Dawnell Smith is a founder and co-owner of Writer’s Block Bookstore & Café. She has lived in Alaska for 30 years and worked as a brewer, journalist, nonprofit administrator, communications strategist, and mom, among other things. She currently makes a living in the nonprofit and gig economy. On the rare occasion she’s not working, she creates essays, poems and other mixed-genre literary work.
Occupying a storefront that was formerly an adults-only porn store on Spenard Road in Anchorage, The Writer’s Block started with the idea for a community gathering place. Through the passions of its four founders, a community hub was created. The Writer’s Block is a bookstore, an art space, a coffee shop, and a beer and wine bar. A place for reading, but also for song, spoken word, and performance, as well as for writing, connecting, thinking.