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

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. We will have more 2022 faculty announcements leading up to the opening of registration by the end of the month.

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. 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!
June 28, 2021 – Tommy Orange moves to 2022; Kim Heacox to 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.

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.”

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…

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.