Sitka Sentinel story on Nikki Zielinski

Shannon Haugland wrote this story for the Sitka Sentinel about Island Institute poet-in-residence Nikki Zielinski. The story appeared on Oct 28, 2016. 

For centuries fairy tales have been used to introduce and address difficult subjects to children and adults.

But Island Institute’s current artist in residence wondered whether the same method would work to tackle uncomfortable topics in today’s world.

“It’s interesting to see how different cultures approach those subjects,” said Nikki Zielinski, a Cleveland, Ohio, poet who has been in Sitka since mid-September. “A lot of the history of folklore and fairy tales emerged not only as a form of entertainment but also (as lessons) about the possible dangers of growing up in the world and making it through adolescence.”

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Current, Recent, and Upcoming Artist Residents

November, 2016

Courtney Sina Meredith (1986–) is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician. Her play Rushing Dolls (2010) won a number of awards and was published by Playmarket in 2012.

September, 2016

Nikki Zielinski joins us in Sitka as the 2016 Rasmuson Foundation Artist in Residence at the Island Institute. Nikki's poetry explores the ways in which experiences of violence, both overt and institutional, shape one’s perception of and interaction with their communities and environments.

April, 2016

Allison Warden is an Iñupiaq interdisciplinary artist born in Fairbanks, Alaska with close ties to Kaktovik, Alaska.  She is also known by her rap persona, AKU-MATU.  Her most recent show, “Let Glow” debuted at the Bunnell Street Art Center as part of an artistic residency in March 2014.

April, 2016

Animals and their relationships with humans, explored from various intellectual and philosophical angles whether emotional, sustenance, or environmental, is a long recurring thread in her works.

April, 2016

Chantal Bilodeau is a New York playwright and translator originally from Montreal. She is the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle – an organization created to support the writing, development and production of eight plays that examine the impact of climate change on the eight countries of the Arctic – and the founder of the international network Artists And Climate Change.  

April, 2016

Teri Rofkar, whose Tlingit name is Chas' Koowu Tla'a, was born into the Raven Clan. As a young child, she was exposed to traditional methods of weaving by her grandmother. While too busy and impatient at the time to sit down and weave, these experiences later inspired her to seek out elders in her community to learn these techniques.

April, 2016

Lgeik'i is travelling with the Tidelines tour as a culture bearer and language warrior. She is joined by two young leaders - Mary Jack and Cecilia George - from Hoonah High School and her three amazing children, Shgate (Ava), Wandatan (Sophie), and Deit Xoon (RJ). 

January, 2016 to February, 2016

Anna Carson DeWitt is a writer and photographer from Durham, North Carolina. For the past decade, she has also served childbearing families as a birth doula in Washington DC, Honduras, and North Carolina. Anna holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University.