Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Northern Voices – Tribute to Marjorie Cole

Thursday, January 14: Northern Voices – Tribute to Marjorie Cole
7pm @ Noel Wien Library Auditorium (1215 Cowles).

A tribute to author and poetess Marjorie Cole, featuring poetry and excerpts from her writings read by friends and fans. Free to the public. Sponsored by the Northern Alaska Environmental Center and the Fairbanks North Star Borough Library Northern Voices is a lively forum for Alaskan writers, artists, composers, and other visionaries inspired by the Alaskan environment— to share their relationship and connection to our incomparable land through their creative works. For more details about this or other Northern Voices events, please visit


Marjorie died on December 4, 2009. There have been several obituaries and reflections on her life by various authors since. These include:
• "Poetry & Pies: Marjorie Kowalski Cole, 1953-2009," by Deirdre Helfferich, The Ester Republic, December 18, 2009
• "Marjorie Kowalski Cole," Wikipedia entry
• "Marjorie Kowalski Cole: 1953-2009," The Bellwether Prize for Fiction, 2009 update*
• "Light Reading," A Novel Idea, December 7, 2009
• "Marjorie Kowalski Cole," obituary, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, December 7, 2009
This blog is dedicated to her writing, both works published and as yet unpublished.

* 2/13/10 addendum: the obituary is no longer on the Bellwether Prize site, but here is the text:
Marjorie Kowalski Cole

Marjorie Kowalski Cole, age 56 and the third recipient of The Bellwether Prize for Fiction in 2004, died December 4, 2009, at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. She was a lifelong champion for literature, who folded a passion for nature into her work and her life.

She is survived by her husband, John Patrick Lambert, “the love of her life,” and two sons, Henry Liam Cole and Desmond Eugene Rynn Cole. A resident of Alaska since 1966, she worked as a librarian in Anchorage and Fairbanks over the course of her career until retiring in 1999 to focus on writing. Correcting the Landscape, for which she was awarded the Bellwether, was published by HarperCollins in 2005. Her literary efforts will continue to be recognized as her poetry collection, Inside, Outside, Morningside, will be published soon. Marjorie was also completing a novel, A Spell on the Water, at the time of her death, and her prizewinning first novel remains in print.__She gathered many friends at home and the world over. She traveled widely, often—literally—on foot, as in the case of a 500-mile trek with her husband and son Desmond, along the pilgrim path from France across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. In her community, she worked with the Literacy Council of Alaska, the Northern Alaska Environmental Center, the Alaska Peace Center and the Fairbanks Arts Association, to name a few.

Barbara Kingsolver, founder of The Bellwether Prize for Fiction, said, “Marjorie’s life was too short, and we mourn her loss as we celebrate with her friends and family a life well-lived. Marjorie committed herself passionately to the things she believed in, and has left a legacy in her writing that will continue to inspire readers. I’m grateful that our paths crossed as they did, through The Bellwether Prize. I am honored to have known and worked alongside such a brave, truth-seeking, spirited person as Marjorie Cole.”