A list of participating authors, this page is updated frequently, so check back for more exciting additions!
A. H. Jerriod Avant is a native of Longtown, Mississippi. A musician since grade school, he’s played the sousaphone/tuba for 18 years. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Communicative Disorders from Jackson State University in 2007. He’s currently a fourth semester graduate student in the M.F.A.(Master of Fine Arts) Creative Writing program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY where his genre is Poetry. His poems have been published in Carpe Articulum Literary Review, Black Magnolias Literary Journal, PLUCK! Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture, The Louisville Review, anthologized in Accents Publishing’s Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems and are forthcoming in the Prison Industrial Complex Issue of Tidal Basin Review. Just recently, Jerriod was selected to participate in the Callaloo Creative Writing workshop at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Callaloo, Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, is a leading literary journal out of Texas A&M University and is published by John Hopkins University press.
James Bickers has been a familiar voice on Louisville’s public radio airwaves for nearly 20 years, beginning with his literary interview show on WFPL, then afternoon jazz on WFPK, then on to an 8-year stint as the morning drive host on WFPK. He’s currently heard there every Saturday morning from 9 to noon. He is blissfully married with three young kids, and he blogs at jamesbickers.com.
Frank Bill has been published in New Haven Review, Granta, Playboy, Oxford American, FSG Work in Progress, Talking River Review, Plots With Guns, Thuglit, Beat to a Pulp and many other outlets. His first book, Crimes in Southern Indiana, was released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in September 2011 and his first novel, Donnybrook, will be released by FSG in February 2013. More information here.
Martha Bourlakas is a writer, blogger, mother of three girls, wife to an Episcopal priest, baker, Admissions Coordinator at St. Francis School and lover of Mad Men. She writes about disability, spirituality, food and anything else that comes to her rather chaotic mind.
Gwenda Bond‘s debut novel, Blackwood, is a September 2012 launch title for Strange Chemistry, the new YA imprint of Angry Robot Books. She is also a contributing writer for Publishers Weekly and regularly reviews for Locus. Her nonfiction work has appeared in the Washington Post, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among others, and she guest-edited a special YA issue for Subterranean Online. She holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ program in writing for children and young adults. But readers of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet may know her best as everyone’s Dear Aunt Gwenda. She lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, author Christopher Rowe, and their menagerie. You can find her online at her website or on twitter (@gwenda).
Kelly Creagh is the author of Nevermore and Enshadowed, the first two novels in a paranormal romance trilogy about a cheerleader, a goth boy and the strange and unexplained death of Edgar Allan Poe. In 2008, Kelly graduated from Spalding University’s MFA in Writing program. Kelly currently resides in Old Louisville with her three squirrely, attitude-infused dogs. When not writing, Kelly can be found instructing and performing the ancient art of bellydance. You can visit her online here.
Adriena Dame, author of The Moo: Stories and a Novella (ShadowPrint 2012), was raised on the coattails of her father’s Army dress blues and BDUs; her mother’s canvases, paints, and macramé; and countless airways, highways, and new ways of experiencing the world. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry appear in The Written Word, Women. Period., Tae Kwon Do Times, Bleach, Calypso, and others. She publishes a literary journal titled 94 Creations, contributes to the editorial process of Tidal Basin Review, has worked as the assistant managing editor for The Louisville Review and Fleur-de-Lis Press, and is a graduate of Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she is a college professor, a board member for The Kentucky Foundation for Women, and founder of 94 Creations Studios, where she creates one-of-a-kind mixed-media jewelry art and leads dynamic creative writing explorations. Read more about her at: http://www.adrienadame.com.
Sonja de Vries is a Kentucky born writer, filmmaker and social justice activist. She was raised in the Netherlands and Spain, worked as a journalist in Cuba and finally settled back home in Louisville. De Vries facilitates poetry and creative writing workshops as well as teaching ongoing classes at various Louisville institutions. De Vries’s book Planting A Garden In Baghdad was published by Finishing Line Press, February of 2011. Her award winning documentaries include “Gay Cuba”, “Out: The Making of a Revolutionary” and “Refuseniks” and she is currently working on a trilogy of poetry videos based on poems about Palestine. De Vries hosts a weekly literary radio show called “Ignite the Ink” which can be found on Crescenthillradio.com and is a board member of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. She graduated from Spalding’s MFA program in November of 2009.
