Woodcut Illustrations for Surviving the Island of Grace

I met Leslie Leyland Fields in 1992 when we were both in the MFA in Writing program at Goddard College. Almost immediately we began to talk about living on islands. Leslie and her husband Duncan live in Kodiak, Alaska, for most of the year, but every year during the summer salmon-fishing season they move to their house on tiny Harvester Island in Uyak Bay, off the coast of Kodiak Island, where they join Duncan's brothers in their extended family business of set-netting for salmon. When I met her, Leslie was beginning work on her memoir of this experience, Surviving the Island of Grace, which was eventually published by St Martin's Press in 2002. Leslie asked me to do the illustrations for her memoir and in the late summer of 1999 I flew to Anchorage, took a smaller plane to Kodiak, and took an even smaller sea-plane to Larsen's Bay where I was picked up in an open fishing skiff by Leslie for the eight-mile trip out to Harvester Island. I did this series of woodcut relief prints from the sketches and photos I took that summer.