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Letters from Happy Valley, Memories of an Alaska Homesteader’s SonFifty years after leaving the family homestead in Happy Valley, Alaska, Dan Walker unexpectedly received a shoebox full of letters penned in 1958 by his parents as they traveled from Sugar Tree Ridge, Ohio, to build a new life on the Last Frontier. In Letters from Happy Valley, Memories of an Alaska Homesteader’s Son, Dan Walker rediscovers and honors his Alaska roots and the life lived before his father's untimely death, which instigated his family to move to Government Hill. Dan L. Walker has over thirty years in education and his consulting work has taken him throughout Alaska from Anchorage to Barrow and Perryville to Sitka where he works with principals, teachers, and students. He was named Teacher of the Year for Alaska in 1999.
Translating the Novel Wake in Winter by Russian Author Nadezhada BelenkayaWake In Winter is set in the provincial town of Rogozhin, which is a driving distance from Moscow. It is a story about a talented graduate student, Nina Koretskaya, who finds an opportunity to earn money by translating and interpreting Spanish by working for an adoption agent named Ksenia. As Nina gets herself more and more involved in the adoption process, she becomes emotionally disturbed by the children she attempts to help, and finds herself involved in what looks more and more like an adoption mafia. Andrea Gregovich earned a MFA in Creative Writing from University of Nevada Las Vegas. Her translation of USSR, Diary of a Perestroika Kid, by Vladimir Kozlov has been widely acclaimed. Russian author Nadezhda Belenkaya, born in Moscow, has a degree in Hispanic studies and literary translation from the Gorky Literary Institute. Wake In Winter is her fist novel.
Circadian and Ultradian Rhythms and Cancer Control: Special Challenges for Alaskans and What to Do About ItThis series of lectures provides cutting edge research, information, and tips on how to improve your odds of recovery from cancer, of remaining in remission, or simply preventing cancer in the first place. Dr. Lyn Freeman is an Alaskan researcher and behavioral medicine provider who just completed six years of National Cancer Institute-funded research on overcoming the side effects of cancer treatments. The intervention she created and tested produced clinically and statistically significant improvements and is now a model of care for cancer survivors.
Living Peace NowLarry Merculieff was born and raised with a traditional upbringing on St. Paul Island. In 2003, Larry was instrumental in gaining both federal and state recognition of Alaska Native subsistence rights to harvest halibut throughout coastal Alaska. Recently he founded Seven Generations Consulting. His focus for the discussion is the process of connecting with others. Dr. Christine Gehrett is an associate professor in Education. She teaches foundation courses in education, serves on the advisory board for the Alaska Educational Innovations Network (AEIN), on the Chevak advisory board, and on the Center for Community Engagement and Learning advisory council. Her focus for the discussion is peace from within. Dr. Greg Kimura is President and CEO of the Alaska Humanities Forum. A fourth generation Alaskan from Chugiak-Eagle River, he holds a M.Div from Harvard University, where he wrote a thesis on Zen Buddhism and Western philosophical thought, and a PhD from Cambridge University in the philosophy of religion. His focus for the discussion is the ontological state of being.
On the Frontiers of an Inner Life: Thomas Merton's 1968 Journey to AlaskaAuthor Kathleen W. Tarr discusses her newly released book, We Are All Poets Here (VP&D House, 2018). Part memoir, part biography, with Thomas Merton as the spiritual guide, the quest to seek an interior life amidst a chaotic, confused, fragmented world is explored. Trappist Thomas Merton (1915-1968) lived as a sequestered monastic for 27 years. However he wrote over fifty books and hundreds of poems and articles on topics ranging from monastic spirituality to civil rights, nonviolence, and the nuclear arms race. Today, his 1948 autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, continues to influence millions of people all over the world. After his surprise sojourn to Alaska in 1968, Thomas Merton traveled to Thailand where he met his accidental and death by electrocution. Author Kathleen W. Tarr was born and raised in Pittsburgh. She came to Alaska in 1978 and lived in Yakutat, Sitka, and the Kenai Peninsula, and was Program Coordinator for UAA's MFA Creative Writing Program. She earned a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and has writings published in several anthologies and in Creative Nonfiction, the Sewanee Review, Alaska Airlines Magazine, the Anchorage Daily News, TriQuarterly, Sick Pilgrim, and Cirque. In 2016, she was named a William Shannon Fellow by the International Thomas Merton Society. Currently she sits on the board of the Alaska Humanities Forum.