Matt Dobson is an artist and designer on a mission to make the world (or at least Louisville) a more beautiful place. He is currently the creative director of The Louisville Paper, president of the Louisville Graphic Design Association (LGDA), and holds down a day job at Power Creative. He has a beautiful wife, an amazing daughter, a stinky dog, and an ungrateful cat. He would love to make something beautiful for you.
Kathleen Driskell’s book of poems Seed Across Snow was listed as a national bestseller by the Poetry Foundation. Her most recent publication is Peck and Pock: A Graphic Poem. Her poems have appeared in many nationally known literary journals including Poems and Plays, the Southern Review, and Rattle. Kathleen is an Al Smith Fellow of the Kentucky Arts Council. She teaches creative writing and helps direct the brief-residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville.
Lynnell Edwards is the author of three full length collections of poetry: The Farmer’s Daughter (2003), The Highwayman’s Wife (2007) and most recently, Covet (2011) all from Red Hen Press. Her short fiction and book reviews have appeared nationally in such journals as New Madrid, Connecticut Review, and Pleiades. She is Associate Professor of English at Spalding University and is president of Louisville Literary Arts which sponsors the InKY Reading Series and The Writer’s Block Festival. More information and new work at: http://lynnelledwards.com
Angela Elson is almost finished (seriously this time) with a memoir about the three years she spent teaching English, falling in love, and making an ass out of herself in Osaka, Japan—the bulk of which she completed in Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. She has an essay in Oil and Water…And Other Things That Don’t Mix, a charity anthology from LL Publications benefitting the cleanup of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and has also been featured on DrinkingDiaries.com.
Tony Fasciano is a writer and artist who lives in Tampa, Florida. He is the creator and founding editor of Digital Americana Magazine, the first literary magazine made for the iPad. His writing has appeared in Book: The Sequel (2009) from Perseus Book Groups among others, including a chapbook published by CorrereVerde (2003). In a past life he was a filmmaker whose short documentary appeared in the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. He will complete his MFA in creative writing this May from Queens University of Charlotte. His first graphic novel, The Technicolor Patient, is forthcoming from Lionslip Publishers. He hopes to one day have time to write.
Liz Fentress is an award-winning playwright, director, and actor. In Louisville, she acts for Stage One and is a teaching artist for ATL. Liz also conducts playwriting workshops for the University of Wisconsin. Most recently Liz’s play Strike Zone premiered at The Bard’s Town Theatre. The Honey Harvest, which premiered at Kentucky Repertory Theatre, won the North American Actors Association Playwriting Competition and was staged in London’s West End. KET’s production of Liz’s Circus Story, which Liz wrote and performs, won the National Educational Television Association award for Best Dramatic Narrative. Liz worked at Horse Cave Theatre for 13 seasons as a director and actor. While there she coordinated the Kentucky Voices new play program and was the editor of World Premieres from Horse Cave Theatre. Prior to Horse Cave, Liz was the director of the Playhouse in the Park in Murray, where she founded the West Kentucky Playwrights. Visit Liz’s website at www.lizfentress.net
John Gamel’s journey as a writer began in 1962, when he left Selma, Alabama, for Harvard. Here he suffered an attack of hypochondria so severe, it cast a suffocating pall over his life. To chase down his fear of illness, he spent nine years at Stanford as a medical student, intern, and resident in ophthalmology. The life-and-death struggles of his patients soon drove his own fears into hidden regions from which they seldom emerged. During his three decades at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, he performed 15,000 surgeries on patients with a variety of eye diseases. His work entitled “The Elegant Eyeball” was included in Best American Essays 2010. Now his experiences have been melded into The Man Who Lived in an Eggcup: A Memoir of Triumph and Self-Destruction, which moves from the foibles of his youth to the more nuanced foibles of his later years in medicine.
