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Poetry Books

Mike Burwell’s poems remind me of movement of a glacial river, powerful and true. This is the work of a mature poet, one who is sure of his craft and his place in the world. Cartography of Water is a most welcome addition to Alaskan literature.


Tom Sexton

University of Alaska Press

North and West

The poems of Michael Burwell in North and West are intersections with the planet—with rain and stone and stars, with fir logs and salt beach tang. Love songs to women are intentionally confused with love songs to the earth and all her splendors…Burwell has his own voice fully formed—unusual for a first book…North and West is a little gem that can be read over and over…


Ann Chandonnet

The Anchorage Times

Ships and Shipwrecks

Aleutian Voices


Aleutian Voices

A National Park Service Publication based on Michael Burwell's two-part history "The SS Northwestern: The Ship That Always Came Back" published in The Sea Chest, Journal of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, September/December 1995 and the the graphics and supplemental text of Francis Broderick.



Shipwrecks Off Alaska's Coast

Shipwrecks Off Alaska’s Coast

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Alaska Shipwreck Table provides the most comprehensive compilation of Alaskan shipwrecks to date. The table is a list of shipwrecks that have occurred in Alaska from earliest Russian times (1741) to the 2000. This table was compiled from an extensive literature search by Michael Burwell before he retired from BOEM in 2011.

From Myth to Relic to Meaning: The Russian Steamer Politkofsky

A Book in Progress

Forthcoming in 2018

From Myth to Relic to Meaning:
The Russian Steamer Politkofsky
From Myth to Relic to Meaning
(Working Title)
The book will be based on these 4 articles published in the Sea Chest in 1998.
CLICK HERE to view PDFs.

The 1871 Whaling Project describes the search for the remains of 32 Yankee whaling ships that wrecked off Alaska’s Arctic Coast in September of 1871. This paper describes the results of three summer field seasons from 2005-2008 staged north of Wainwright, Alaska searching for onshore artifacts and side-scan sonar surveys near shore.  An analysis of artifact types and their onshore distribution is also presented.



Aleutian Voices

SS Northwestern:

Sailing Sheltered Seas

(Co-author of this book)


The SS Northwestern:

The Ship That Always Came Back Pt.1 & Pt. 2

Published in The Sea Chest

The Russian Steamer PolitkofskyTeacher's Resource Guide

Remains of Gold Rush-Era Ship

Shipwrecks of Alaska's Lynn Canal






The 1976 Decline of the

Western Arctic Caribou Herd:

Contested Constructions of Ecological Knowledge


Hunger Knows No Law: Seminal Native Protest and The Barrow Duck-In of 1961

Climate Change Modeling and Future Response Strategies: Globalism and Indigenous Agency at Odds in the Arctic

Cirque Journal

Cirque was founded in 2009 by poet Mike Burwell. A regional literary journal published in Anchorage, Alaska, Cirque invites emerging and established writers living in the North Pacific Rim—Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Yukon Territory, Alberta, British Columbia, and Chukotka—to submit their art, photography, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, plays, interviews, and book reviews.  Cirque’s intent is to share the best writing in the region with the rest of the world.

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