The venerable Alaskan writer Frank Soos passed away in 2021 while on a solo bike ride in Maine. Born in 1950 and raised in Virginia, Soos joined the University of Alaska Fairbanks English Department in 1986 and taught creative writing there for nearly two decades. He went on to serve as the Alaska State Writer Laureate from 2014-2016. Soos’ writing was published in numerous books, including Unified Field Theory, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award in 1997. 

Soos didn’t stop teaching when he left the university. He was a regular workshop leader at the nonprofit 49 Writers, a community of Alaskan writers. Barbara Hood, the board president of 49 Writers, described Soos as a compassionate and generous teacher who made a difference in many people’s lives. “At 49 Writers, we are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Frank Soos, beloved board member and program chair, whose contributions to Alaska’s writing community have been generous and sustained for over three decades,” Hood wrote in a tribute.


Alexander Deedy formerly worked as the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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