Paper $14.95 ISBN: 9781602232020 Published February 2013
E-book $7.00 to $14.95 ISBN: 9781602232037 Published February 2013

Upriver

Carolyn Kremers

Carolyn Kremers

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

84 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Paper $14.95 ISBN: 9781602232020 Published February 2013
E-book $7.00 to $14.95 ISBN: 9781602232037 Published February 2013
There is a triumphant and satisfying feeling the first time one returns to a once-unfamiliar place and finally feels like it is home. When strangeness is shed and familiar patterns emerge, there is a deep sense of comfort that is the reward for those who venture into new places. When Carolyn Kremers moved alone to Alaska to teach in Tununak, a village on the Bering Sea, she faced the challenge of making a place for herself in the remote coastal town. Struck by both a sense of adventure and a painful longing for the familiar, she was forced to confront what it really meant to feel at home.

Upriver picks up on the story where Kremers’s previous book, Place of the Pretend People, left off, further exploring what it means to truly love a place and how it feels to return, like a salmon swimming upriver. Setting her story in four distinct locations—Tununak, the Alaska Interior, the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Delta, and Fairbanks—Kremers uses poetry, music, Yup’ik language, and much more to tell her story. Infused with a sense of spirituality, the book will resonate with anyone who has found a new home beyond the familiar.  

WILLA: WILLA Literary Award for Poetry
Finalist

View Recent Awards page for more award winning books.
Al Young, former poet laureate of California and author of Coastal Nights and Inland Afternoons
“What excites me about Carolyn Kremers’ Upriver: Just when you think you know where a particular poem has parachuted you into the vast terrain we call Alaska, everything shifts: foreground, background, attitude, mood, generation, gender, language and custom, a vast landscape and history deeply violated, deeply loved. Alaska herself—a sometimes cruel, everdemanding shape-shifting region—feeds, inhabits and haunts these pages. . . . This beautiful book—snow-packed, melting, thick with time, spiritualized with dashes of rhyme and dollops of dance and prayer—reads like a lyric break-through memoir of open and often discomforting discovery and brave self revelation.”
Tom Sexton, former poet laureate of Alaska and author of I Think Again of Those Ancient Chinese Poets
“A few writers are fortunate enough to discover a place that nurtures them and gives their work depth and meaning. . . . A smaller number seem to be able to capture the very spirit of a place. Carolyn Kremers is one of those rare writers and her place is Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and its people and to a lesser extent Fairbanks where she now lives. Somehow she has crossed the gulf that often separates people from people, language from language, culture from culture. This book is a roadmap to the heart of Alaska by a writer who has earned our attention.”
Pattiann Rogers, author of Wayfare
“How seemingly simple are the poems in Upriver, yet how profound; how dreamlike, yet how charged with reality, immediately and firmly grounded in the earth and human experience. The themes of this poetry are basic and multifaceted, the voice rich and resonant. I thank Carolyn Kremers for bringing this world, her world, in this way, in these words, to all of us.”
WILLA Literary Award
Finalist, Poetry
Contents
Storyknife
“When the boat is built . . .”
Maps

Tununak
    Sestina Kyrie
    The New Teacher
    The New Students
    Eskimo Dancing/Yurarluni
    Ancient Comb
    Dr. Seuss & the Department of Fish & Game
    What Scares Me
    The Language Keepers
The Interior
    Trapline
    At the Tetlin River
    Backcountry Unit #12
    All I Wanted
    Kass’aq with Nunivak Mask
    What I Did Not Imagine
    Apparition
    Before You Go
Shapeshifting
    Two with Spears
Return to the Y-K Delta
    Bethel at Christmas
    The Shortest Distance
    Freak Warm Weather
    Attraction
    After Reading The Business of Fancydancing
    The Egg House in Bethel
Fairbanks
    Lessons
    When I Am 98
    Notes of a Beautiful Woman Living Alone
    At Ann’s Greenhouse
    Feeling and Knowing
    The Nature of Prayer
    Leaving Alaska

Acknowledgements
Notes
Author
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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