I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.


Heather Lende is the current Alaska State Writer Laureate. Her many essays and stories, mostly about life and sometimes death in Haines, Alaska have been distributed widely, from The Anchorage Daily News and Christian Science Monitor to NPR and Country Living. She is a former contributing editor at Woman’s Day magazine and for over twenty years has written some 400 obituaries for the Chilkat Valley News in Haines. She is the author of bestselling memoirs from Algonquin Books, Find the Good, If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name, Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs, and most recently Of Bears and Ballots in 2020.

Born and raised in New York, Heather attended Locust Valley Friends Academy earned a BA in history from Middlebury College, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She and her husband Chip have lived in Haines for over 35 years where they own a lumberyard and hardware store. They have five children and 8 grandchildren.

Heather is involved in the Haines community on many levels, from the library and public radio to sporting events and hospice care.

She is the recipient of the 2016 Alaska Governor’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Humanities and the Episcopal Bishop of Alaska’s Bishop’s Cross Award.

Heather likes to hang out with her family, workout at the pool, ride her bike, and walk with her dogs in all kinds of weather.

Mel G Photography