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Harriman Expedition Retraced

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Sheila Nickerson

Poet and Writer


Sheila Nickerson

Sheila Nickerson with "Capricorn."
Sheila Nickerson is a former Poet Laureate of Alaska and has written numerous books, poems, and essays about Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. She became interested in writing at a very young age, and has been a poet all of her adult life. She is author of the recently acclaimed works, Feast of the Animals: An Alaska Bestiary and Disappearance: A Map. Her newest book, Grrrr, is an anthology of bear poems.

Nickerson has a musical side as well. Her full-length musical "The Enchanted Halibut" was performed in Alaska in 1981. The city of Juneau commissioned her to write the lyrics for "Songs from the Dragon Quilt", an orchestral/choral composition, in 1984.

For young people interested in becoming poets, she has this advice: "Do it! Write what you see, hear, feel, smell, touch, taste, experience. Write with nouns and verbs. There is no 'right' or 'wrong.' Read the works of Kenneth Koch on the subject of poetry: Wishes, Lies and Dreams, and Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?'"

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For information on the Harriman Retraced Expedition e-mail: harriman2001@science.smith.edu

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