If you’ve been following along, you know that five of the cabins at Storyknife are named: Carol, Betty, Diana, Evangeline, and Katie. For awhile, we’ve been waiting to announce the name of the final cabin, and now we can do so.
The final cabin will be named after Peggy Shumaker.
Peggy began her teaching career in Arizona as the writer in residence for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, working with prison inmates, honors students, gang members, deaf adults, teen parents, little kids, library patrons, and elderly folks. She served as poet-in-residence at the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. Shumaker was chair of the English department at University of Alaska Fairbanks and director of the MFA program in creative writing from 1985-2002. She teaches in the Low-Residency Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Each year she has been able, Peggy has taught at the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference (since 2002) and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival (since 2003), programs that she was instrumental in founding and fostering.
Her students are myriad. In the state of Alaska, it would be difficult to find a single successful writer or poet who has not been in her classroom at some point or been her colleague. Her students have gone on to win prestigious awards, publish books, and foster writers in their own classrooms. She reaches writers of all ages and skill levels. Every student leaves Peggy’s workshops and classes infused with a love of language.
She has been more than a teacher to us, she has been a mentor and guide in the way to live a generous writer’s life. In 2014, when she won the Rasmuson Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award, she turned around and put that money in a fund to establish the Alaska Literary Awards recognizing Alaskan writers of merit. As part of her service as the Alaska State Writer Laureate (2010-2012), Peggy began the Alaska Writers Directory, a website featuring over two-hundred pages spotlighting individual Alaskan Writers.
She is the founding editor of two imprints to help Alaska’s poets and literary nonfiction and fiction writers be published. The Alaska Literary Series is an imprint of the University of Alaska Press established in 2012. Boreal Books, an imprint of Red Hen Press, was established in 2008 to publish literature and fine art from Alaska.
The fund toward Peggy’s Cabin contains a little over 50% of the $50,000.00 specified to name it for her. If Peggy has touched your life in any way, please consider donating to close up this campaign. You can donate through Storyknife’s secure server here or send a check to Storyknife at PO Box 75, Homer, AK 99603. All donations will be tax deductible. Donors will get a tax receipt. Storyknife is a registered 501(c)3.
Please share this information with everyone you know who might want to take part. And thank the folks listed below who have already contributed to make Peggy’s Cabin a reality.
Adrian Elizabeth Koesters
Alberto & Lupita Rios
Ann E Beman
Anne Thomas Donaghy
Debbie clarke Moderow
Fleda S Brown
Jeanne E Clark
Jill M. Johnson
Jo and Peter Michalski
Kate Carroll De Gutes
Katrina M Hays
Kelli Russell Agodon
Linda and Larry Martin
Lisa Morin Carcia
Margaret Ann Flaherty
Margo Klass and Frank Soos
Nicole Stellon O’Donnell
Northwoods Book Arts Guild
Pamela M Uschuk
Paula J.S. Martin
Tobi Harper, Kate Gale, and Mark Cull of Red Hen Press
Wendy R Willis
Won’t you join us in honor Peggy Shumaker, to thank her for all she has done for writers?
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