Alaska State Writer Laureate 2002-2004
"I believe that writing is basic to our human nature. The role of the State Writer should be to encourage all kinds of people to write. Writers do not own writing any more than actors own speech. We are all writers. The act of writing is one of the best therapies. It can help us understand our lives. It is a way into the secret recesses of our hearts. It is a tool to help us figure out who we are and what is important to us. Everyone has something to say. Everyone has the right to write. The State Writer should be out convincing everyone from school children with shiny new lives to older people with rich, layered lives to probe their experience through writing. The State Writer ought to be a model of the writing life with a passion for spreading the gospel of writing to any and all audiences willing to listen."
Anne's columns on over 80 Alaska writers were featured in the Sunday Life section of the Anchorage Daily News and in the Sundays section of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner from 2003 - 2005.
Click here for Archives: Anne Hanley in the Anchorage Daily News
Click here to download a resume.
In 2004, I spent fifteen days backpacking along the North Fork of the Koyukuk and Itkillik rivers as a member of the first Artists in Residence Program at Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Here's a poem from my Gates trip.
When wrongs sprout up
thick as morels after a fire,
leave them for the small, sharp-eyed creatures
who can digest them
Only forgive yourself.
Blame no others. When tempted,
go back to the headwaters.
This time float all the way down.
Watch how the river
muscles its way through canyons
then lets itself go slack and fat
in open country.
Look how the wind spends its fury
on poor grasses, then stills itself
To barely caress the undersides of leaves.
You do likewise, scarred heart.
As you fling yourself over the precipice,
As you collect in deep pools,
At the very moment you surrender
To the infinite sea,
In 2206, I accompanied an international group of volcanologists to Katmai National Park. While they did their research, I wrote poems to accompany James Orvik's evocative paintings of the area.
I'm working on a book combining Orvik's paintings, my poetry, geologic commentary by volcanologist John Eichelberger and an essay by Lee Higbie, grandson of Robert Fiske Griggs who discovered the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.
Novarupta Triptych by James Orvik