John Smelcer

John Smelcer

John Smelcer is an author who has created more than 30 novels, short stories, essays, poems, screenplays and articles that draw upon his Alaskan culture. These works have been translated around the world.

He holds a doctorate in contemporary literature and has received numerous awards and scholarships from Ahtna Native Corporation.

Early Life and Education

John Smelcer holds degrees in anthropology, archaeology and linguistics. He is the last remaining reader and writer of Ahtna language, an ancient but nearly forgotten Native American tongue.

His career has taken him around the world to interview people from different cultures and collect their stories. Additionally, he works as an ethnographer, working with living culture bearers to compile a collection of Alaska Native myths.

He’s written extensively on Indian peoples who were uprooted from their villages during World War II, as well as how the Exxon Valdez oil spill affected Native life in Alaska. His articles have appeared on NPR, The New York Times and Vanity Fair magazines.

Professional Career

John Smelcer is a retired university professor who has taught at colleges around the world, from Russia to Australia. During his tenure, he directed over 80 master’s and doctoral theses for his students.

His career has been guided by his love of writing. As editor of Rosebud, one of America’s premier literary journals, he has achieved great success in this endeavor.

He has extensive experience in healthcare administration, most recently serving as manager at SouthCentral Foundation/Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage – one of the world’s most progressive indigenous health institutions.

Smelcer’s professional reputation has been marred by accusations of cultural appropriation. Authors such as Sherman Alexie, Terese Mailhot and scholar Debbie Reese have questioned his credentials and condemned his books as misrepresentations of history and Native culture.

Achievements and Honors

John Smelcer is the author of over forty books, including his recent young adult novels Lone Wolves and Edge of Nowhere (Leapfrog Press, 2013 and 2014). He serves as poetry editor of Rosebud magazine and teaches communications studies at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.

He is a member of the Ahtna tribe, one of only a few remaining speakers of two critically endangered Alaska Native languages. He has authored dictionaries in these languages for which Noam Chomsky and Stephen Pinker provided forewords.

He has received recognition from a variety of organizations and journals. Additionally, he serves as an official blogger for America’s highest-circulating cancer magazine, Cure (Cure Today), which receives millions of views annually.

Personal Life

John Smelcer is one of America’s most prolific writers with 40 published books to his credit. His works span across Native Studies, history, folklore, mythology, anthropology, archaeology and linguistics – making him an indispensable resource for writers everywhere.

He has earned numerous accolades and awards for his works, including a PEN Center USA young adult novel award for Stealing Indians. Additionally, his writings have been featured in hundreds of literary magazines worldwide.

Smelcer has also served as an Alaskan tribal field archaeologist for Ahtna Native Corporation in Glennallen. During his time with the tribe, he collaborated with elders to preserve Alutiiq language culture.

Net Worth

John Smelcer is an acclaimed author, poet and editor from Talkeetna, Alaska. With an impressive list of publications under his belt – more than 400 magazines!

His writing career has been dedicated to the preservation of Native American and Alaskan culture and language. He has penned over 40 books, including fiction, essays and poetry.

He holds the title of Traditional Ahtna Culture Bearer, an honorific title only given to elders with profound knowledge of their tribe’s history and customs.

In addition to his numerous literary accolades, he has an illustrious record of activism and advocacy on behalf of Native Americans and their rights. His work has been highly praised by renowned figures such as the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

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