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Bryan Thao Worra

Bryan Thao Worra is the Lao Minnesotan Poet Laureate and holds over 20 national and international awards for his writing and community leadership. He is the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association and 2019 Joyce Fellow. He holds a 2009 NEA Fellowship in Literature, and represented the nation of Laos during the 2012 London Summer Games as a Cultural Olympian.

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Mark Berriman

Mark Berriman is a published author, a poet and artist, musician, and active community leader. His most recent book is That Turned Ugly Fast, featuring a foreword by Viggo Mortensen. Berriman’s first book, Scar Lit, was written under the name Mark Edward Marston. He took a ten year break from writing poetry and then returned with the Soap Box Stomping Trilogy – Brutally Frank, Kink in the Chain, and That Turned Ugly Fast. All have been Minnesota Book Award nominees. He is currently at work on his first novel.

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Claudia May

Claudia May, Ph.D., is a storyteller, poet, educator, spiritual director, consultant, scholar, and award-winning author. She is a specialist in Practical Theology and African American, Caribbean, and Ethnic American literature. Her work has been published by Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis, Walter de Gruyter, Lexington Books, and Routledge. Her children’s book, When I Fly With Papa, received a gold medal at the 2019 Illumination Book Awards in the Enduring Light Christian Children’s Book Category, a gold medal in the Midwest Book Awards’ Religion/Philosophy/Spirituality category, and first place in the 2019 Purple Dragonfly Award Category: Picture Books, 6 and Older. Her recent poetic work, “Slice,” published in Families, Systems, & Health explores how nineteenth century African American slave mothers endured invasive surgeries after surviving arduous labors. May is an Associate Professor and Program Director of Reconciliation Studies, Bethel University, Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has more than two decades of experience working alongside global practitioners of reconciliation.

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Ryan Vine

Ryan Vine’s debut full collection, To Keep Him Hidden, winner of the 2018 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award, was a finalist
for numerous prizes, including — selected by Robert Pinsky — the Dorset Prize. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and on National Public Radio. His chapbook, Distant Engines, won a Weldon Kees Award and spent time on the Poetry Foundation’s contemporary bestseller 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, and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

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Richard Terrill

Richard Terrill’s new book of poems is What Falls Away Is Always, forthcoming in September 2020 from Holy Cow! Press. His previous books include Coming Late to Rachmaninoff, winner of the Minnesota Book Award; and two memoirs, Fakebook: Improvisations on a Journey Back to Jazz and Saturday Night in Baoding: A China Memoir, winner of the AWP Award for Nonfiction. He has held fellowships from the NEA, Wisconsin and Minnesota State Arts Boards, Jerome Foundation, MacDowell Colony, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, as well as three Fulbrights. His work has appeared in Iowa Review, Georgia Review, North American Review, River Teeth, and New Letters. He is Professor Emeritus at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he was a Distinguished Faculty Scholar. He works as a jazz saxophonist.

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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 including American Poetry Review, The Bloomsbury Review, Chicago Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and others.

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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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Richard Robbins

Richard Robbins was raised in Southern California and Montana and has lived in Minnesota for 35 years. He studied as an undergraduate with Glover Davis and Carolyn Forché at San Diego State University and as a graduate student with Richard Hugo and Madeline DeFrees at the University of Montana. He has published six books including The Invisible Wedding, Famous Persons We Have Known, The Untested Hand, Radioactive City, and Other Americas. His Body Turn to Rain: New & Selected Poems was published in Lynx House Press’ Northwest Masters Series. Over the years, he has received awards and fellowships from The Loft, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America. From 1986-2014, Robbins directed the Good Thunder Reading Series at Minnesota State University Mankato, where he continues to direct the creative writing program. In 2006, he was awarded the Kay Sexton Award for long-standing dedication and outstanding work in fostering books, reading, and literary activity in Minnesota.

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William Reichard

William Reichard is a writer, editor, and educator. He has published six poetry collections, most recently, The Night Horse: New and Selected Poems. His seventh collection, Our Delicate Barricades Downed, will be published by Broadstone Books in 2021. Three of his previous collections were finalists for the Minnesota Book Award. Reichard is the editor of the anthology, American Tensions: Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice, and he revised and edited The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s: A Gay Life in the 1940’s, an award-winning memoir by the late Ricardo Brown. Reichard lives in Saint Paul.

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Yvonne Pearson

Yvonne Pearson is a writer and clinical social worker who lives in Minneapolis. Her picture book, Sadie Braves the Wilderness, was published in 2017. She has also published 16 non-fiction books for children. Pearson’s poetry has appeared in Split Rock Review, Talking Stick, Main Street Rag, Wolf Head Quarterly, Open to Interpretation, Chrysalis, Sidewalks, Literary Mama, and other publications. She is a 2018 Loft-McKnight Writing Fellow and has received a Loft Creative Non-Fiction Award, the Shabo Award in children’s literature, and two Minnesota State Arts Board grants. She has also written for newspapers and magazines.

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