Skagway resident Bob Marquardt holds up two books of poetry that he recently self-published, “Poems to Make You Laugh Cry, and Wonder Why” and “70 Unforgettable Poems That Will Mess with Your Mind”. He first started writing poetry in September 2002 and has amassed two collections already from just writing down things as they come into his head.
“If there’s a paper towel handy, I’ll scribble as fast as the thoughts come,” he said.
Marquardt never studied poetry, but he’s always had a flair for writing. “If you’ve read my letters to the editor, you can tell that anything can come out of this head.,” he said.
The poems range from personal reflections on our existence to whimsical portraits of small town life. Most of them rhyme.
Marquardt used 1stbooks, a successful print-on-demand eBook publishing company to get his poetry in circulation. Two of his poems have already been included in anthologies, including the International Library of Poetry, and he was one of 1,500 poets invited to read last August at the International Society of Poets in Washington, D.C.
Marquardt will be reading and signing books this Sunday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at the Haven Cafe. He also will be signing books at the Skaguay News Depot on May 14 and other Friday afternoons throughout the summer.


Skagway’s 3rd Alaskan Film Festival will dig into Hollywood’s archives
This year’s 3rd Annual Skagway’s Alaskan Film Festival offers some old gems and a recent klunker.
On May 13, we kick off at the Eagles Hall with “On Dangerous Ground,” a perhaps well-intentioned Hollywood response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill that’s woefully short on Alaska reality. This is an audience participation event ala “Mystery Science Theater,” so come and raise your voice whenever you spot a blooper. Steven Seagal stars as environmentalist hero Forrest Daft, er, Forrest Taft. And Joan Chen joins a long list of Asian actresses who have portrayed Native Alaskans starting with “Eskimo.” That’s just for starters - we’re sure you’ll find more.
May 14, head over to the National Park Service auditorium for Mae West’s “Klondike Annie,” the tale of a bad girl gone good. Directed by Raoul Walsh, and also starring Victor McLaglen, this 1936 Paramount picture takes you from the fleshpots of San Francisco’s Chinatown to the melting pot of the Klondike Gold Rush.
West befriended Skagwayan Martin Itjen, a mechanical genius, who visited her in Hollywood after she told him, “Come down and see me some time.” The film will be introduced by Douglas Smith, who is a keen admirer and interepreter of Itjen. There is the possibility that a BBC short of Itjen’s life will also be shown after the main film.
The Arctic Brotherhood Hall will be the venue for the final showing and Baked Alaska reception on May 15. “The Road to Utopia,” with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for the 1946 Academy Awards, but didn’t win. Two vaudevillians find a map of a gold mine, outwit killers and help Lamour get the gold. Robert Benchley appears in the corner of the screen to narrate the film as well as throw in a few comments. Pre-digital special effects include wise-cracking animals.
Tickets are available at the door, except for the National Park Service evening when it will be free. Shows are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 per show, and seniors are free. All proceeds go back into the bank for next year’s festival.
The Film Festival is also working on obtaining Haines’s Panhandle Picture Show of short films for viewing later this summer. For more information call 983-3393. – DIMITRA LAVRAKAS