Slide Show/Book Reading April 16: Alaskan Author Seth Kantner

Well, something good has come out of my hopes for more cultural events in Tok. In my attempt to surprise the Tetlin Reading Group with a visit from Seth Kantner while they were reading his book Shopping for Porcupines, I tracked Seth down on the Web and he graciously responded. I told him my idea and offered to help pay his way to Tok for the book club. Schedules didn’t fit, but Seth mentioned he knew Scott at the school and suggested maybe he could get to Tok to make a presentation via the school.

After much back and forth and coordinating, his visit was confirmed and Seth also agreed to give some time to the Tok community. I’m so excited, but of course this would fall on one of the evenings that I’ll be teaching a class at UAF Tok Center on social media marketing (marketing with Faceboook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, blogs, etc.). So I’ll miss the event. Someone please take pictures, and tell Seth I wish I could have been there!

Here are more details from a piece that appeared in the recent Mukluk News.

Mark your calendars now for this event and plan to join us at Fast Eddy’s in the Banquet Room.* Come at 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. to get a good seat and have a famous Fast Eddy’s dinner or snack before the Book Reading begins. Brought to Tok by Alaska Gateway School District for the Young Author’s Conference, Seth agreed to stay a bit longer to give our community a chance to hear from him too.

Winner of the Whiting Award and the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, Alaskan author Seth Kantner is undoubtedly one of the pre-eminent voices on the Northern literary scene. Kantner was schooled at home and on the land, and attended the University of Alaska and later the University of Montana where he received a BA, with honors, in Journalism. Seth Kantner– trapper, fisherman, photographer, igloo builder, and acclaimed author, was born in a sod igloo on the Alaskan tundra and raised simply on the land. When he was a boy, Kantner’s parents gave him a camera and taught him the basics of photography. He’s been documenting his surroundings ever since. He says, “As a family we took about one roll of slide film per year (more would be a waste!)” Since then, Kantner’s photographs have appeared in several publications. His work reflects his devotion to the land and animals that live on it, and his belief in the importance of wildness left wild. To see some of his photographs, visit

In 2004, his debut novel, Ordinary Wolves, was released to literary acclaim. Publisher’s Weekly called it “A tour de force.” The Los Angeles Times named the book “A rare thing of beauty.” The novel won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, and Kantner received a Whiting Award naming him one of the nation’s top ten emerging writers. Since that time, he has had to incorporate national book tours and other publicity into a life previously focused on the land, sea, and daily weather conditions and movements of animals. Kantner was nominated in 2006 for the position of Alaska State Writer Laureate, which he turned down to pursue work on his newly released book, Shopping for Porcupine. He lives in northwest Alaska with his wife, Stacey, and his daughter, China.

Visit his website at Seth will be bringing some of his books for those who might wish to purchase books after his presentation, and he’s willing to sign for those who might wish to have a signed copy.

*Please note: Fast Eddy’s is scheduled to have a remodeling between April 2 and April 15; if all goes well and the remodeling is completed on time, our event will be in the Banquet Room of Fast Eddy’s. If for some reason the remodeling isn’t completed by April 15, our location may have to change. Look for posters around Tok.

Contributed by Kay Lynn Odle-Moore, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

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  1. Bobi

     /  April 17, 2010

    I wish that I could be there.

  2. Ootsii Shii Ghanhk

     /  April 17, 2010

    Sure enjoyed meeting Seth, a man true to his principles who still lives “close to the bone” in a world of change.


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