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Steve Hoffbeck

Steve Hoffbeck was born in Minnesota and grew up as a dairy-farmer’s son on the family farm located five miles north of Morgan. His first book, The Haymakers: A Chronicle of Five Farm Families told of the blessings, toil, and woes of farming (a Minnesota Book Award winner, 2001). His subsequent work, Swinging for the Fences: Black Baseball in Minnesota, explored the history of almost-forgotten ballplayers in the North Star State (awarded the Sporting News/SABR Baseball Research Award, 2005). Hoffbeck, a long-time Professor of History at Minnesota State University Moorhead, also wrote Hillcrest’s Hundred Years of Stories, 1916-2016, a centennial history of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls. He has written numerous articles for Minnesota History and regional magazines and writes short history features for “Dakota Datebook,” Prairie Public Radio, Fargo, North Dakota. Currently, he is working on a book about Minnesota’s “legends and lore.” He lives in Barnesville, Minnesota, with his wife, Dianne. They have four adult children and four grandchildren.

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Alison McGhee

Alison McGhee writes novels, picture books, poems, and essays for all ages. Her most loved books include the novels Shadow Baby and Never Coming Back, along with Someday, the #1 New York Times bestselling picture book for adults. Her work has been translated in more than 20 languages. New works include World So Wide, a picture book forthcoming in January 2020, and a novel, The Opposite of Fate, which will be published in February 2020. She also teaches creative writing and specializes in fun, intensive, exhilarating one-day workshops, each with a specific focus.

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Ed Bok Lee

Ed Bok Lee, the son of North and South Korean emigrants, grew up in South Korea, North Dakota, and Minnesota, and was educated on both U.S. coasts as well as Russia, South Korea, and Kazakhstan. He is the author of Whorled, winner of a 2012 American Book Award and a Minnesota Book Award. His first collection, Real Karaoke People, won a 2006 PEN Open Book Award and an Asian American Literary Award (Members Choice). He teaches at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, and for two decades has taught in numerous programs for youth and the incarcerated. His most recent book of poetry is Mitochondrial Night.

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Wing Young Huie

In his 40-year career, photographer Wing Young Huie has captured the complex cultural realities of American society. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his best-known projects, Lake Street USA and The University Avenue Project, transformed Twin Cities’ thoroughfares into six-mile galleries, reflecting the everyday lives of thousands of its citizens.

He is the first photographer to be honored with the McKnight Distinguished Artist Award (2018). Chinese-ness: The Meanings of Identity and the Nature of Belonging, his seventh and most personal book, was awarded a 2019 Minnesota Book Award. It is in classrooms and non-arts venues where his work has also had a deep impact, showing the many ways he’s photographically engaged thousands of strangers. He invites participants to discuss what they see in his photos before revealing back-stories that complicate and challenges perceptions. To aid teachers, he created a simple educational tool – “What Do You See?” – using his photos that are loaded with suggestion yet open to interpretation.

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Pete Hautman

Pete Hautman is the author of more than 30 novels for adult, teen, and middle-grade readers, including the 2004 National Book Award winner Godless and Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner The Big Crunch. He has written three New York Times Notable Books and won four Minnesota Book Awards. His “young adult” novels range from science fiction (The Obsidian Blade) to mystery (Blank Confession) to contemporary drama (Godless) to romantic comedy (What Boys Really Want).

Hautman’s recent books include the middle-grade novels Slider and Otherwood. His latest book, Road Tripped, is a young adult novel to be released in May 2019. With novelist, poet, and occasional co-author Mary Logue, Hautman divides his time between Golden Valley, Minnesota, and Stockholm, Wisconsin.

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Susan Bartlett Foote

Susan Bartlett Foote is a writer, lawyer, historian, and health policy expert. She is professor emerita in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. She was an associate professor at the University of California – Berkeley, Legislative Counsel in the U.S. Senate, and consultant and advisor to government agencies and health organizations. She is widely published in her field of health and technology policy and is the author of Managing the Medical Arms Race: Innovation and Public Policy in the Medical Device Industry and The Crusade for Forgotten Souls: Reforming Minnesota’s Mental Institutions, 1946-1954, winner of a 2019 Minnesota Book Award. Born and raised in San Francisco, she is a 20 year resident of Saint Paul.

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Mary Casanova

Once a can’t-sit-still reader, Mary Casanova now writes stories that matter and books readers can’t put down. She is the author of numerous award-winning books, from picture books (One-Dog Canoe) to books and book-inspired movies for American Girl (Grace); from middle grade adventure novels (Wolf Shadows and The Klipfish Code) as well as historical fiction for teens and adults (Frozen and Ice-Out). Her awards include the ALA “Notable,” Aesop Accolades by the American Folklore Society, Parent’s Choice Gold Award, Booklist Editor’s Choice, and two Minnesota Book Awards. When she’s not traveling for research or speaking, she’s “up north” on the Minnesota-Canadian border with her husband, Charlie, snowshoeing through deep woods, paddling a canoe, riding their horses down old logging trails, or reading a good book.

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Brian Malloy

Brian Malloy’s novels have been a Book Sense pick, a New York Times New and Notable title, and a Booklist editors’ choice. Other honors include a 2019 Minnesota State Arts Board artist initiative grant, a 2009 Minnesota Book Award, and a 2003 American Library Association Alex Award. In 2017 Malloy was awarded the Loft Literary Center’s Excellence in Teaching Fellowship, based exclusively on student evaluations of his classes. His personal essays have appeared in the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology The Man I Might Become and national magazines including Out and The Readerville Journal.

Malloy is an independent teaching artist and has taught extensively through the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA). He also teaches/has taught at the University of Minnesota, Hamline University, Quatrefoil Library, The Loft Literary Center, Emerson College (Boston), Minnesota Correctional Facility – Lino Lakes, JustUs Health, and Our Saviour’s Transitional Housing and Shelter. He has worked with a diverse range of students, including seniors, youth, persons with disabilities, persons with serious illnesses, persons who are homeless, and residents of correctional facilities. Malloy holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota.

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David Mura

David Mura is a poet, memoirist, essayist, novelist, and playwright. He’s written two memoirs, Where the Body Meets Memory and Turning Japanese, which won the Oakland PEN Josephine Miles Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book. His novel, Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire, was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the John Gardner Fiction Prize, and Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award. His four books of poetry include the National Poetry Contest winner After We Lost Our Way, The Colors of Desire, which won a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, Angels for the Burning, and The Last Incantations. His newest book is A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity and Narrative Craft in Writing. In addition to teaching creative writing, he frequently speaks on issues of race and Asian American identity, and contributed an essay to A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota. Mura was awarded the 2019 Kay Sexton Award for contributions to Minnesota’s literary community.

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Laurie Hertzel

Laurie Hertzel is the senior editor for books at the Star Tribune and the author of the memoir, News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist, winner of a 2011 Minnesota Book Award readers’ choice award. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, teaches memoir writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, and is the President of the National Book Critics Circle board.

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