The State Writer Laureate began in the early 1960s when the Juneau Poetry Society created the Poet Laureate Program and the position of Poet Laureate was officially confirmed by the Legislature in 1963.
The State Writer Laureate Program is now a partnership between the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Alaska Humanities Forum. The Writer Laureate designation recognizes the contributions of an Alaskan writer and includes funds to support a unique project of the Laureate’s design during her/his two-year term.
The 2016-2018 Writer Laureate is Ernestine Hayes. For her project she has launched a series of writing workshops, Container of Stories, that will reach communities across the state. In these workshops, participants will be encouraged to tell the story of someone whose voice would not otherwise be heard, and will also be encouraged to tell their own stories. The two-day workshops invite participants at every level of writing experience.
Check out the Forum’s website to book a workshop and to learn more.