Authors at Rain Taxi's Twin Cities Book Festival appear in a variety of formats: on stages giving talks or readings, at book signings and mingles, in the Poetry Bus, at exhibitor tables, and more. Below see a list of Presenting Authors for 2019, with more information coming soon.
Kimberly Blaeser teaches Creative Writing and Native American Literatures at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Apprenticed to Justice, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Trailing You. Blaeser is Anishinaabe, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, and grew up on the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. She is the editor of Stories Migrating Home: A Collection of Anishinaabe Prose and Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry. Visit her online at kblaeser.org.
Copper Yearning (Holy Cow! Press)
Kimberly Blaeser’s fourth collection of poetry, Copper Yearning, deftly reflects her Indigenous perspective and a global awareness. The book invests itself in a compassionate dual vision―bearing witness to the lush beauty of our intricately woven environments and to the historical and contemporary perils that threaten them. Through vividly rendered images, the poems dwell among watery geographies, alive to each natural nuance and to the uncanny.
Linda Boström Knausgård
Linda Boström Knausgård hails from Sweden, where she is an author and poet, as well as a producer of documentaries for Swedish radio. Her first novel, The Helios Disaster, was awarded the Mare Kandre Prize and shortlisted for the Swedish Radio Novel Award 2014. Welcome to America, her second novel, has been awarded the prestigious Swedish August Prize and nominated for the Svenska Dagbladet Literary Prize.
Welcome to America (World Editions)
Ellen has stopped talking. She thinks she may have killed her dad. Her brother’s barricaded himself in his room. Their mother, a successful actress, carries on as normal. “We’re a family of light!” she insists. But darkness seeps in everywhere and in their separate worlds each of them longs for togetherness. A short but powerful novel by a leading Swedish writer, Welcome to America is a dark portrait of a sensitive, strong-willed child in the throes of trauma, and a family on the brink of disaster.
Metropolitan Stories: A Novel (Other Press)
Coulson’s enchanting debut novel is a love letter to the Met, an ode to lives lived for art and the golden age of a museum culture that today, through loss and inevitable change, is at risk of vanishing. Metropolitan Stories weaves magical realism to expose the inner workings that undergird this legendary institution. Kernels of truth radiate from the heart of many of the chapters—people, places, rituals, events—which are then fused with Coulson's imagination and shaped into indelible vignettes.
Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio before writing his bestselling debut novel Peace Like a River, which won the Independent Publisher Book Award and was one of Los Angeles Times and Time Magazine’s Best Books of the Year. His second novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, was also a national bestseller and a Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award Honor Book for Fiction. He and his wife Robin live in Minnesota.
Virgil Wander (Grove Press)
With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Leif Enger conjures a remarkable portrait the inhabitants of a Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often-overlooked American Upper Midwest by a “formidably gifted” (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller.
Lewis Hyde is a poet, an essayist, a translator, and a cultural critic. He is the author of Common as Air, Trickster Makes This World, and The Gift, as well as a book of poems, This Error Is the Sign of Love. Hyde has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the MacArthur Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a trustee of the MacDowell Colony and a founding trustee of the Creative Capital Foundation. Visit him online at lewishyde.com.
A Primer for Forgetting
Getting Past the Past
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Author of the contemporary classic The Gift, Lewis Hyde forges in his latest work a new vision of forgetfulness by assembling fragments of art and writing from the ancient world to the modern, weighing the potential boons forgetfulness might offer the present moment as a creative and political force. It also turns inward, using the author’s own life and memory as a canvas upon which to extol the virtues of a concept too long taken as an evil.
Christopher Ingraham writes about all things data, with a particular interest in wealth, happiness and inequality. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center. He recently uprooted his life and moved his family to Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, population 1,400—the community he made famous as “the worst place to live in America” in a story he wrote for the Washington Post.
If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now
Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie
In this hilarious, charming, and candid memoir, Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham tells the story of how he made a Minnesota town famous as “the worst place to live in America”—and then decided to move there. If You Lived Here You’d Be Home by Now is the story of making a decision that turns all your preconceptions—good and bad—on their heads.
