This month, the Rasmuson Foundation recognized some of the best artists, poets and performers in Alaska. The foundation awarded $18,000 to ten established artists to complete projects and improve their craft. Wrangell poet Vivian Faith Prescott got her second award from the foundation this year. She’ll complete a manuscript of poems on the changing environment of Southeast Alaska.
Prescott describes her role as a “climate witness.” She pulled this idea from a mentor of hers, Olva Mathis Eira, who is indigenous to the Norwegian Arctic where he herds reindeer. He advocates for climate change awareness based on what changes he sees in his own environment, and the impacts that has on his traditional way of life.
Prescott is taking this concept to heart, with the goal of producing poems on receding glaciers, dwindling salmon runs and even the lack of climate transparency from government agencies.