35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ALASKA QUARTERLY REVIEW; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 157
(Senate - October 02, 2017)

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[Page S6259]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


 Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, today I wish to recognize one of 
our Nation's finest literary journals, the Alaska Quarterly Review, now 
marking its 35th year of literary excellence.
  Alaska Quarterly Review was first published in 1982 at the University 
of Alaska Anchorage and has evolved to be a joint publication of the 
university and the Center for Narrative and Lyric Arts. From the 
beginning, it was designed to highlight the work of strong literary 
voices from Alaska and beyond. Publishing fiction, short plays, poetry, 
photo essays, and literary nonfiction, the journal has an especially 
strong commitment to promote new and emerging writers.
  The founding editor and editor-in-chief of Alaska Quarterly Review, 
Ronald Spatz, envisioned the journal as a way to break through 
stereotypes and present Alaska to the greater literary community. That 
goal was far surpassed, as Alaska Quarterly Review has won accolades 
from some of the most prestigious reviewers and publications in the 
country. Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Michael Dirda wrote in The New 
York Review of Books that the Alaska Quarterly Review ``remains one of 
our best, and most imaginative, literary magazines.'' The New York 
Times Book Review labeled it ``fresh treasure.''
  Alaska Quarterly Review has also been featured and supported by the 
National Endowment for the Arts, the Alaska Humanities Forum, Alaska 
State Council on the Arts, and the Rasmussen Foundation, and honored by 
Alaska Center for the Book and others. A number of works originally 
published in the journal have been subsequently selected for inclusion 
in The Best American Essays, The Best American Poetry, The Best 
American Mystery Stories, The Best Creative Nonfiction, The Best 
American Short Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Prize 
Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Beacon Best, and The Pushcart Prize: 
The Best of the Small Presses.
  In addition to its literary influence on the national level, Alaska 
Quarterly Review brings a strong focus to the development and 
importance of Alaska Native and indigenous literatures. Alaska Native 
language survival and resilience are portrayed as a national and global 
  Mr. Spatz writes that Alaska Quarterly Review ``has been and is of 
Alaska but not Alaskan. We have a global perspective, and, although we 
have published primarily American authors, our writers hail from a wide 
range of nations.'' The journal's 35th anniversary observance in 
October reaches across the Pacific Ocean by featuring ``In the 
Footprint of the Crocodile Man: Memories, Myths and Contemporary Art of 
the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea,'' a reflection of the commonalities 
of human experience. At the same event, the universal elements of birth 
and language are celebrated in a beautiful film, ``Shaawatke'es 
Birth,'' performed in English and Tlingit, one of Alaska's precious 
indigenous languages.
  The impact of Alaska Quarterly Review extends far from its origins in 
my home State and is worthy of celebration by this body and all 
Americans who recognize the power of the literary arts to shape our 
thoughts, our ideals, and our country. I commend Alaska Quarterly 
Review and its editor, Ronald Spatz, its contributors, and its 
supporters for 35 years of excellence. I hope for many more to