Kirby Gann is the author of the novels Ghosting, The Barbarian Parade, and Our Napoleon in Rags. He is also co-editor (with poet Kristin Herbert) of the anthology A Fine Excess: Contemporary Literature at Play, which was a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (Anthologies). His work has appeared most recently in The Lumberyard and The Oxford American, among other journals. He is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship and two Professional Assistance Awards from the Kentucky Arts Council, and an Honorable Mention in The Pushcart Prize Anthology. Gann is Managing Editor at Sarabande Books, and teaches in the brief-residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University.
Martha Greenwald is the author of Other Prohibited Items, which won the Mississippi Review Prize for Poetry in 2010. Her poems have appeared in many journals including Poetry, Best New Poets 2008, MARGIE, Slate, the Threepenny Review, the Sycamore Review and Shenandoah. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in creative writing at Stanford University and has received fellowships from the arts councils of North Carolina and Kentucky. Martha taught creative writing and literature for over ten years at the University of Louisville, and is now an instructor in the IESL program. More info and links can be found at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/martha-greenwald.
A native of Lebanon, Kentucky, Jim Higdon is a graduate of Marion County High School, Centre College, the Brown University creative writing department and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The Cornbread Mafia is his first book; he began working on it in January 2006, and it was published on April 20, 2012 by Lyons Press. Like the book at Facebook.com/cornbreadmafia or follow him on Twitter @jimhigdon, and if he has his act together by now, you can visit him here.
Donna Ison is a recovering actor turned writer who has published two novels, The Miracle of Myrtle: Saint Gone Wild and Flirtini with Disaster. Her next work, Bourbonista on a Boat: from Glamour Girl to Off-the-Grid, a collection of outrageous essays, will be available next year. She still occasionally relapses and finds herself onstage as one of The Sisters Provocateur whose mission is to prove that poetry doesn’t need be pretentious, brainy doesn’t need be boring, and sexy doesn’t need be skinny. She is the editor of skirt! Magazine Lexington and pens plays for Bluegrass Mystery Theatre and museums around the nation. When not writing, she lounges at the lake with her husband, two dogs, and turtle army; tap dances; and makes sure the Bluegrass State keeps its bourbon up to par. You can read all the intimate details of her lush life in technicolor detail on her Bourbonista Blog. (www.thebourbonista.com).
Matt Jaeger is a writer who lives and works in Paducah, KY. He holds a BA in English Education from the University from Kentucky and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. He is currently working on two manuscripts: a collection of stories entitled The Care Takers and a YA novel entitled The Creation of Lilith Pomegranate. He hopes, one day soon, these books will be “forthcoming,” rather than “works in progress.” When not writing, Matt enjoys playing guitar and tasting bourbon.
Katrina Kittle is the author of four books for adults—Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, The Kindness of Strangers, and The Blessings of the Animals. Her first tween novel, Reasons to Be Happy, was published in 2011. The Kindness of Strangers was the winner of the 2006 Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction. The Blessings of the Animals was an Indie Next pick (August 2010), a Midwest Connections pick (September 2010), and chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as one of ten Great Group Reads for National Book Group Month (October 2010). Katrina teaches creative writing workshops from the third grade to retirement communities, and is thrilled to be teaching Writing the Socially Conscious Novel for Wright State University in Dayton, OH, this fall. Katrina is a runner, a gardener, and a caffeine and movie addict. You can find out more about Katrina and her books at www.katrinakittle.com
Maurice Manning was a Guggenheim fellow for 2011-2012. His fourth book of poetry, The Common Man, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. Manning teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and at Transylvania University in Lexington. Most recently Manning received the Lee Smith Award from Lincoln Memorial University. He lives in Kentucky.
Chris Mattingly is the author of the chapbooks Ad Hoc and A Light for Your Beacon (translations of Anglo-Saxon riddles) both from Q Avenue Press. Typecast Publishing will issue his first full-length collection of poems, Scuffletown, in February 2013. His poems have lately appeared in River Styx, Lumberyard, Still, Louisville Review, Sawmill, and Forklift,OHIO. Equally important, Chris cultivates a great big vegetable garden, plays the fretless banjo, and is the eighth generation Mattingly to live in Kentucky. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Spalding University and lives in southeast Georgia where he teaches at East Georgia State College.
