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David James is an Alaskan author and literary critic whose work has been published by the Anchorage Daily News, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Anchorage Press, Alaska Dispatch News, and Ester Republic. He is editing a forthcoming anthology of Alaska writing.


Recent posts
It's not often that accounts of Arctic exploration can be described as "fun." But the story of Walter Wellman, found in the book “Flight to the Top of the World," is just that.

"With its plethora of flying machines, newfangled radios, grubby mechanics, media frenzies, its Arctic backdrop, and more, this would be a great steampunk novel were it not entirely factual."

Read more here.
This year Fairbanks and the Russian Siberian city of Yakutsk are celebrating thirty years since the first meeting that led to a longstanding sister city relationship. To mark the occasion, Albert Semenov, Chairman of the Yakutsk City Council, paid a visit to Fairbanks.

“This year is the anniversary of the sister city relationship between Fairbanks and Yakutsk. And we don’t want to lose this friendship between people, not between politicians, not between governments, but between people," Semenov said.

Read more here.
Kendell Macomber discusses aerial dancing,which she practices and teaches in Fairbanks, and her pathway into the Fairbanks professional dancing world, where she is a prominent contributor.

One day I saw aerialists, and I said, that’s the next level; I have to do that. So I got up in the air and haven’t looked back.”

Read more here.
As Alaska struggles with budget shortfalls while maintaining it's program of giving residents a share of Permanent Fund earnings each year, it's time to ask the question, WWJD (What Would Jay [Hammond] Do)? The answers lie in this posthumously published book by the state's most beloved former governor.

"'Diapering the Devil' reveals much about Hammond’s sometimes contradictory thinking on his own creation, but at its core lies an admission: 'Without a state income, sales, or property tax, the only sustainable funding source Alaska has, currently, is the Permanent Fund,' Hammond wrote. How this would be accomplished is a bit complicated, however."

Read more here.
A new book digs into the shadowy life of the serial killer who took lives in many American states and possibly overseas as well. His streak ended after he kidnapped and killed an Anchorage barista.

"In 'American Predator,' veteran journalist Maureen Callahan provides a chilling account of Keyes’ killing spree, one that traversed multiple states, possibly extending into Canada and, during his military service, the Middle East. It isn’t easy reading, and it definitely isn’t for the squeamish. But by drawing from documents, court records, and interviews with those involved in the case, Callahan has produced a superb work of true crime writing that will haunt its readers long after the final page has been turned."

Read more here.
Jenifer Cameron, a professional artist and retired art teacher, took the time to discuss her life's work as she prepared to leave Fairbanks with her husband for their new home in Seldovia.

“Everybody is an artist. When you’re creating and you’re expressing yourself and making marks on a paper and engaged in the process, that’s what artists do. I believe everybody’s creative. Our brains are built to be creative and curious. It’s hard to not be.”

Read more here.
Monica Devine, a retired speech therapist whose work took her to the far corners of Last Frontier, reflects on her travels and the many lessons learned in Water Mask, a new essay collection that explores "the varied landscapes and cultures found across Alaska, [with] an almost zen-like focus on tiny details, all of it delivered with a sense of linguistic imagery that at time evokes visual artworks, placed on exhibit in the minds of readers."

Learn more about it here.