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Kao Kalia Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is an award-winning Hmong-American writer. She holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer, The Song Poet, What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and Women of Color, and the picture book A Map Into the World. In 2020, Yang has two more picture books coming, The Shared Room and The Most Beautiful Thing, and a collective memoir called Somewhere in the Unknown World. She lives in Saint Paul with her family. Yang is also an educator and public speaker.

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Cathy Wurzer

Cathy Wurzer is one of Minnesota’s most recognizable broadcast journalists who has spent her career behind a microphone and in front of television cameras with time carved out to write books and produce documentaries. A multiple Emmy Award winning journalist, Wurzer is the co-host of “Almanac” on Twin Cities Public Television. On weekdays, she is the host of Minnesota Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

Wurzer wrote Tales of the Road: Highway 61, about the sites and secrets of an iconic US highway, and We Know How This Ends: Living Well While Dying, co-written with Dr. Bruce Kramer, an educator and musician who recognized that living a meaningful life with ALS meant embracing his imminent death. Her work with Dr. Kramer sparked a statewide effort dedicated to living and dying well called “End in Mind.” She is currently working on a book and documentary about Minnesota broadcast history.

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Patricia Kirkpatrick

Patricia Kirkpatrick received the first Lindquist & Vennum Poetry Prize for Odessa and was awarded a 2013 Minnesota Book Award. Her new poetry collection, Blood Moon, is forthcoming. Kirkpatrick’s awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bush Foundation, Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Loft, and Minnesota State Arts Board. Her poetry has been set to music by composers Carol Barnett and Libby Larsen. She has taught writing at many colleges, including the University of Minnesota MFA program, and conducted writing workshops, residencies, panels, and inservices in elementary classrooms, the Princeton Theological Seminary, and various school districts and libraries. As poetry editor for the literary journal Water-Stone Review (2001-2012), she worked with nationally known and emerging writers and solicited and published writing in Dakota and Ojibwe languages. A past board member of the Loft and Saint Paul Almanac, she serves on the executive board for the musical ensemble Cantus and works as a freelance editor and private teacher.

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Caitlin Bailey

Caitlin Bailey received an MFA from Hamline University. Her first book, Solve for Desire, won the 2017 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2017 Minnesota Book Awards. Her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Sugar House Review, Bateau, Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere. She lives in Saint Paul.

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Bruce White

Bruce White is a historian and anthropologist who lives in St. Paul. He writes books and articles on early Minnesota and Midwestern history. Through his company Turnstone Historical Research, he consults and does research for Indian tribes and government agencies. He testified in federal court in the landmark 1994 Mille Lacs treaty hunting and fishing rights case and continues to testify in other cases relating to Indian treaties.

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Nancy O’Brien Wagner

Nancy O’Brien Wagner is a historian and partner at Bluestem Heritage Group, a museum consulting firm. In addition to her consulting work, she works as an independent writer. Her article “Awfully Busy these Days” about the role of Minnesota Red Cross women in France during World War I was a winner of the Solon J. Buck award for best article in Minnesota History magazine. This article was the foundation for her book, Alice in France, published in 2017. This book documents the letters and experience of her great-aunt who served in France during WWI as a Red Cross volunteer. Wagner has been honored with three St. Paul Heritage Preservation awards, and her book Alice in France was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.

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Lori Sturdevant

Lori Sturdevant retired in January 2019 after 43 years at the Star Tribune, 26 of them as an editorial writer and weekly columnist covering state politics and government. She continues as an occasional columnist for that publication. Sturdevant joined the Minneapolis Star Tribune as a summer replacement reporter in 1975, returned as a reporter in 1976, and was lead Capitol reporter and a newsroom assignment editor before joining the editorial staff in 1992.

A native of South Dakota, Sturdevant is a graduate of Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a member of that institution’s Board of Trustees. She has been the author, ghostwriter, or editor of 11 books, including Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement and The Pillsburys of Minnesota. Her latest book, When Republicans Were Progressive by Dave Durenberger, was released in September 2018. She is a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award. She lives in Saint Paul with her husband; they have three grown children.

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Marion Dane Bauer

Marion Dane Bauer has published over 100 books, ranging from board books and picture books through early readers, both fiction and nonfiction, books on writing, middle-grade, and young-adult novels. She is the editor of the ground-breaking collection of gay-and-lesbian-themed short stories, Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence. She was one of the founders and the first Faculty Chair of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Her novel, On My Honor, was a Newbery Honor book in 1987, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

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Sarah Ahiers

Sarah Ahiers has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and lives in Minnesota with her dogs and a house full of critters. She has a collection of steampunk hats and when she’s not writing she fills her time with good games, good food, good friends, and good family.

Ahiers writes young adult and middle grade novels and occasionally dabbles in picture books. Fantasy is her favorite genre, though she sometimes can be found playing around with horror and other things that go bump in the night. She is the author of Assassin’s Heart and Thief’s Cunning, both of which were Minnesota Book Award finalists.

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