In addition to 20 years of our literary quarterly, Connotations, The Institute produced two anthologies to capture key ideas and voices that have been central to our work.

From the Island's Edge: A Sitka Reader, edited by Carolyn Servid (Graywolf Press, 1995) commemorates the first decade of the Sitka Symposium. It received a Critics' Choice Award in 1995 as one of the year’s best anthologies.

Island's Edge cover

“Many cultures and schools of thought are brought together in this volume, which includes essays, poetry, and short fiction. The selections revolve around complex dilemmas on political, ethical, social, and environmental fronts—dilemmas faced by individuals, families, communities, and the larger society. Underlying these deliberate questions is a broader, yet more specific questions addressed by contributors to this collection: what is my role, my responsibility, my work in relation to these issues?

Poets and astronomers, anthropologists and novelists, natural historians and philosophers, linguists and folklorists offer their perspectives—perspectives rooted in Western and Native American traditions, in the written word and the spoken. They juxtapose aspects of the human experience that are seldom considered in relationship—the poetic imagination and the reasoned argument, and ultimately, the public shape of our private lives.”

**Please contact us with order inquires for From the Island's Edge.


Book of the Tongass cover

The Book of the Tongass, Carolyn Servid and Donald Snow, editors, (Milkweed Editions, 1999), offers a varied portrayal of the Tongass National Forest that encompasses the forested mountains and islands of Southeast Alaska, home of the Island Institute.

“Alaska’s southeast corner harbors the largest contiguous expanse of temperate rain forest on earth, much of it within the majestic, mysterious Tongass National Forest. Nuzzling Glacier Bay, the forests of the Tongass lie on a maze of islands and along a coastline protected by granite mountains. These mountains hold moisture along the coast, which combines with the region’s geology to form a land of huge trees and a habitat for some of the most abundant wildlife left in the county. This book captures the region’s incredible beauty and presents the unfinished story of what humans will do with one the last, best places in our midst.”

**Please contact Old Harbor Books with order inquiries for The Book of the Tongass by email or at 907-747-8808.

It is inspiring today to see the beautiful ways that people are responding to the results of the election with a sense of agency, urgency, drive, compassion, love, and resilience. Between now and the New Year, we're going to compile and produce a crowd-sourced book at the Island Institute - for now, let's call it Four Year Plan. We'll bind the books by hand at our studio in Sitka, Alaska. If you or somebody you know has written something you've found inspiring in the wake of this election, please: 1. Share this post with them 2. Ask them to submit their post for inclusion in the project by copying and pasting their post (starting with the name, going down to just above the comment/like/share bar) in a private Facebook message to The Island Institute or by email to -- please also tell us your hometown if willing. 3. Share this with more people 4. Pre-order the book at We'll keep submissions open until Thanksgiving. Sales of this book will go towards our programs at the Island Institute, which aim to foster a language of place and community. Cost includes shipping to US or Canada

09-10 Connotations Cover

As the Island Institute’s programs grew, we wanted to chronicle the ways in which the ideas highlighted in Symposium discussions and the work of our Resident Fellows fostered a language of community and place, and to share those ideas with a wider audience. To those ends, in 1993 we began publishingConnotations, a small literary journal that we could send to Institute members and colleagues in and outside of Alaska.