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Anne Ursu

Anne Ursu is the author of several middle grade fantasies, including Breadcrumbs, an NPR Backseat Book Club pick, and The Real Boy, which was longlisted for the 2013 National Book Award. She is a recipient of the McKnight Fellowship and teaches at Hamline University’s Masters in Fine Arts in Writing for Children. Ursu lives in Minneapolis with her family and neurotic cats.

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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, Poets.org, 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. 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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Bruce White

Bruce White is a historian and anthropologist who lives in St. Paul. He writes books and articles on early Minnesota and Midwestern history. Through his company Turnstone Historical Research, he consults and does research for Indian tribes and government agencies. He testified in federal court in the landmark 1994 Mille Lacs treaty hunting and fishing rights case and continues to testify in other cases relating to Indian treaties.

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Lori Sturdevant

Lori Sturdevant retired in January 2019 after 43 years at the Star Tribune, 26 of them as an editorial writer and weekly columnist covering state politics and government. She continues as an occasional columnist for that publication. Sturdevant joined the Minneapolis Star Tribune as a summer replacement reporter in 1975, returned as a reporter in 1976, and was lead Capitol reporter and a newsroom assignment editor before joining the editorial staff in 1992.

A native of South Dakota, Sturdevant is a graduate of Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a member of that institution’s Board of Trustees. She has been the author, ghostwriter, or editor of 11 books, including Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement and The Pillsburys of Minnesota. Her latest book, When Republicans Were Progressive by Dave Durenberger, was released in September 2018. She is a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award. She lives in Saint Paul with her husband; they have three grown children.

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Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter is the author of five novels and six books of short stories, including There’s Something I Want You to Do and The Feast of Love, which was a National Book Award finalist and the basis of a movie starring Morgan Freeman. He is also the author of two books on fiction: Burning Down the House and The Art of Subtext. Baxter has taught at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Iowa. He lives in Minneapolis.

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Marion Dane Bauer

Marion Dane Bauer has published over 100 books, ranging from board books and picture books through early readers, both fiction and nonfiction, books on writing, middle-grade, and young-adult novels. She is the editor of the ground-breaking collection of gay-and-lesbian-themed short stories, Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence. She was one of the founders and the first Faculty Chair of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Her novel, On My Honor, was a Newbery Honor book in 1987, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

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Margi Preus

Margi Preus is the author of the Newbery Honor book Heart of a Samurai; the Minnesota Book Award winning West of the Moon; Shadow on the Mountain, a Notable Book for a Global Society, and The Bamboo Sword, which Bookpage called “historical fiction at its best.” Her newest, The Clue in the Trees, is the second in the Enchantment Lake mystery series. Her books have won multiple awards, landed on many “best of” lists, including the New York Times Bestseller list, been honored as ALA/ALSC Notables, selected as an NPR Backseat Book Club pick, chosen for community reads, and translated into many languages.

Preus enjoys traveling, speaking, and visiting schools all over the world. At home in Duluth, she likes to hike, ski, paddle, or sit quietly with a book in her lap.

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Lesley Nneka Arimah

Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up wherever her father was stationed for work, which was sometimes Nigeria, sometimes not. Her work has received grants and awards from Commonwealth Writers, AWP, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and others. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35. Her short story collection What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky was published by Riverhead in April 2017 and won the 2017 Kirkus Prize. She currently lives in Minneapolis.

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