October 2, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 157 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
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] 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ALASKA QUARTERLY REVIEW
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 concern. 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 come. ____________________