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Acclaimed Poet John Haines Named Northern Momentum Scholar

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: (907)474-7778


John Haines, former poet laureate of Alaska, has been named a University of Alaska Fairbanks Northern Momentum Scholar for the 2002-2003 academic year, and will be hosted by the Northern Studies and Honors Programs at UAF.

John Haines "Without question, John Haines is the most prominent living writer associated with the state of Alaska," said Roy Bird, Honors Program director. "This is the right time to bring him to UAF so our students can benefit from his wisdom and experience as a writer."

Haines homesteaded land about 68 mile from Fairbanks off of the Richardson Highway more than a half century ago, and his long residence there inspired much of his early writing. Over the years, he's published more than a dozen books of poetry and essays, all internationally known. Haines has been a guest lecturer, visiting professor and writer-in-residence at dozens of prominent universities around the world. He was named to a four-year appointment as Alaska's poet laureate in 1969.

Haines is teaching a class called "John Haines on Writing" at UAF this semester. The class includes a mixture of undergraduate and graduate students.

"We're pleased to have John in the Northern Studies Program this year," said Judith Kleinfeld, program director. "His poetry in 'Winter News' was one of the reasons Alaska attracted me. I have never read anything more beautiful about the feeling of winter."

Born in Norfolk, Va. in 1924, Haines studied at the National Art School, the American University and the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art. His recent works include, "For the Century's End, Poems 1990-99," "The Stars, The Snow, The Fire," and "Fables and Distances, New and Selected Essays."

He has been a poet-in-residence at Bucknell University, writer-in-residence at Rockefeller Center for International Study and Guest Lecturer at Harvard University.

Note to Editors: John Haines will give a literary reading Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Bear Gallery located in the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts, Pioneer Park (formerly Alaskaland). A high-resolution photo is available at http://www.uaf.edu/files/news/download/releasephotos/Haines_John.tiff

Contact: Kerrie Dufseth, UAF Honors Program at (907) 474-6612 or Carla Browning, UAF Public Information Officer at (907) 474-7778.

UAF photo by Todd Paris