The Alaska Writers Directory

Richard Nelson

Where: Sitka
Genre(s): literary nonfiction, spoken word, journalism for radio
Job(s): radio producer

Favorite Places in Alaska: Chunks of my heart are strewn all over Alaska, but Sitka comes first and then the Brooks Range. Main principle: the bigger and wilder it is, the better.

Bio: Beginning as a cultural anthropologist, Richard Nelson wrote ethnographic books documenting the lifeways and traditional knowledge of Alaskan native people. He moved on to creative nonfiction books exploring the natural world, as well as shorter pieces for magazines and anthologies. He received the Lannan Literary Award and the John Burrows Medal, and served as Alaska's Writer Laureate. Currently he produces Encounters, a weekly public radio program about nature, recorded live in the wild, broadcast in Alaska and around the country. His work is dedicated to celebrating the natural world and indigenous traditions, educating people about them, and nurturing their preservation.


  • The Island Within. Vintage Books, 1991.
  • Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest. University of Chicago Press, 1983.
  • Heart and Blood: Living with Deer in America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.
  • Patriotism and the American Land. (with Barry Lopez and Terry Tempest
    Williams). The Orion Society, 2002.
  • Shadow of the Hunter: Stories of Eskimo Life. University of Chicago Press, 1980.
  • Hunters of the Northern Forest. University of Chicago Press, 1973.
  • Hunters of the Northern Ice. University of Chicago Press, 1969.

Please contact me for lectures.
I work with any audience.
Special Interests:
I have a particular interest in nature and place, Alaska Native tradition, and wildlife conservation.

Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the writers listed in it.
Listing last updated: June, 2011

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