He will serve a two-year term beginning in October. Straley succeeds current State Writer Laureate, Unalaska poet Jerah Chadwick.
As state writer laureate, Straley will represent the Council and the State of Alaska in communities and schools, conducting residencies and readings.
He is a novelist, poet and freelance writer whose work has been recognized nationally and translated for European and Japanese readers.
Straley's bestselling novels include "The Woman Who Married a Bear," "The Curious Eat Themselves," "The Music of What Happens," "Death And The Language Of Happiness," "The Angels Will Not Care" and "Cold Water Burning." His paperbacks were published by SOHO Press and Bantam Books of New York.
His poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Connotations, The Seattle Times, and New World Order, Runes, Wabash Magazine, and The Sonora Review. Essays and short stories have appeared in the anthologies Men to Boys, Mysterious North, Powers of Detection, Connotations, The Book of the Tongass, and These United States: Leading American Writers on Their State in the Union. Work has been featured on Fresh Air and CBS Sunday Morning.
Straley also produced and hosted radio programs for Raven Radio.
He has experience in oral history, storytelling, teaching, biological research. He has worked as a criminal investigator for hundreds of cases throughout Alaska.
In 1995, he was appointed to the Alaska State Council on the Arts where he served as chairman from 1998-99.
Straley was chosen by a panel of well known Alaska writers, including Jerah Chadwick - Unalaska; Anne Hanley - Fairbanks; Arlitia Jones - Anchorage; Lance Petersen - Homer; Peter Porco - Anchorage;Carolyn Servid - Sitka; Erin Coughlin Hollowell - Cordova; Jo-Ann Mapson - Anchorage;
For more information on the Alaska State Writer Laureate program, contact the Alaska State Council on the Arts at 269.6610, or 1.888.278.7424.