The Alaska Pen
by Thor Lauritzen, Peggy Arness, & Edward Melseth

THE ALASKA PEN and its surrogate, PEN WHISPERS-125 issues in all, spanning the years 1934-1951, from the foundation upon which this latter-day history of Unga was built. This is a story about the last four decades in the life of a village. It is a story about a hardy people who eked out a living from the sea, whose lives were constantly challenged by the harsh environment in which they lived, whose isolation bred independence, whose joys were generously shared, and whose heartaches were felt by all.


About the Author:

All three co-editors spent their formative years in Unga. Thor Lauritzen, who shepherded this project, lived in Unga from 1932 to 1949. He served on the staff of both PEN WHISPERS and THE ALASKA PEN, assuming the role of editor-in-chief of the PEN for the 1948-'49 school year. He left home to attend his senior year of high school in Seward. He then went on to the University of Alaska and Stanford University. He has never returned to Unga. Thor lives in retirement in Westport, Washington. Peggy Arness lived in Unga from 1934 to 1944, served on the staff of THE ALASKA PEN during the 1941-'42 school year and graduated from Unga High School in May, 1942. That fall, she enrolled in Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma, Washington. Peggy lives with her husband, Jim, in Kenai. Edward Melseth was born in Unga in 1943 and attended Unga Territorial School from 1950 to 1958. He attended high school in Tacoma. Edward has lived in and around Unga for most his life. He currently lives in Anchorage.