVID Delta variant now in Alaska, to cancel the Sept. 3-5 conference.  There will be no virtual substitute. We will start working on a return to North Words May 25-28, 2022 with keynote Tommy Orange. Registered participants were given the option of deferring to 2022 or accepting a partial refund (most deferred). See Statement about the cancellation, and thanks for your support and understanding. Be safe!

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.  

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.