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CODA: LITERARY MILESTONES TO CORNERSTONES
Panel: Julie Decker, Danielle Ofri, Ronald Spatz
Readers: Danusha Laméris, Manini Nayer
May 2 @ 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm AKDT
Julie Decker is the Director/CEO of the Anchorage Museum in Alaska, which is a leading center for scholarship, engagement, and investigation of Alaska and the North. Decker’s career has been focused on the people and environment of Northern places and building projects and initiatives that are in service to local and global communities. Before becoming Director/CEO, Decker served as the Museum’s Chief Curator. She has curated and designed numerous exhibitions, taught classes, and authored and edited numerous publications on subjects ranging from contemporary art and architecture of the North, to many aspects of the Arctic environment and histories. Her books include Quonset Hut: Metal Living For The Modern Age; Found & Assembled in Alaska: A catalogue to the exhibition organized by the Alaska State Museum, Juneau; True North: New Alaskan Architecture; Alaska and the Airplane: A Century of Flight; I Am Inuit: Portraits of Places and People of the Arctic; Wandering Ecologies: The Landscape Architecture of Charles Anderson; John Hoover: Art and Life; Icebreakers: Alaska’s Most Innovative Artists.
Danielle Ofri is the Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Bellevue Literary Review (BLR), the first literary journal to arise from a medical setting and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. She is an internist at Bellevue Hospital and is a clinical professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine and one of the foremost voices in the medical world today. Ofri is the author of six books: Singular Intimacies: Becoming a Doctor at Bellevue; Incidental Findings: Lessons from my Patients in the Art of Medicine; Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients; What Doctors Feel–How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine; What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear; and most recently, When We Do Harm; A Doctor Confronts Medical Error. Her writing appears regularly in the New York Times, as well as in the New Yorker, Slate Magazine, the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and other publications. Her essays have been selected for Best American Essays (twice) and Best American Science Writing. She has received the McGovern Award from the American Medical Writers Association for “preeminent contributions to medical communication.”
Ronald Spatz is Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Alaska Quarterly Review (AQR), a leading literary journal celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. A professor of English and founder of the Honors College and Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of Alaska, Spatz is a former National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and the recipient of two Alaska Governor’s Awards (Arts and Humanities) and a Contribution to Literacy Award from the Alaska Center for the Book. His work has appeared in a wide range of journals and anthologies including New Letters, Fiction, The Transatlantic Review, The Little Magazine in America, Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry, The Whole Story: Editors on Fiction and In the Dreamlight. Under his four decades of leadership and vision, Alaska Quarterly Review has created a strong outward facing connection between Alaska and the larger literary community in the US and abroad and AQR has been influential force in support for new and emerging literary work. As the Washington Post observed about AQR: “That one of the nation’s best literary magazines comes out of Alaska may seem surprising, but so it is.”
Danusha Laméris is the author of two collections of poems: The Moons of August (Autumn House, 2014), which was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the Autumn House Press poetry prize and was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Book Award. Her second book is Bonfire Opera, (University of Pittsburgh Press), and she was the 2020 recipient of the Lucille Clifton Legacy Award. Some of her poems have been published in: The Best American Poetry, The New York Times, The American Poetry Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, The SUN Magazine, Tin House, The Gettysburg Review, and Ploughshares. Laméris teaches poetry independently, and is a Poet Laureate emerita of Santa Cruz County, California.
Manini Nayer is the author of the collection Being Here: Stories forthcoming in spring 2022 from The University Press of Kentucky. Her stories have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Chelsea, The Malahat Review, Boston Review, Words and Images, The London Magazine and Stand, and in the anthologies Signals (Constable Press, UK), Rooted and Branching: Women Worldwide and The O. Henry Festival Stories. Her fiction has been recognized by the BBC World Service International Short Story Award, the Andre Dubus Short Story Award; and the Stand Magazine (U.K.) International Short Story Award and broadcast internationally on the BBC literary program Off the Shelf. Her work has also been featured by InterAct Theatre Company, Philadelphia, in their Writing Aloud performance series. Nayer has been awarded Literature Fellowships from the Indiana Arts Council, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She is an Associate Teaching Professor in English and Women’s Studies at Penn State University.