Event brings Fairbanks creatives together

Jeffery Johnkins reads his poem 'Data Not Found' (Carly Sjordal/KTVF)
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Writers of all ages and experience levels enjoyed advice and resources at the 2019 Community of Writing -- or COW -- event in the Noel Wien Library.

COW is sponsored by The University of Alaska Fairbanks English Department annually. This year marks the 8th year of the event.

Sarah Stanley, one of the organizers, says that they usually try to schedule it around National Writing Day, which fell on October 20th this year.

"We hold it in the library because you know people are here, and they might be surprised by a kind of pop up event, and we want to be there with them. So we get food and we just try to create a really comfortable inclusive space to build community because we believe that community helps writing grow and we think writing is about wellness,” said Stanley.

This years theme is 'Multigenerational Stories'. During the event there were plenty of activities to get the community creating and working together -- such as 'Hair and Share';

Jeffery Johnkins, a University of Alaska Student Assistant explained "The haircuts are something that we put together in the FCC. It was choosing this whole thing of what would be the theme for this table -- which we chose as haircuts cause, believe it or not, everyone gets a haircut. And it's really cool to hear what everybody's haircut story is. So we decided to bring it to COW,” Said Johnkins.

There were also displays of work from the Fairbanks Women's Correctional Center, as well as featured booths encouraging different types of poetry and story writing. One of the methods called 'Blackout' is poetry created by choosing certain words from a page of a book and crossing the rest out.

This was Johnkins poem "Data Not Found":

"Zero divided by Zero
Data not found
Zero point one zero zero
Data not found
What is truth?
Data not found
What is the meaning of life?
Data not found
My name is Jeffery
Data found"

A forewarning -- writing on books in the library is against the policy. But just for this event, it was an alternative way to create poetry.

As a result of COW, stories and creations were brought together from all over the Fairbanks community.

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