15th annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference begins Friday

This year’s Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference has been celebrating the craft of writing through all means possible — gathering, reading, thinking, speaking, listening, even drawing.

Natasha Tretheway, 2016 Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference Keynote Speaker. (Photo Courtesy of Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference)
Natasha Tretheway, 2016 Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference Keynote Speaker.
(Photo Courtesy of Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference)

The conference started Friday and wrapped up Tuesday in Homer. It drew participants from all over the state, featuring presenters from even farther afield and offered workshop topics that were all over the map.

Sarah Leavitt, a graphic novelist from Vancouver, B.C., guided participants through visual storytelling, while poet Dan Beachy-Quick explored the meaning evoked by the use of sound in poetry. Workshops ranged from the business of publishing to the mechanics of editing and the inspiration and perspiration required to make words take shape into stories.

Scott Banks, of Anchorage, has been attending the conference for seven years. Friday’s keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey has been a highlight this year.

“Well, they always have the really high-quality keynote speakers and presenters,” Banks said. “It’s amazing the people we get up here, like Billy Collins, Amy Tan, and Andre Dubus III was here last year. They’re all just so good. And then the other part, of course, is meeting and re-meeting people that you’ve met here. Kind of people all in the same boat.”

The weekend included several public readings in Homer, as well as a youth-specific workshop. The conference is put on by the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College.

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