Alaskan Writers Eva Saulitis and Sara Loewen will commemorate the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill with a reading 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Bunnell Street Gallery.
The reading will be from “Into Great Silence, A Memoir of Discovery and Loss among Vanishing Orcas,” by Saulitis.
Ever since Eva Saulitis began her whale research in Alaska in the 1980s, she has been drawn deeply into the lives of a single extended family of endangered orcas struggling to survive in Prince William Sound. Over the course of a decades-long career spent observing and studying these whales, and eventually coming to know them as individuals, she has witnessed the devastation wrought by the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989-after which not a single calf has been born to the group. With the intellectual rigor of a scientist and the heart of a poet, Saulitis gives voice to these vital yet vanishing survivors and the place they are so loyal to. Both an elegy for one orca family and a celebration of the entire species, Into Great Silence is a moving portrait of the interconnectedness of humans with animals and place-and of the responsibility we have to protect them.
Joining Eva is Sara Loewen, a former student of Saulits, from Kodiak. Loewen is presenting her first book, an essay collection, published in March. For many the idea of living off the land is a romantic notion left to stories of olden days or wistful dreams at the office. But for Sara Loewen it becomes her way of life each summer as her family settles into their remote cabin on Uyak Bay for the height of salmon season. With this connection to thousands of years of fishing and gathering at its core, Gaining Daylight explores what it means to balance lives on two islands, living within both an ancient way of life and the modern world. Her personal essays integrate natural and island history with her experiences of fishing and family life, as well as the challenges of living at the northern edge of the Pacific.
This event is sponsored by Cook Inlet Keeper.
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