2005 Distinguished Artist Award
John Meade Haines (1924–2011) was an Alaska poet known for his clear, bare voice and a prayer-like verse shaped by wilderness living. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and served in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II. He studied art at the National Art School, the American University and the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art. In 1947 Haines moved to Alaska, bought a homestead outside of Fairbanks, and built a cabin with salvaged lumber. He lived on his 160-acre property until 1969, and he spent his time hunting, trapping, fishing, cutting firewood, clearing trails, gardening, mushing and writing.
During his life, Haines published many collections of poetry and essays and a memoir. He served as Alaska’s poet laureate from 1969 to 1973 and received numerous honors for his work. He won a lifetime achievement award from the Library of Congress, earned two Guggenheim Fellowships, received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and was a fellow of the American Academy of Poets.