Meet the Editor


“Art Talk with Editor Ronald Spatz”
National Endowment for the Arts

Excerpt from Ronald Spatz’s interview

49 Writers Interview
March 9, 2010

The Book Show (audio below)
Australian Broadcasting Corp., October 3, 2007

(Read about this interview at: Off the beaten track with the Alaska Quarterly Review.)

Ronald Spatz, editor-in-chief and founding editor of Alaska Quarterly Review, is a nationally recognized literary editor. He is currently a full professor of English and Creative Writing and the founding editor and project director of the statewide Web site, LitSite Alaska. Spatz also served as Founding Dean of the University Honors College from 2001 to 2014. He has an MFA degree in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He is the recipient of a 2010 Governor’s Award for the Humanities and a 1996 Alaska Governor’s Award for the Arts.

Recognition for Spatz and his Alaska Quarterly Review staff include a Chancellor’s Group Award for Excellence (in Research and Creative Activity), a Special Recognition Award for “offering literary excellence to Alaska and the world” from the Alaska Center for the Book, five major awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the 1996 Governor’s Award for the Arts — the State of Alaska’s highest award in the Arts, and honored by the Municipality of Anchorage with a Proclamation declaring April 26, 1999, “Alaska Quarterly Review Day.” In the U.S. Senate, Alaska Senator Frank Murkowski made two tributes to Alaska Quarterly Review recorded in the Congressional Record on July 31, 1997, and on September 24, 1999. Upon the milestone of the 30th anniversary of Alaska Quarterly Review, Alaska’s U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski recorded a tribute in the Congressional Record on May 7, 2012.

Recent work from AQR has been selected for The Best American Essays, The Best American Poetry, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize: The Best of the Small Presses, The Best American Mystery Stories and The Beacon Best: Creative Writing by Women and Men of All Colors. Over time, AQR has received “Distinguished Stories of the Year” citations from The Best American Short Stories and has been ranked as one of the top markets in the U.S. and Canada by Writer’s Digest. AQR has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education and in a cover article and an “Insider Feature” for the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market (Writer’s Digest Books). It has also been featured in numerous collections including The Whole Story: Editors on Fiction and Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry. The Washington Post Book World deemed AQR as “one of the nation’s best literary magazines” and “fresh treasure” was the phrase used to describe AQR in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. Library Journal concluded “AQR is highly recommended and deserves applause.”

Spatz is a filmmaker and a writer. He has produced, directed, photographed, and edited a range of short subject and expressionist documentary films for children and adults. Many of these films have been broadcast on commercial and public television, selected for film festivals and conferences, and used in schools and colleges. Several of his films are currently in national distribution (Journal Films, Inc. and The Cinema Guild). His film, For the Love of Ben, was broadcast nationally on public television and was reviewed and recommended by Choice, Library Journal, Book Report, and Video Rating Guide for Libraries (“4 stars”). Additionally, For the Love of Ben was selected for presentation at the American Psychiatric Association as well as for both the American Psychological Association regional meeting in Los Angeles and its national meeting in Boston.

Spatz’s fiction has appeared in a wide range of national literary journals (i.e., Fiction, New Letters, Transatlantic Review) and anthologies (i.e. In the Dreamlight, Inroads, The Third Coast), and has been recognized by individual artist fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alaska State Council on the Arts. In total, Spatz has been the recipient of more than 45 individual and project grants. Spatz’s work on LitSite Alaska has received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and praise from local and international venues including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Education World, Stands for Education, School Library Journal, and The White House.

As a professor, Spatz has been the recipient of three university-wide teaching excellence awards (two Chancellor’s awards and a University of Alaska Anchorage Alumni Award), a Chancellor’s Award and other awards and recognition for LitSite Alaska. The University of Alaska Board of Regents has also recognized him for outstanding leadership. In 1999 Spatz was honored with the University of Alaska’s highest award, The Edith Bullock Prize for Excellence, presented by the University of Alaska Foundation.