Andrew Kaufman lives and writes in Toronto. He was born in Wingham, Ontario, making him the second-most-famous Canadian writer to come from Wingham (after Alice Munro, of course). He is the author of the international bestseller All My Friends are Superheroes, as well as The Waterproof Bible, the ReLit Award-winner The Tiny Wife, and Born Weird, which was named a Best Book of the Year by The Globe and Mail and was shortlisted for the Leacock Award for humor.
The Ticking Heart (Coach House Books)
A journey through grief in an enchanting imaginary world, The Ticking Heart is part modern fable and part detective novel. One cold winter night, Charlie shares a cab with a stranger in a purple hat. As they talk, a cloud of purple smoke overwhelms him and he wakes up to find himself behind the only desk in the Epiphany Detective Agency. Charlie, as it turns out, is trapped in Metaphoria, an otherworldly place that reality has forgotten, a place where everything means something else.
Douglas Kearney is a poet, performer, and librettist who has published six books that bridge thematic concerns such as politics, African-American culture, masks, the Trickster figure, and contemporary music. His previous book, Buck Studies, was awarded the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, and the silver medal for the California Book Award. He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, was named a Notable New American Poet by the Poetry Society of America, and has been awarded fellowships from Cave Canem and The Rauschenberg Foundation. His work has appeared in Poetry, Iowa Review, Boston Review, and in anthologies, including Best American Poetry, Best American Experimental Writing, Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Poets in America. Raised in Altadena, CA, he now lives with his family in St. Paul and teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota. Visit him online at https://douglaskearney.com/.
More details to come about this new work by a master poet!
Martin Keller & Greg Helgeson
Greg Helgeson (left), an expert with Canon and Leica cameras, has fervently documented some of the most renowned artists and public figures in a variety of disciplines, from international superstars to local legends. His work has appeared in a range of periodicals, including Rolling Stone, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Village Voice, Du Monde (Paris), Mojo (England), Star Tribune, City Pages, and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, as well as in numerous books and on album covers.
Martin Keller (right) is a professional journalist, author, screenwriter, pop culture critic, editor, and columnist. For the past 25 years, he has served as a veteran public relations specialist. Keller covered the arts, business, and cultural affairs for several Twin Cities publications, including Minnesota Monthly, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Star Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press, City Pages, and Twin Cities Reader, and his work has appeared in such national publications as Rolling Stone, Billboard, Utne Reader, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. He is the author of Music Legends: A Rewind on the Minnesota Music Scene and Storms: Tales of Extreme Weather Events in Minnesota.
Hijinx and Hearsay
Scenester Stories from Minnesota's Pop Life
(Minnesota Historical Society Press)
In the summer of 1979, two young guys were thrown together on a new music monthly ignobly called Sweet Potato. Over the next several years, the two chronicled the Minneapolis scene and the cultural landscape of the Twin Cities, covering big names in pop culture of the past forty years, including Paul McCartney, Bob Marley, William Burroughs, U2, Jerry Seinfeld, and James Brown, and local greats Dylan, Louie Anderson, Prince, and Hüsker Dü. Keller and Helgeson offer a fun and fresh perspective through Helgeson's photography (much of it never seen before) and new stories and insights by Keller that shed fascinating light on a singular, influential era in popular culture in Minnesota.
William Kent Krueger
William Kent Krueger is the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary Grace, winner of the Edgar Award for best novel, as well as eighteen Cork O’Connor novels, including Desolation Mountain and Sulfur Springs. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, he is a longtime resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, a city he dearly loves. Visit him at WilliamKentKrueger.com.
This Tender Land (Atria)
Over the course of one unforgettable summer of 1923 in Minnesota, four orphans journey into the unknown, crossing paths with others who are adrift—from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an enthralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.
