Review: Leavetakings
January 18, 2022

Excerpt: “What does it mean to write about place in a time when so many of us are migratory, when we might fall in love and find belonging to places layered in colonial history and ravaged in the industrial appetites of the present? To whom, human and more than human, do we owe our debts and how do we immerse our bodies in the reciprocal gifts of wild places? These are questions that haunt me, and I’m grateful to have encountered such a trustworthy and compassionate guide through the tangle of such questions in Corinna Cook’s debut collection Leavetakings, a collection of gorgeous poetic essays.” Full review here.

Great River Review
November 15, 2021
“I grew up in a Houston suburb about a mile from a bayou. When the bayou flooded, so did our street. The muddy waters brought in various slippery creatures. I remember counting froggy roadkill with my father, competing to find the most flattened skins (which were everywhere, like the greeny brown peels of some hideous fruit). Once, we found a turtle in our backyard, about the size of a melon. Every now and then, there was a news story about a confused dolphin who ended up in the bayou, washed in from the Gulf of Mexico. 

“I haven’t thought about the bayou and its slimy jewels for years. I think of it now because I am thinking about place, and the lives within a place, thanks to Corinna Cook’s stunning debut collection of essays, Leavetakings. She writes about her native Alaska, exploring its environment, geography, and history. The collection brims with intellect and lyricism, as Cook writes about climate change, salmon fisheries, Native Alaskan funeral rites, bread-making, aging parents, complex friendships, and much more. Cook’s ferocious curiosity and poetic precision makes this collection a remarkable contribution to ecological nonfiction.” Full review here.

An Interview With Corinna Cook
EcoTheo Review
June 18, 2021
“Interviews Editor Esteban Rodríguez speaks with Corinna Cook about her debut essay collection Leavetakings (University of Alaska Press, 2020), an honest and bold book that meditates on home, departure, and the journeys that strengthen our resolve to find meaning in any environment.”

Yukon-based Graphic Recorder / Visual Art Scribe Hannah McDonald illustrates the Leavetakings book launch in this 23-second clip.

The Frictionless Synchronicity: On Leavetakings
Essay Daily Advent Calendar
December 20, 2020
“The noun leavetaking first occurs in English,” writes Travis Scholl, “(often spliced with a hyphen to signify its compound) sometime in the middle of the 15th century…”

KTOO, A Juneau Afternoon
December 9, 2020
Listen to my chat with host Cheryl Snyder here.

Leavetakings: A Debut Book of Lyric Alaska Essays by Corinna Cook
Anchorage Press
November 17, 2020
“The rich world beyond her limited point of view is the domain of this essayist,” writes Jeremy Pataky, “a world brought closer through attentive perception, inference, imagination, hunch, and analogy.”

2020 Rasmuson Award News Coverage

Artist Award Focuses on Juneau Women
KTOO, A Juneau Afternoon
July 30, 2020
With thanks to my cohort of Juneau Rasmuson Award winners, host Mandy Nguyen (nu-win), and Programming Manager Sheli DeLaney.

Lesser-heard voices from the past sing loud for Alaska art awards
Juneau Empire
July 15, 2020
“Juneau artists cleaned up in the prestigious competition,” Michael S. Lockett writes.

Full Page 2020 Rasmuson Award winners ADN announcement
Anchorage Daily News
July 1, 2020
You can also read Danielle DuClos’ ADN follow-up story here (July 2, 2020).

Teaching Stories

Cycle of Success: In-person Library Instruction
Library News
October 31, 2017
Stellar research librarian Paula Roper and I designed a race-focused composition course at the University of Missouri. Thanks to librarian Jennifer Gravely for writing about our collaboration.

English Class At University Of Missouri Examines Rhetoric Through Race
KBIA, Exam
September 22, 2016
Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013, the same year I began teaching at the University of Missouri. In 2015, police shot Michael Brown in Ferguson. University of Missouri student protests against racism made national news over and over that year, ultimately inspiring student groups at colleges and universities across the country to organize protests of their own. As educators, many of us responded pedagogically, in the classroom. Thank you to Claire Banderas and Allison Coffelt for reporting the story, and deep gratitude to my composition students for welcoming Allison to sit in on one of our class sessions.

Background photo credit: Jeremy Pataky.Fonts: Canada 1500 by Ray Larabie and Adobe Jenson Pro by Robert Slimbach.
This was a Hiya, Scout! design.