UAS Hosts Frank Soos, State Writer Laureate

Juneau –UAS is pleased to host visiting scholar Frank Soos, Alaska State Writer Laureate 2014-2016. Soos is an educator and award-winning writer, who taught for the University of Alaska from 1986 through 2004, and is now a Professor Emeritus for University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is described on the website for the Alaska Historical Society as “a natural promoter of literary arts and artists.”

Mr. Soos will be speaking on Thursday, October 27 in the Egan Lecture Hall on the UAS Auke Lake Campus at 7 p.m. – the event is free and open to the public. In his presentation “What Matters” Mr. Soos will discuss a number of things: a sense of vocation in a person’s life, doing “good” whatever that might mean with lots of references to literature since that’s what I do: Faust and Greek tragedy will come up as examples, but so will examples from the Alaskan life we live. While in Juneau Soos will also be meeting with students in the classes of English professors Emily Wall and Ernestine Hayes.

Frank Soos was named Alaska State Writer Laureate during the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in January 2015, by the Alaska State Council on the Arts. He has been described by Alaskan artist Kesler Woodward as “the most dedicated nurturer of students and writers at all levels, and perhaps the most flexible and broadly scholarly thinker with whom I have ever worked.” Other honors bestowed on Frank Soos include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alaska State Council on the Arts. He was also named as the first Artist in Residence at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.

A prolific writer of poetry and prose alike, Soos has been published many times, including the short story collection Unified Field Theory which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction in 1997. He is also co-editor with Kesler Woodward for Under Northern Lights: Writers and Artists on the Alaskan Landscape (2000). Other works include the essay collection Bamboo Fly Rod Suite: Reflections on Fishing and the Geography of Grace (1999), Early Yet (1998), and the poem “The Blue Fish.”

A frequent collaborator with other artists, Mr. Soos and his wife Margo Klass also published the book Double Moon: Constructions and Conversations. Klass is a visual artist and a creator of box constructions and altar pieces. Ms. Klass will be in Juneau leading a book-making workshop for Cristine Crooks through the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council.

Funding for Frank Soos as a visiting scholar at UAS is made possible by the newly established Grace Schaible Endowment, created from the recent sale of the UAS property referred to as the Schaible House. The new endowment will continue to fulfill the donor’s expressed interest to support the educational mission of UAS and further its academic programs. Chancellor Emeritus John Pugh had envisioned using these resources to provide discrete housing options available for special guests to UAS. Chancellor Rick Caulfield notes that the funds will help with expenses including housing, related to visiting faculty, artists, Native elders, researchers and others who will enrich academic programming for students at UAS. Said Caulfield, “UAS is excited to welcome UAF Professor Emeritus Frank Soos to our Juneau Campus. As a Visiting Scholar, Frank will share his wisdom and his creative insights with students and faculty, to include an evening talk on the Juneau Campus. He is an exceptionally gifted writer—having published award-winning poems, short stories, and essays. We welcome Frank and his wife Margo Klass, a renowned visual artist, to Juneau.

For more information contact Keni Campbell, Public Information Officer, at 907-796-6509 or klcampbell4@alaska.edu.

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