Tim Mason is a playwright whose work has enjoyed numerous productions in New York and California. Among the awards he has received are a Kennedy Center Award, the Hollywood Drama-Logue Award, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Rockefeller Foundation grant. In addition to his dramatic plays, he wrote the book for Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, and is the author of the young adult novel The Last Synapsid; The Darwin Affair is his first adult novel. Visit him online at timmasonauthor.com
The Darwin Affair (Algonquin Books)
A brilliant convergence of fiction and fact set in Victorian-era London, and featuring a host of familiar figures, The Darwin Affair follows Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field’s investigation of murders he believes are connected to Queen Victoria’s nomination of Darwin for knighthood. Field chases a serial killer known as “the Chorister” through England, stonewalled by further bloodshed, kidnapping, and arson. His investigation exhumes secrets and conspiracies that were meant to stay buried, threatening those at the height of power.
Bob Mehr is the author of the New York Times best seller Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements. An NPR, Amazon, and Rolling Stone book of the year, it was also named one of Billboard’s “100 Greatest Music Books of All Time.” An award-winning journalist and critic, Mehr’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Billboard, and MOJO magazine. He also produced The Replacements’ archival projects, Live at Maxwell’s 1986 and the new box set, Dead Man’s Pop. Learn more here.
The True Story of the Replacements
(Da Capo Press)
Based on a decade of research and reporting—as well as access to the Replacements' key principals, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson—author Bob Mehr has fashioned something far more compelling than a conventional band bio. Trouble Boys is a deeply intimate portrait, revealing the primal factors and forces that shaped one of the most brilliant and notoriously self-destructive rock 'n' roll bands of all time.
Carley Moore is an essayist, novelist, and poet. She is the author of two books, the essay collection 16 Pills (Tinderbox Editions, 2018) and the young adult novel The Stalker Chronicles (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012). A resident of New York City, Moore is a professor at New York University and a senior associate at Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking. Visit her online at carleymoore.com.
The Not Wives(The Feminist Press)
Against the backdrop of Occupy Wall Street in 2011, three women’s lives become intertwined after the tragic suicide of a young student who jumps to her death. A tale of sex, love, and political awakening for the twenty-first century, Carley Moore’s sweeping novel considers how our most intimate relationships—between lovers, family, and friends—are shaped by our changing perceptions of the world around us. In an era of protest and resistance, The Not Wives recounts again how the personal is always political.
Kent Nerburn, a two-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award, is the author of many books on spirituality and Native American themes, including Dancing with the Gods, The Wolf at Twilight, and The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo. His landmark book Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder has just been released in a 25th anniversary edition with a foreword by Robert Plant. After 25 years in the woods and lake country of northern Minnesota, he now lives outside of Portland, Oregon. Visit him at kentnerburn.com.
Neither Wolf Nor Dog
(New World Library)
Against an unflinching backdrop of 1990s reservation life and the majestic spaces of the western Dakotas, Neither Wolf nor Dog tells the story of two men, one white and one Indian, locked in their own understandings yet struggling to find a common voice. In this award-winning book, acclaimed author Kent Nerburn draws us deep into the world of a Native American elder named Dan, who leads Kent through Indian towns and down forgotten roads that swirl with the memories of the Ghost Dance and Sitting Bull. Neither Wolf nor Dog takes us past the myths and stereotypes of the Native American experience, revealing an America few ever see.
Patrice Nganang was born in Cameroon and is a novelist, a poet, and an essayist. He is the author of eight books, including the novel Dog Days (which received the Prix Marguerite Yourcenar and the Grand Prix littéraire d’Afrique noire) and Mount Pleasant, the first in a magisterial trilogy about Cameroon. In 2017, he was imprisoned in Cameroon following the publication of an article critical of government repression. He teaches comparative literature at Stony Brook University. Visit him at nganang.com.
When the Plums Are Ripe
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
In this novel of radiant lyricism, Patrice Nganang recounts the story of Cameroon’s forced entry into World War II, and in the process complicates our own understanding of that globe-spanning conflict. Grounding his tale in the story of the poet Pouka, Nganang questions the colonial record and re-centers African perspectives at the heart of Cameroon’s history, all while writing with wit and panache. When the Plums Are Ripe is a brilliantly crafted, politically charged epic that challenges not only the legacies of colonialism but the intersections of language, authority, and history itself.
