Peggy Z. Shumaker

2014 Distinguished ArtistLiterary Arts/ScriptworksAward Amount: $40,000

2014 Distinguished Artist Award

Peggy Shumaker is the daughter of two deserts—the Sonoran Desert where she grew up and the subarctic desert of interior Alaska where she lives now. Her works are vivid, visual and, at times, visceral.

Shumaker served as Alaska State Writer Laureate from 2010-2012 and has received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a Professor Emerita at University of Alaska Fairbanks and a lecturer at universities around the country. She also sits on advisory boards and edits numerous publications.

In addition to Shumaker’s community contributions, she is the author of nine books of poetry, including “Blaze,” a collaboration with 2012 Rasmuson Foundation Distinguished Artist Kesler Woodward. Her poems have been published throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About her Distinguished Artist Award, Shumaker said, “Those funds allowed me to write. Pure and simple. The best gift a writer could ever receive.”

Shumaker lives in Fairbanks with her husband Joe Usibelli.