New anthology: 25 years of Alaska women’s voices

This cover of the new “Alaska Women Speak” anthology is artwork by Teresa Ascone that first graced the cover of the WINTER 2014 journal.

Ember Press, a Palmer-based small independent publisher specializing in Alaska non-fiction, adventure, conservation and history, has just released an anthology collecting the first 25 years of the journal “Alaska Women Speak,” from 1992 to 2017.

The journal is still publishing today. Find out more about the contemporary journal here.

But this week’s Hometown Alaska program is focused on the new anthology. Our guests are its editors, MaryLee Hayes and Angie Slingluff. Both also served as managing editors for the journal for chunks of years while they also held down jobs and busy lives.

The work that went into the journal all those many years was done by volunteers. So MaryLee’s eight years as managing editor (1994-2003) and Angie’s 17 years (1997-2014) were unpaid labors of love, as was their time and energy spent pulling together the new anthology.

So what’s in here? The voices of Alaska women.

Their poetry and stories, their artwork and photographs. Tales of their worries, their triumphs, their learning, their adventures, their changing. Many names will be familiar: Nancy Lord, Joanne Townsend, both writer or poet laureates for the state of Alaska. Libby Roderick, Arliss Sturgulewski, Amy Bollenbach, Diane Barske, Diana Tillion, Carol Holt, Mei Mei Evans, Ann Chandonnet, Elise Patkotak, Jane Angvik, Sarah Juday, Sarah James of Arctic Village, Rhonda McBride, Monica Devine, Susan Morgan. And outdoor adventurers like Karen Jettmar, Rachel (Suraj) Holzwarth, Dr. Beth Baker. And many more.

Others were written about by the staff or contributors: Susan Butcher, Dee Dee Jonrowe, Gail Niebregge, Lela Kiana Oman, Fran Ulmer, Lorene Harrison, Elizabeth Peratrovich, community organizer Shirley Mae Springer Staten, Eyak speaker Marie Smith, conservation activist Celia Hunter, Alaska Native healer Rita Blumenstein. Even singer Judy Collins when she performed in Alaska.

We’ll learn from our two editors how “Alaska Women Speak” got started and why. What philosophy or values guided it through the years. Were there rough spots? How does it feel to look back now and see the fruit of their labors? What does it offer Alaska readers today?

As always, listeners are invited into this conversation. If you submitted to the journal, or read its stories and poems and enjoyed its art, give us a call at 550-8433. We’d love to hear from you.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • MaryLee Hayes, anthology co-editor, journal managing editor 1994-2003.
  • Angie Slingluff, anthology co-editor, journal managing editor 1997-2014.


  • Alaska Women Speak, journal website
  • KTOO, Juneau Afternoon program interview of MaryLee Hayes and Angie Slingluff by journalist Rhonda McBride
  • Ember Press website


  • 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 30, 2021 at 10 a.m.
  • RE-AIR: Monday, August 30, 2021 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.

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