Amy M. Miller is an MFA student at Spalding University in Louisville, KY where she lives with her husband and two children. She is also a writing instructor at the University of Louisville and a contributing writer for The Paper. Her essays have appeared in offbeatmama.com, Under The Gum Tree, Skirt! Magazine, Underwired Magazine, and mamazine.com. You can read more of her writing about parenting with ADD at her blog ADDled (addledmother.blogspot.com).
Anis Mojgani is a two time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam. A National Book Award Nominee and former resident of the Oregon Literary Arts Writers-In-The-Schools program, Anis has performed at numerous universities, festivals, and venues around the globe. He has performed for audiences as varied as the House of Blues, the United Nations, and TEDx and his work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in the pages of such journals as Rattle, Used Furniture, and The Lumberyard. A founding member of the touring Poetry Revival, Anis is also the author of two poetry collections, both published by Write Bloody Publishing: Over the Anvil We Stretch (2008) and The Feather Room (2011). Originally from New Orleans, he currently lives in Austin, TX, in a little house with his wife.
Robin Lee Mozer loves the Red Sox, tiramisu, and the number 12. She hates LeSueur peas, motorcycles that sound like weed whackers, and men with insincere hair. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Penn State and teaches about writing and reading at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, where she lives with her husband and daughter. You can find her most recent essays online in Booth, [PANK], and 300 Reviews.
Sena Jeter Naslund‘s most recent novel Adam & Eve is set in the future, in 2020, after culture-shaking discoveries have been made about the universe. She is also the author of other national bestselling, critically acclaimed books including Ahab’s Wife; Abundance, a Novel of Marie-Antoinette; Four Spirits; Sherlock in Love. She is Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville and Program Director the Spalding University brief-residency MFA in Writing. Her work has been translated into German, Japanese, Spanish, Hebrew, Danish, Polish, Korean, and Greek.
For the past ten years, Mary Lou Northern served as a senior advisor to two mayors in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. In 2011 she received her MFA in Writing from Spalding University. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville. Her fiction has appeared in Redbook and Australian Good Housekeeping. Three of her plays have been produced, including by Stage One. She was commissioned to write a play by Actors Theater of Louisville. Her nonfiction, essays, poetry and reviews have appeared in over 20 publications, including High Roads Folio, Horizon, Orion, and Sustain. She coauthored two local interest books. Mary Lou received a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council and was named a Summer Literary Fellow/Montreal 2009 and 2010. She also received a fellowship from the Mary Anderson Center.
Elizabeth Orrick graduated from the University of Louisville and now works in litigation. Elizabeth writes for Louisville.com and runs epicuriouslouisville.tumblr.com. She is a big fan of bacon, bourbon, and deep fried anything.
M. Bartley Seigel is the founding editor of the critically acclaimed literary magazine [PANK]. He lives, writes, and teaches in Houghton, Michigan, where he is assistant professor of creative writing and diverse literatures at Michigan Technological University. His first collection of poetry, This Is What They Say, was released in fall 2012 from Typecast Publishing.
Graham Shelby is an award-winning writer and public radio journalist whose interview subjects have included Garrison Keillor, Molly Ivins and Wendell Berry. A graduate of the Spalding University MFA program, Graham’s essays has appeared in the Courier-Journal, Lexington Herald-Leader and Louisville Review among others, and his radio work has been broadcast nationwide on NPR and worldwide on the Voice of America network.
Frederick Smock is Associate Professor of English at Bellarmine University, where he received the 2005 Wyatt Faculty Award. He has recently completed a memoir about his life as a poet. His poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, The Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, and many others. He has published four books of poems with Larkspur Press. His nonfiction books include Pax Intrantibus: A Meditation on the Poetry of Thomas Merton; Poetry & Compassion: Essays on Art & Craft; and Craft-talk: On Writing Poetry.
Jen Woods is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the independent publishing house Typecast Publishing. Based out of Louisville, KY, Typecast produces books and magazines of poetry and prose using the highest design and production techniques ranging from artisanal letterpress to cutting-edge digital formats, including The Lumberyard magazine, an award-winning twice-yearly collaboration with the design studio The Firecracker Press. www.typecastpublishing.com
If you have any questions about joining our list of sponsors for Louisville’s signature festival of the literary arts or about how to get involved, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.