Photo courtesy of Mary Catharine Martin/Capital City Weekly

Ernestine Hayes

Alaska Writer Laureate (2016-2018) and University of Alaska Southeast Professor Ernestine Hayes belongs to the Kaagwaantaan clan of the Tlingit nation. Her first book, Blonde Indian, an Alaska Native Memoir, received an American Book Award and an Honoring Alaska Indigenous Literature (HAIL) Award, was named Native America Calling Book of the Month, and was finalist for the Kiriyama Prize and PEN Nonfiction Award. Blonde Indian was the inaugural selection for Alaska Reads, a program launched by her predecessor, Writer Laureate Frank Soos. Her works have appeared in Studies in American Indian Literature, Yellow Medicine Review, Cambridge History of Western American Literature, and other forums. Her poem “The Spoken Forest” is installed at Totem Bight State Park, and her comments on Indigenous identity are installed in the Alaska State Museum. Her latest book, The Tao of Raven, weaves narratives and reflection in the context of “Raven and the Box of Daylight.”