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Ryan Vine

Ryan Vine’s debut full collection, To Keep Him Hidden, was a finalist for the May Swenson Prize, the New Issues Prize, the Crab Orchard Series, the MVP Prize from New Rivers Press, and — selected by Robert Pinsky — the Dorset Prize. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Ireland Review, Verse Daily, and on National Public Radio. His chapbook, Distant Engines, published by Backwaters Press, won a Weldon Kees Award and spent time on the Poetry Foundation’s contemporary best-seller list. He has received The Greensboro Review Robert Watson Poetry Prize, McKnight/ARAC Career Development Grants, an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and has been a finalist or nominee for numerous other honors, including the Pushcart Prize. Ryan is associate professor, a member of the Honors faculty and Chair of the English Department at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.

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Artika Tyner

Dr. Artika Tyner is a passionate educator, award-winning author, sought after speaker, and advocate for justice. She is committed to empowering others to lead within their respective spheres of influence. Tyner provides leadership development and career coaching for young professionals. She has also developed leadership educational materials for K-12 students, college/graduate students, faith communities, and nonprofits.

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Richard Terrill

Richard Terrill is the author of two collections of poems, Almost Dark and Coming Late to Rachmaninoff, winner of the Minnesota Book Award; as well as two books of creative nonfiction, Fakebook: Improvisations on a Journey Back to Jazz and Saturday Night in Baoding: A China Memoir, winner of the Associated Writing Programs Award for Nonfiction. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wisconsin and Minnesota State Arts Boards, the Jerome Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, as well as three Fulbright Fellowships. His work has appeared in journals such as Iowa Review, Georgia Review, North American Review, River Teeth, New Letters, and Crazyhorse. He is Professor Emeritus at Minnesota State University Mankato, where he was Distinguished Faculty Scholar, and currently works as a jazz saxophone player with the Larry McDonough Quartet. He lives in New Hope.

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Thom Tammaro

For 34 years, Thom Tammaro taught English and writing at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he was one of the founders of the MFA in Creative Program which he directed for five years. In 2001, he was named the Roland and Beth Dille Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 2017. He is the recipient of three Minnesota Book Awards for anthologies he has edited. He is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, 23 Poems, Holding on for Dear Life, and When The Italians Came To My Hometown, a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award; and two chapbooks, 31 Mornings in December and Minnesota Suite. His poems, essays, reviews, and interviews with poets have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, among them American Poetry Review, The Bloomsbury Review, Chicago Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, College Composition and Communication, The Emily Dickinson Journal, Great River Review, Italian Americana, Midwest Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, Quarterly West, South Dakota Review, The Sun: A Magazine of Ideas, and VIA: Voices in Italian Americana.

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Cynthia (C.M.) Surrisi

Cynthia (C.M.) Surrisi has a BFA, J.D., and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She is author of picture books and middle grade cozy mysteries that are enjoyed equally by adults: The Maypop Kidnapping, Vampires On the Run, and A Side of Sabotage. Her mysteries have received The Moonbeam Award and been nominated for an Agatha. Her picture book The Best Mother is a Junior Library Guild Selection. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, National League of American Pen Women, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

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Lisa M. Bolt Simons

Lisa M. Bolt Simons has published 38 nonfiction children’s books, mostly with Capstone; two more will be published in 2020. She’s also published four middle grade “choose your path” novels as well as an adult history book. Simons has been the recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers in Children’s Literature Honorable Mention, a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, an MNSCBWI Writing Mentorship, and a Shabo Award for Children’s Picture Book Writers through The Loft Literary Center. A wife to a fellow reader and a mom of boy/girl twins, Simons also loves to scrapbook and travel when she can.

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Candace Simar

Candace Simar is a Minnesota writer with a passion for history and her Scandinavian heritage. Her Abercrombie Trail Series received awards from the Western Writers of America. Shelterbelts is set in Otter Tail County, Minnesota and received finalist awards from the Willa Literary Awards in Historical Fiction. Her Escape to Fort Abercrombie is geared toward readers from age 12-100.

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Bob Showers

Bob Showers is a longtime resident of Bloomington, originally from Waterloo, Iowa. A former executive with the Minnesota North Stars, Showers started his second career as an author following 12 years as a stay-home dad with two daughters.

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Ashley Shelby

Ashley Shelby is a former editor at Penguin and a prize-winning writer and journalist. She received her MFA from Columbia University and is the author of Red River Rising: The Anatomy of a Flood and the Survival of an American City, a narrative nonfiction account of the record-breaking flood that, in 1997, devastated Grand Forks, North Dakota. The short story that became the basis for her novel, South Pole Station, is a winner of the Third Coast Fiction Prize. She lives in the Twin Cities with her family.

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Lizbeth Selvig

Lizbeth Selvig writes fun, sexy-sweet contemporary romance. Her strong, fun, and funny characters don’t mind poking at societal norms even while finding their ways home to family and love. Her novels have won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart and been nominated for the organization’s prestigious RITA award. Selvig shares life in Minnesota, where her first book series is set, with her husband Jan, an Arabian gelding named Jedi, a Quarter horse named Largo, and two human grandchildren. Her four-legged grandbabies, of which there are over 30, include two goats, three alpacas, a mammoth-eared donkey, two miniature horses, a pig, and multiple dogs, cats, and regular-sized horses. In her spare time she loves to hike, quilt, read, and horseback ride.

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