Introducing Peggy Shumaker

Shumaker photoPeggy Shumaker has been an integral part of the Alaska literary community for three decades. I dare say that there is not a writer in the state that she has not helped, even when they don’t know it. Her enthusiasm and generosity know no bounds. It is such a privilege to have her be part of the Storyknife Advisory Council.

Peggy Shumaker writes poetry and nonfiction. She’s putting together a new and selected collection of poems, Touching What’s Wild.  She edits the Boreal Books Series through Red Hen Press and the Alaska Literary Series with University of Alaska Press.  She’s been fortunate over the years to receive a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and recognition as the Artsmith Artist of the Year.  In 2014, The Rasmuson Foundation selected her as their Distinguished Artist.  She has served as Alaska State Writer Laureate.  Professor emerita from University of Alaska Fairbanks, she teaches now in the Rainier Writing Workshop.  She lives in Fairbanks with her beloved Joe Usibelli.  Please visit her website at

Excerpt from “Geology of Wonder” part of Sparks: A Conversation in Poems and Poetry, forthcoming in Touching What’s Wild and featured in the Alaska Quarterly Review.

Shaped by forces way underneath,
shaped gradually by grinding,
shaped over eons by rivers of ice,
shaped by wind, by rain, by eruption, by season
after season of snow, some melting, some packing down
evidence of how this mountain came to be
what it is this instant, how
this mountain changes each breath

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