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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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Todd Boss

Todd Boss is a poet, librettist, public artist, and film producer. His diverse career is the result of his passion for collaboration. He is the author of three books of poetry, Yellowrocket, Pitch, and Tough Luck. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The London Times, The New Yorker, NPR, and Best American Poetry, and he says he writes “poetry for people who don’t like poetry.”

Boss has worked as a librettist and lyricist with composers Andy Vores, Jake Runestad, and Matt Boehler. The award-winning works have premiered at major venues including the Kennedy Center. As a public artist, his vision is “to make public spaces more poetic.” His large-scale, multidisciplinary works of public art include installations in riverways, projections on historic buildings, and virtual reality experiences.

His passion for helping contemporary poetry reach a wider audience led him to become the founding Executive and Artistic Director of Motionpoems, the world’s only poetry film company. Motionpoems’ annual season of 15-20 films premieres annually in Minneapolis and has had screenings across the country from Los Angeles to New York City.

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Dore Kiesselbach

Dore Kiesselbach earned his B.A. from Oberlin College, MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and J.D. from New York University. He has published two collections of poetry – Albatross and Salt Pier. His work has appeared in many magazines including FIELD, Poetry, AGNI, and The Poetry Review. His honors include the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, Britain’s Bridport Prize in poetry, the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. He lives in Minneapolis.

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Heid E. Erdrich

Heid E. Erdrich is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media. Her non-fiction memoir-in-recipes, Original Local, was a 2014 City Pages Top Food Book. She co-edited the anthology of Native American women’s writings Sister Nations and is editor of New Poets of Native Nations. A visual arts curator, Erdrich has collaborated with artists on several award-winning short-short films. Her most recent poetry collection incorporates her poem videos via QR codes. She is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain and teaches in the Augsburg College Low-residency MFA program.

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Matt Rasmussen

Matt Rasmussen is the author of Black Aperture, which won the 2013 Walt Whitman Award, the 2014 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His poems have been published in The Literary Review, Gulf Coast, Water~Stone Review, Revolver, Paper Darts,, and elsewhere. He received a 2014 Pushcart Prize and was awarded the 2015 Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. A founding editor of the independent poetry press Birds, LLC, he lives in Robbinsdale.

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Gwen Nell Westerman

Gwen Westerman is an award-winning writer and visual artist who lives in southern Minnesota, as did her Dakota ancestors. Her roots are deep in the landscape of the tallgrass prairie and reveal themselves in her art and writing through the languages and traditions of her family. She is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Neither of her parents spoke English before they were sent away to boarding schools in Oklahoma and South Dakota, so she knows the importance of the role language plays in who we are.

A first-generation college student, she is now Professor in English and Director of Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is the author of Dakota in Minnesota; Follow the Blackbirds, a poetry collection in Dakota and English; and co-author of the Minnesota Book Award-winning Mni Sota Makoce: Land of the Dakota, a history of Dakota land tenure in Minnesota. Her essays and poems have appeared in numerous journals and collections, including Yellow Medicine Review, Water~Stone Review, A View from The Loft, Natural Bridge, POETRY, and New Poets of Native Nations.

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Bao Phi

Bao Phi was born in Saigon and raised in Minneapolis. He has been a spoken word poet for more than two decades, with two published collections of poems, Sông I Sing and Thousand Star Hotel. His first children’s picture book, A Different Pond, illustrated by Thi Bui, was published in 2017. It earned seven starred reviews, a Caldecott Honor, Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Honors, The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the Charlotte Zolotow Award for Excellence in picture book writing, and a spot on many books of the year lists. He was named by Minnesota Monthly as Best Author 2016 and an Artist of the Year and Author of the Year by City Pages, 2017 and 2018. He works at the Loft Literary Center and lives in Minneapolis with his daughter.

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