Ernestine Hayes named Alaska State Writer Laureate

Writer Ernestine Hayes, reads from "The Tao of Raven" during a panel discussion in Juneau on Sept. 24, 2015. (Photo by Mary Catherine Martin/Capital City Weekly)

Writer Ernestine Hayes reads from “The Tao of Raven” during a panel discussion in Juneau on Sept. 24, 2015. (Photo by Mary Catherine Martin/Capital City Weekly)

Juneau author Ernestine Hayes is the new Alaska State Writer Laureate for the next two years.

The Alaska Humanities Forum and Alaska State Council on the Arts made the announcement in a joint statement Thursday.

Hayes is an assistant professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast, and is perhaps best known for her memoir “Blonde Indian,” subtitled “An Alaska Native Memoir,” which received an American Book Award and Honoring Alaska Indigenous Literature Award.

Her latest book is “The Tao of Raven” also subtitled “An Alaska Native Memoir.” She also has published poetry, children’s books, creative nonfiction, short stories, essays and articles. And she has been active in the arts and humanities community as a speaker, facilitator and a board member among her many roles.

As part of her appointment, Hayes will receive funding and support for workshops around the state, lectures, readings and an original project that she will be expected to complete during her two-year term.

Hayes will be introduced as the Alaska State Writer Laureate during the Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities in January in Juneau.

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