Two first books by young Alaska writers

‘One Headlight’ by Matt Caprioli and ‘Pluto Cove’ by Arran Forbes.

UPDATE: Writer Matt Caprioli, featured in this episode, has changed his last name to Frye Castillo. His website can be found here.

Hometown Alaska is back after its short summer hiatus, and we return Aug. 23 at 10 am with a program featuring two Alaska writers with first books.

In the first half of the program, we’ll meet Matt Caprioli, author of “One Headlight,” a memoir of growing up gay in Alaska, a story that captures his restlessness but also his close ties and resilient relationship with his supportive single mother. Caprioli is a graduate of UAA with degrees in English literature and psychology, as well as an MFA in creative nonfiction from Hunter College at the City University of New York. He is a lecturer in professional writing at Lehman College at the City University of New York. He describes himself as “a Queens-based writer by way of Anchorage, Alaska.” He is published by Cirque Press, which grew out of the literary journal, Cirque, featuring the work of writers from the North Pacific Rim.

Here’s a response to “One Headlight” from Chelsea News in New York:

…“One Headlight” is an inspirational story of resilience and fortitude, as well as learning to appreciate those who have supported you — even in their flawed and perhaps unconventional ways. Matt Caprioli has found success these days because along the way he experienced two things: the always-welcoming energy of New York and momentous power in a quiet drive with those one loves.”

In the second half of the program, we’ll meet Arran Forbes, who has created a fantastical look at a dystopian Alaska of the future. Climate change and the lack of water is the story catalyst, as too-familiar disinformation campaigns manipulate a distressed and uncertain public. Forbes says she was less focused on writing a post-apocalyptic, dystopian tale than a realistic assessment of the challenges ahead of us. She considers the book magical realism.

The mother of two started the novel after her second child was born on the Winter Solstice. She considers the work her “path out of postpartum.”

“We have our feet to the fire right now,” she told the Bend, Oregon community newspaper, The Bulletin. “There’s a mounting sense of pressure over resources and the climate,” she said. “Especially for me, I wrote this as a new mom, and I have this new little human in my arms. And wondering about her world is a big part of where this came from.”

Forbes grew up in Anchorage and Bend, graduated from Dartmouth College and earned her nursing degree from UAA. She currently works in the NICU unit at Providence Hospital. She was a recipient of the “40 Under 40” honor for 2021 by Alaska Business Monthly and she is president of Arctic Entries.

Join me to learn more about these two young Alaskans, Matt Caprioli and Arran Forbes: Where did their ideas come from? How and when do they write? When did they know they had a book? How do they feel about editing? What advice do they have for other emerging writers? How do they handle a bad day?

As always, your questions and comments are always welcome.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Arran Forbes, author of “Pluto Cove,” “Top 40 Under 40” recipient for 2021, NICU nurse, mother of two.
  • Matt Caprioli, author of “One Headlight,” now a lecturer in professional writing at Lehman College, City University of New York.



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (10-11 a.m.)
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (E-mails may be read on air).
  • Post your comment or question below (Comments may be read on air).
  • LIVE: Monday, August 23, 2021 at 10 a.m.
  • RE-AIR: Monday, August 23, 2021 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.

Previous articleAlaska children make up growing percent of state’s coronavirus cases
Next article3 volcanoes erupting across Aleutian Range
kmccoy (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Kathleen