Sheila O’Connor is a multi-genre writer whose books include novels for adults and young people. Her work has been honored with the Minnesota Book Award, International Reading Award, and Midwest Booksellers Award, among others. O’Connor received her MFA in Poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her work across genres has been recognized with the Loft Literary Center’s McKnight Fellowship, two Bush Artist Fellowships, and several grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is a professor in the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she serves as fiction editor for Water~Stone Review. Visit her online at sheilaoconnor.com.
Evidence of V
A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions
(Rose Metal Press)
In an ambitious blend of fact and fiction, including family secrets, documents from the era, and a thin, fragmentary case file unsealed by the court, Sheila O’Connor tells the riveting story of V, a talented fifteen-year-old singer in 1930s Minneapolis who aspires to be a star. Drawing on the little-known American practice of incarcerating adolescent girls for “immorality” in the first half of the twentieth century, O’Connor follows young V from her early work as a nightclub entertainer to her subsequent six-year state school sentence for an unplanned pregnancy.
Ben Percy is the author of four novels, most recently The Dark Net, as well as two books of short stories, the essay collection Thrill Me, and numerous comics, including celebrated runs on Wolverine, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Teen Titans, and James Bond. His honors include a fellowship from the NEA, the Whiting Writers’ Award, two Pushcart Prizes, the Plimpton Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics. He lives in Minnesota. Visit him online at benjaminpercy.com.
Suicide Woods(Graywolf Press)
A boy in his uncle’s care falls through the ice on a pond and emerges in a frozen, uncanny state. A group of people in therapy for suicidal ideation undergoes a drastic session in the woods with fatal consequences. A body found on a train and a blood-soaked carpet in an empty house are clues to a puzzling crime in a small town. In story after story, which have appeared in magazines ranging from the Virginia Quarterly Review and Orion Magazine to McSweeney’s and
Ploughshares, Percy delivers haunting and chilling narratives that will have readers hanging on every word. Suicide Woods is a dark, inventive collection that is also a master class in suspense and horror.
Marcie Rendon, enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, is a playwright, poet, and freelance writer. She has published four nonfiction children’s books; her debut novel for adults was Murder on the Red River. Rendon is a community arts activist who supports other native artists/writers/creators to pursue their art. She is the creative mind behind Raving Native Theater, and other performance projects, and was a recipient of the Loft’s Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship in 2016. Visit her online at marcierendon.com.
Girl Gone Missing(Cinco Puntos Press)
Rendon returns to the young protagonist of her previous work, the 19-year-old Ojibwe woman Cash Blackbear. A Fargo native, Cash has one friend, the sheriff Wheaton, who pulled her from her mother’s wrecked car when she was three. Now in college at Moorhead State, she gets an education all right: sees that people talk a lot but mostly about nothing, not like the men in the fields she’s known all her life who hold the rich topsoil in their hands, talk fertilizer and weather and prices on the Grain Exchange. In between classes and hauling beets, drinking beer and shooting pool, a man who claims he’s her brother shows up, and she begins to dream the Cities and blonde Scandinavian girls calling for help.
Aarti Namdev Shahani
Aarti Namdev Shahani is a correspondent for NPR based in Silicon Valley, covering the largest companies on earth. Her reporting has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award. Before journalism, Shahani was a community organizer in New York City, helping prisoners and families facing deportation. She received a Master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and was among the youngest recipients of the Charles H. Revson Fellowship at Columbia University. Shahani grew up in Flushing, Queens—in one of the most diverse zip codes in the country—and believes every American should visit her hometown to understand what makes America great.
Here We Are
American Dreams, American Nightmares
In this riveting memoir, NPR correspondent Aarti Shahani uses her family’s immigration story to unpack the deep schism in American culture by which the “deserving” are deified and the “undeserving” demonized—in her family’s case, relentlessly.
