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Susan Thurston

Susan Thurston’s grandfather loved a poem she wrote in second grade, and within the glow of his appreciation, she decided to become a writer. Later, a well-meaning adult mentioned that as a journalist, she could earn her living. She became a reporter and editor, but wouldn’t really say what she earned was a living. She did get to work with some of the finest people she has ever known. Along the way, she has created and produced adult education programs, traveled in search of her soul-deep home, mothered two fabulous kids, learned to make really good bread, and flown in a hot air balloon. And always — writing. She has published, performed, and earned awards for a lot of her poetry and some of her prose, co-authored a cookbook, published the novel Sister of Grendel, and taken a few plays from page to stage. She is the executive editor of The Black Hat Press, assumed from dear friend and fellow writer Beverly Voldseth.

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Rob Jung

Born in the wine country of California; grew up in a beautiful, little Mississippi River town in Wisconsin; educated in the Minnesota state university system and Harvard Law School, Rob Jung now lives the writer’s life in suburban Saint Paul with his wife, Kathy. A newspaper writer for seven years while getting his undergraduate degree at Winona State University, Jung has practiced law for 47 years. He began working on his fiction-writing craft more than a decade ago. A life-long student of history, geography, and religion, Jung has traveled in every continent except Antarctica, and his stories often find their origins in historical events from countries outside the U.S. Jung also lists among his “credits”: inventor, entrepreneur, gourmet chef, master gardener, fishing guide, and storyteller. His best work: three grown children, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Jung has written four novels, the first two of which are safely tucked in the back of a drawer so as not to injure either reader or the literary world. His third and fourth novels, Cloud Warriors and The Reaper, were published in 2019. He has also had nonfictional work published in newspapers, legal forums, and periodicals of limited distribution.

*Rob Jung is the pen name of Robert W. Junghans. He also writes limericks and tells stories under the name “C.J. Rakham”.

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Mary DesJarlais

Mary DesJarlais is the author of two fiction novels, The Cutter’s Widow and Dorie LaValle. She lives and works in Saint Paul.

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Gary Eldon Peter

Gary Eldon Peter’s short stories have appeared in Water~Stone Review, Great River Review, and other publications. His debut linked short story collection, Oranges, won the 2016 New Rivers Press Many Voices Project competition in Prose. Oranges was also a finalist for the 2019 Minnesota Book Award. Peter’s other awards include a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers/Loft Award in Creative Prose as well as two Minnesota State Arts Board grants. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College as well as a JD from William Mitchell College of Law. He has worked as a judicial law clerk and as a lawyer in private law practice, and spent many years working in the legal publishing industry. He is currently a faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota.

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Sammi Jones

Sammi Jones got her start in roller derby in 2010 when she joined the Fargo Moorhead Derby Girls. She quickly fell in love with the sport and has been skating the flat track ever since. Jones earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead and has written for a variety of publications. She currently resides in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area where she works as an editor for a trade magazine and skates for North Star Roller Derby.

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Margaret Hasse

Margaret Hasse’s five collections of lyric poems are grounded in the prairies and towns of the Midwest. Her poetry has been published in unusual community locations, such as in the sidewalks and on metro transit in Saint Paul. As a teaching poet, she’s conducted residencies in schools and communities statewide, taught in prisons, offered workshops, and been a mentor to other poets. Her work has won many awards, such as from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Duchess Harris

Duchess Harris was a Mellon Mays Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with a degree in American History. She earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and did postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School and at the Womanist Studies Consortium at the University of Georgia. In 1998, Harris joined the faculty at Macalester College. In 2007 she attended law school to expand the scope of her scholarship, and in 2008, she was chosen to be an Associate Editor for Litigation News, the American Bar Association Section’s flagship publication. In 2009, she won a $96,000 fellowship from the Bush Leadership Program which encourages recipients to create positive change in their communities. In 2010, she became the first Editor-in-Chief of Law Raza Journal, an interactive on-line race and the law journal. Harris is a scholar of Contemporary African American History and Political Theory. She earned a Juris Doctorate in 2011, and has an expertise in Civil Rights Law. In 2015, The Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers chose her to receive “The Profiles in Courage Award.”

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Marisha Chamberlain

Marisha Chamberlain is a multi-genre writer. Her debut novel, The Rose Variations, was favorably reviewed by the New York Times. Her play, Scheherazade, won the Dramatists Guild/CBS National Award, and in screenplay version, played on public television across the country. Her plays, available through Playscripts, Inc, have been staged all over the world. The World Beloved, her collaboration with composer Carol Barnett, out on CD on the Clarion label, is widely performed. Their collaboration, Mortals & Angels, premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2016. Chamberlain has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and the McKnight Foundation. She’s been artist in residence at MacDowell, the Anderson Center, and the Rockefeller Retreat Center in Bellagio, Italy. She has taught at Carleton College, Macalester College, and in the writing program at the University of Minnesota.

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Greg Brick

Greg Brick, Ph.D., was employed as a hydrogeologist and has taught geology at local colleges and universities. He has published nearly 200 articles about caves and was the recipient of the 2005 Cave History Award from the National Speleological Society. His first book, Iowa Underground: A Guide to the State’s Subterranean Treasures, was published in 2004. His second book, Subterranean Twin Cities, won an award from the American Institute of Architects, and his third book, Minnesota Caves: History and Lore, was nominated for the Minnesota Book Awards. His work has been featured in National Geographic Adventure magazine as well as on the History Channel. He has led guided tours of caves for the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education.

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David M. Perry

David M. Perry is a historian and journalist. He’s a columnist for Pacific Standard, writing about health justice and higher education. He covers history, disability, and politics for outlets like CNN, Washington Post, The Nation, and Medium.

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