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Hieu Minh Nguyen

Hieu Minh Nguyen is a queer Vietnamese American poet and performer based in Minneapolis. He is the author of the poetry collections Not Here and This Way to the Sugar. His work has appeared in Poetry magazine, Best American Poetry, BuzzFeed, Poetry London, and elsewhere. The recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, Nguyen is also an National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, a Kundiman fellow, and a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

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Sara Biren

Sara Biren is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is a content and social media manager for a Minneapolis marketing firm and offers freelance editing and copywriting services. She lives northwest of Minneapolis with her husband and their two children. A true Minnesotan, she is a fan of hockey, hot dish, and hanging out at the lake. She enjoys seeing live bands, watching movies with her family, and drinking coffee.

Biren

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Derek Anderson

Derek Anderson drew the first picture he can ever remember drawing when he was in kindergarten at Roosevelt Elementary School in Ames, Iowa. It was a drawing of the Easter Bunny. When he finished it, he walked it down the hall and proudly presented it to Mr. Berhow, the principal of his school. Mr. Berhow displayed that picture on the wall of his office for the rest of the school year. Anderson’s fate was sealed. From then on, he knew he was going to be an artist. When he reached second grade, he wrote his first story and he’s never stopped writing or drawing since.

Anderson has created more than 25 books for children about ducks, dragons, a few dogs, a speedy hamster, a gorilla, ten pigs, a crocodile and an alligator who are best friends, and some other furry and non-furry characters. His books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, the Publishers Weekly bestseller list, Bank Street College’s Best Books of the year lists, and garnered awards including the National Parenting Publication Gold Award, the CBC Children’s Choice Award and many state awards. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Cheryl, and their dog, Louie.

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Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Kirstin Cronn-Mills is a writer and teacher who lives in North Mankato with her family. She’s published both fiction and nonfiction for young adult readers. Three of her books have been finalists for the Minnesota Book Awards. Her novel, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award in 2014.

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James Dawes

James Dawes is the author of The Novel of Human Rights; Evil Men, winner of the International Human Rights Book Award; That the World May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity, Independent Publisher Book Award Finalist; and The Language of War. He has written for or appeared as the feature guest on media outlets ranging from National Public Radio, the BBC, and Bulgarian National Radio to the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and CNN.com. He was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in English Literature from Harvard University and his MPhil from Cambridge University.

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Peter Bognanni

Peter Bognanni is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut novel, The House of Tomorrow, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the ALA Alex Award and was adapted into a feature film. His second novel, Things I’m Seeing Without You, was a Minnesota Book Award finalist. He teaches creative writing at Macalester College.

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H.M. Bouwman

H.M. Bouwman is the author of middle grade fantasy novels, most recently A Crack in the Sea and A Tear in the Ocean, as well as the Owen and Eleanor early chapter books. She lives in Saint Paul and teaches at the University of St. Thomas. Bouwman loves to speak to kids and adults about the writing process.

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Abby Cooper

Abby Cooper lives in Minnesota with her miniature poodle, Louis, and a whole bunch of books. A former teacher and school librarian, her favorite things in the world (besides writing) are getting and giving book recommendations and sharing her love of reading with others. In her spare time, she likes eating cupcakes, running along the Mississippi River, and watching a lot of bad reality TV.

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Tony Dierckins

Tony Dierckins, Duluth author and Saint Paul native, has written or co-written more than two dozen books. His regional history books include Crossing the Canal: An Illustrated History of Duluth’s Aerial Bridge and, with Maryanne C. Norton, Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings, Homes, and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood (both finalists for the Minnesota Book Award) as well as Glensheen: The Official Guide to Duluth’s Historic Congdon Estate and, with Nancy S. Nelson, Duluth’s Historic Parks: Their First 160 Years (both winners of the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award).

Dierckins is the 2012 recipient of the Duluth Depot Foundation’s Historic Preservation and Interpretation Award and the publisher of Zenith City Press, celebrating historic Duluth and the Western Lake Superior region. His newest book is Naturally Brewed, Naturally Better: The Historic Breweries of Duluth & Superior.

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Thomas Fisher

Thomas Fisher is a Professor in the School of Architecture, Director of the Minnesota Design Center, and former Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. A graduate of Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history, he was the Editorial Director of Progressive Architecture magazine and was recognized in 2005 as the fifth most published architecture writer in the United States. He has written over 50 book chapters or introductions and over 400 articles in professional journals and major publications.

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