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Spring 2021 Meritorious Service Award recipient Lila Vogt
by Green & Gold News |
Lila Vogt’s career has been as a business consultant, tax preparer and accountant, but for more than 30 years she has moonlighted as a driving force in Alaska’s literary arts scene. Through her unflagging volunteerism, she has fostered a rich and thriving community of Alaska writers.
Vogt has served as a member of the board of directors of the all-volunteer Alaska Center of the Book since 1991, and her leadership has been crucial to the success of a wide range of related programs. She spearheaded annual events like the Award for Contributions to Literacy in Alaska, the Reading Rendezvous, Poems in Place, Alaska Book Week, the Alaska Native Heritage Month’s celebration of Indigenous authors, and the statewide creative writing contest organized by UAA and the Anchorage Daily News. In 1998 she helped found the Alaska Poetry League, an organization that supports Alaska’s poets and provides many young poets with an opportunity to share their voice. She served as the League’s treasurer until 2012.
Vogt has also been a staunch supporter of the Wrangell Mountains Center — a McCarthy-based organization that hosts writing workshops, readings and artist residencies in addition to natural history classes, environmental field courses and art camps. In a 2008-09 newsletter, the Center said of Vogt, who served as their treasurer from 1999 to 2017, “Lila has been, and still is, the WMC mom. When something comes up, Lila is there to help.”
The late Sherry Simpson, a beloved UAA professor of creative writing and literary arts, said of Vogt: “We often describe volunteers as ‘unsung heroes,’ or as the people who work ‘behind the scenes,’ but it would be more accurate to say that volunteer Lila Vogt represents the heart and soul of Alaska’s literary community.” Through Vogt’s expert guidance and careful consideration, many of Alaska’s literary organizations have not only maintained their long-term viability; they have remained focused on their missions to serve Alaskans.
It is the University of Alaska Anchorage’s honor and privilege to award Lila Vogt with the Meritorious Service Award.