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Sitkan named to roster of “Poetry Out Loud” greats


Novelist John Straley has been named to one of the most prestigious lists in the country – for poets.

The National Poetry Foundation has included the Sitka author’s poem “every single day” in the anthology of pieces used by students in Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation competition.

Straley’s work rubs shoulders on the list with literary icons like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ezra Pound, and Robert Browning.

Straley is best known in Alaska – and nationally – as a mystery novelist, with seven books to his credit. “The Rising and the Rain” is his first volume of poetry.

Straley was nominated for the Poetry Out Loud anthology in 2009 by then-Sitka High School junior Caitlin Woolsey, who was Alaska’s state Poetry Out Loud champion that year.

Caitlin is also the daughter of KCAW’s news director Robert Woolsey, who decided to turn over this assignment to the people who helped put Alaskan poetry on the map.

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