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Richard Nelson

Richard Nelson, a resident of Sitka, Alaska, is a cultural anthropologist and author whose work focuses on the indigenous cultures of Alaska and the relationships between people and nature. His literary works include Make Prayers to the Raven, about the Koyukon people of Alaska’s boreal forest, and The Island Within, winner of the John Burroughs Medal for distinguished nature writing. More recent works include Heart and Blood: Living with Deer in America and Patriotism and the American Land, with Barry Lopez and Terry Tempest Williams. Mr. Nelson was a member of the Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced, and the former host of the popular syndicated radio show Encounters. He served as Alaska’s Writer Laureate from 1999 to 2002 and was named the 2019 Distinguished Artist by the Rasmuson Foundation. The award recognizes one Alaska artist annually for a lifetime of creative excellence and outstanding contribution to the state’s arts and culture.

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Client Testimonials


Although we were unfamiliar with Richard Nelson and his writings before the cruise, we were very impressed by his knowledge, his willingness to share it, and his low-key, modest humorous style. We will read all his books!
— Alison D., Gabriola, British Columbia
Alaskan Passage