Joanne Vruno grew up in Maplewood, Minnesota, just houses away from Battle Creek Regional Park, where she spent most of her childhood days hiking and exploring. Her love for nature and the wooded parkland bordering Battle Creek created the magic of the Seasons of Elves series, just as her love for the lakes created her first novel, Loon Child. Today Vruno lives in Saint Paul with her husband. It isn’t unusual to find her working in her yard, walking her two dogs, exploring new places for another novel, or having a picnic while spoiling her five grandchildren.Read More
Jill Kalz is the author of The Winter Bees: Fiction, a collection of interconnected short stories set in rural Minnesota (her current home) and a 2019 Midwest Book Award finalist. She has published stories individually in American Fiction Vol. 15 and Minnesota Monthly, and poetry in the Nebraska Review, the Ohio Review, Cream City Review, and other magazines. A 2008 Minnesota Book Award finalist and winner of the Readers’ Choice Award for her picture book Farmer Cap, Kalz is also the author of more than 70 children’s books. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and works as a children’s book editor.Read More
Elliott Foster is an emerging Minnesota writer of memoir and fiction. He is particularly drawn to stories of the Upper Midwest. In addition to his longer published work, Elliott’s short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in the Green Blade literary journal, the Huffington Post, and the Daily Journal of Southern California. He lives in Saint Paul.Read More
Elizabeth Oness is a poet and fiction writer who lives on a biodynamic farm in Southeast Minnesota. Her poems and stories have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, Glimmer Train, The Hudson Review, and other magazines. Her stories have received an O. Henry Prize, a Nelson Algren Award, and the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize.
Her books include Articles of Faith, Departures, Twelve Rivers of the Body (Gival Press Novel Award 2007), Fallibility (Many Voices Award -New Rivers Press 2008), and Leaving Milan (Brighthorse Books Novel Award 2014).
Oness directs marketing and development for Sutton Hoo Press, a literary fine press, and is a professor of English at Winona State University.Read More
Born and raised in Haiti, Marilène Phipps has held fellowships at the Guggenheim Foundation, Harvard’s Bunting Institute, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, and the Center for the Study of World Religions. The Company of Heaven: Stories from Haiti, won the 2010 Iowa Short fiction Award. Her poetry won the 1993 Grolier prize, and her collection, Crossroads and Unholy Water, won the Crab Orchard Poetry Prize. Her most recent book is Unseen Worlds. She has contributed to American anthologies and collections such as The Best American Short Stories; Haiti Noir: The Classics; The Beacon Best; Ploughshares; River Styx; Callaloo; and Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and she edited Jack Kerouac: Collected Poems for The Library of America. Phipps is the recipient of the NAACP’s Award of Excellence for outstanding commitment in advancing the culture and causes for communities of color.Read More
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Vincent Wyckoff dedicated a career to the U.S. Postal Service. His first book, Beware of Cat, celebrates the life stories of people on his route. For a short time he lived on the Northshore of Lake Superior, from which he developed the background for Black Otter Bay. He and his wife, Sybil, are long-time residents of south Minneapolis. They have three children and six grandchildren.Read More
Award-winning novelist and composer Roma Calatayud-Stocks holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music and Psychology from the University of Minnesota, and post-graduate studies in creative writing from the University of St. Thomas. She is the author of two historical novels, A Song in My Heart, and A Symphony of Rivals. The third installment of the series, An Ode to Joy, will be published in 2020. And in line with her life passion to bring forth the contributions of all cultures through the arts, her narratives, set to music, provide a window to locations across the world, politics of the era, cultural diplomacy, and history.
Calatayud-Stocks has 20 years of experience working for arts organizations, including Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Vocal Essence, and Walker Art Center. She has toured the United States to present her work at universities, libraries, and book fairs.Read More
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.Read More