Duty Bound Cover.PNG

Duty Bound is a short publication that includes pieces from the first Danger Close: Alaska writing workshops.

History of Danger Close Alaska
In 2016, the Alaska Humanities Forum partnered with 49 Writers to launch Danger Close Alaska, in association with New York City-based writing nonprofit Words After War and Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Danger Close Alaska was created to promote discussion and deepened understanding of the experiences of those affiliated with the armed services, whether active duty or veterans, through writing and literature.

The series kicked off with an in-depth, one of a kind, multi-genre writing workshop that united veteran and civilian writers in the production of high quality literature, a public Crosscurrents panel discussion, and a small-run publication that bridged the military-civilian divide.

In March 2017, Danger Close Alaska continued with a Crosscurrents on-stage discussion and also expanded to Juneau through a public Reading and Craft Talk and an all-day writing workshop . Each event featured Brian Castner, author of The Long Walk and All the Ways We Kill and Die, and co-editor of the anthology The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War.  The 2018-19 programming featured a monthly series of writing workshops held over the course of six months. Participants tackled one craft issue per session and concluded with a generative writing exercise.


Danger Close Alaska 2020

This year, we will spend the day immersed in radical conversation, both in-person and on the page. The workshop will be led by poet, essayist, and lawyer, Wendy Willis, and author, do-gooder, and veteran Matthew Komatsu, and will explore conversations between people, alive and dead; between people and landscapes; between writers and readers; between leaders and citizens. We’ll leave plenty of time to think and write and share and connect.


All genres and writing experience welcome. Space is limited, register now.

Radical Conversations Writing Workshop

March 7, 2020 | 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Anchorage Community House


Military (active, family, retired, veteran, reserves) - $10 

49 Writers members or FT students - $49

General enrollment - $59

Space is limited; register now at 49writers.org/danger-close.

This event is supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Atwood Foundation.

Workshop Facilitators

Wendy Willis_by Kitta Bodmer.jpg

Wendy Willis is a poet and essayist living in Portland, Oregon. Her second book of poems, A Long Late Pledge, won the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize and was released by Bear Star Press in September 2017. Her first book of poems, Blood Sisters of the Republic, was published by Press 53 in 2012. Wendy has also published poems and essays in a wide variety of journals, including New England Review, Oregon Humanities, Poetry Northwest, The Rumpus, Zócalo Public Square, and ZYZZYVA. Her most recent book, These are Strange Times, My Dear, traces her path through this perilous moment in American political and civic life. 

Photo by Kitta Bodmer

Matthew Komatsu.jpg

Matthew Komatsu is an author, currently serving veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and graduate of the University of Alaska-Anchorage’s MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction). He has published essays and reviews in The New York Times; War, Literature and the Arts; Brevity; StorySouth; Stoneboat Literary Review; METER Magazine; The Southeast Review; The Sierra Nevada Review; The Normal School; Foreign Policy; The Millions and on stage at Arctic Entries. His work has been nominated twice for Pushcart Prizes and earned him a 2017 Alaska Literary Award. As a currently serving veteran, his writing does not represent official policy or position.