A lifelong Alaskan, John Elvis Smelcer is the author of over 40 books, including award-winning novels and books of poetry, published and translated worldwide. His writing appears in over 400 magazines. In 1998, he was nominated for the Alaska Governors Award for the Humanities.
John Smelcer was raised in Alaska to know and to participate in Native Ways, beliefs, customs, and subsistence practices. He is one of the last speakers of his severely endangered Native language. He has dedicated his life to preserving his Ahtna heritage, language, myths, oral history, traditional Indian knowledge, archaeological sites, and he has taught literature, creative writing, public speaking, journalism, and Native Studies for thirty years. Dr. John Smelcer's novels, short stories, poems, essays, screenplays and articles, many anchored in Alaskan culture, have been published and translated worldwide.