Tuesday, April 6, 2010

John Straley

The Rising and the Rain by John Straley.  Straley is a well-known name in Southeast Alaska (and among mystery fans everywhere) for his Cecil Younger mystery series.  Setting his novels in Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan, Straley is a completely authentic voice of Southeast.  He gets us....he's one of us.  This same innate empathy comes across in his poems.  The damp cold, grey mist fingers working down into the trees, the detritus and rot, long periods of contemplation out alone in the woods or on the beach....it's all there with a good dollop of dry humor.
A long-time Sitka resident and criminal defense investigator for the Alaska Public Defender Agency, Straley was named Alaska's 12th Writer Laureate in 2006 (during his tenure, he came to Ketchikan to do a reading here at the public library).  His first novel - The Woman Who Married a Bear - won a Shamus Award for Best First Mystery in 1993.  The Rising and the Rain is Straley's first book of poetry.

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