Alaska State Writer Laureate

Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Alaska State Writer Laureate

2012 State Writer Laureate
Nora Marks Dauenhauer

Nora Marks Dauenhauer was born (1927) in Juneau, Alaska, and was raised in Juneau and Hoonah, as well as on the family fishing boat and in seasonal hunting and fishing sites around Icy Straits, Glacier Bay, and Cape Spencer. Her first language is Tlingit; she began to learn English when entering school at the age of eight. She has a B.A. in Anthropology (Alaska Methodist University 1976) and is internationally recognized for her fieldwork, transcription, translation, and explication of Tlingit oral literature.

Her creative writing has been widely published and anthologized. Her Raven plays have been performed in several venues internationally, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 1980 she was named Humanist of the Year by the Alaska Humanities Forum. In 1989, she received an Alaska Governor’s Award for the Arts, and in 1991 and 2008 she was a winner of the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award. From 1983 to 1997 she was Principal Researcher in Language and Cultural Studies at Sealaska Heritage Foundation in Juneau. In May 2001 she received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from the

University of Alaska Southeast. In December 2004 she received the 2005 Community Spirit Award from First People’s Fund of Rapid City, SD. In 2007 the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska recognized her with a lifetime achievement award. In March 2010 she was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. In November 2011 she was selected as an Indigenous Leadership Award Honoree by Ecotrust, Salmon Nation, Portland, Oregon. Please see her full resume for her many additional honors and awards, and for a list of publications. She is married to Richard Dauenhauer, writer and former poet laureate of Alaska, with whom she has co-authored and co-edited several editions of Tlingit language and folklore material. She has 4 children, 13 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. She lives in Juneau, where she is semi-retired but still continues with research, writing, consulting, and volunteer work with schools and community.

Her work has first appeared or has been anthologized or is forthcoming in editions by major publishers including: Alaska Northwest, Cambridge University Press, Carnegie Museum, De Gruyter, Graywolf Press, Greenfield Review Press, Harper and Row, Houghton Mifflin, Indiana University Press, Milkweed, Navajo Community College press, NTC, Random House, Rizzoli, Persea Books, Prentice Hall, Seattle Art Museum, University of Alaska–Anchorage, University of Arizona Press, University of Nebraska Press, University of Toronto Press, University of Washington Press, Utah State University Press, W. W. Norton, as well as by many small and regional presses.