• On the Frontiers of an Inner Life: Thomas Merton's 1968 Journey to Alaska

      Tarr, Kathleen W. (University of Alaska Anchorage. Bookstore, 2018-02-06)
      Author 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.