In the big picture, Pataky says, Alaska needs poetry to remind us who we are and where we came from. “I think our poets accomplish a kind of ‘place-making’ for us in both the geographic world itself and in that place of language, which is layered onto — and allows for an apprehension of — geographies. Many Native poets teach us newcomers that Alaska is more than the sum of a bunch of cliches/myths/ideas but that it is — and has been — home to peoples since time immemorial. When we read each other’s work, or read to each other, we build community.
Jeremy Pataky from 49 writers, quoted in “Emerging Alaska poets remind us of our roots.”