Three New Works of Collage:
David Shields is the internationally best-selling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Other People: Takes & Mistakes (NYTBR Editors' Choice selection). A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and a senior contributing editor of Conjunctions, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Esquire, Yale Review, Salon, Slate, McSweeney's, and Believer. His work has been translated into two dozen languages. Visit him online at davidshields.com.
The Trouble with Men
Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power
(Mad Creek Books)
Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump
(Thought Catalog Books)
Lynch: A History (Smokie Films)
Exquisitely balanced between the personal and the anthropological, nakedness and restraint, The Trouble with Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power is an immersion into the perils, limits, and possibilities of human intimacy. Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention is perhaps the only genuinely original thing you have read yet about Donald Trump, and it can be read in a variety of ways: as a psychological investigation, as a philosophical meditation on the relationship between language and power, and above all as a dagger into the rhetoric of American political discourse. And Lynch: A History, a new film by Shields, explores the silence that nonconformist NFL star Marshawn Lynch deploys as a form of resistance; culling more than 700 video clips and placing them in dramatic, rapid, and radical juxtaposition, the film is a powerful political parable about the American media-sports complex and its deep complicity with racial oppression.
Susan Straight has published eight novels, including Highwire Moon, Between Heaven and Here, and A Million Nightingales. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award among others, and is the recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement from the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Edgar Award for Best Short Story, the O. Henry Prize, the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her stories and essays have been published everywhere from The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Harper’s to Granta, McSweeney’s, and Black Clock. She was born in Riverside, California, where she lives with her family and is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California. Visit her online at susanstraight.com.
In the Country of Women (Catapult)
Both a valuable social history and a personal narrative, In the Country of Women reads like a love song to America and indomitable women. The renowned novelist Susan Straight here relates her discovery about her African American in-laws and the women who endured and escaped from racial and domestic violence, reflecting all the while on the hardship and resilience of women in her own family.
Janaka Stucky is a mystic poet, performer, and founding editor of the award-winning press Black Ocean. In 2015, Jack White’s Third Man Records launched their publishing imprint Third Man Books, and chose Stucky’s full-length poetry collection, The Truth Is We Are Perfect, as their inaugural title. Other books include Your Name Is The Only Freedom and The World Will Deny It For You. A two-time National Haiku Champion, Stucky has published poems in such journals as Denver Quarterly, Fence, and North American Review. Visit him online at janakastucky.com.
Ascend Ascend(Third Man Books)
Written over the course of twenty days coming in and out of trance states while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church, Stucky’s new collection Ascend Ascend is rooted in the Jewish mystical tradition of Hekhalot literature, which chronicles an ascent up the Kabbalistic Tree of Life to witness the “chariot of God.” Equal parts Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” this long poem documents the ecstatic destruction of the self through its union with the divine.
Faith Sullivan was born and raised in southern Minnesota. Married to drama critic Dan Sullivan, she lived twenty-some years in New York and Los Angeles, returning to Minnesota often to keep her roots planted in the prairie. She is the author of numerous books, including Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse (2015), Gardenias (2005), The Empress of One (1997), and The Cape Ann (1988). A “demon gardener, flea marketer, and feeder of birds,” Sullivan lives in Minneapolis with her husband.
Ruby & Roland(Milkweed Editions)
Growing up in early twentieth-century Illinois, Ruby Drake is a happy child. But one winter’s night, her beloved parents perish in an accident―and suddenly Ruby finds herself penniless and nearly alone in the world. Her new path eventually takes her to Harvester, where she is lucky enough to find work on the welcoming Schoonover farm. Kind Emma, forward-thinking Henry, and their hired men soon become a second family to the orphaned teenager. Jane Eyre set in Faith Sullivan’s “reliably inviting world” (Wall Street Journal), Ruby & Roland is a story of relationships―friendship, romance, and the families we are born with and create―and of one woman’s journey of selfhood on the prairie.
Teen, Tween, and Children's Authors
Rebecca K.S. Ansari
Rebecca K.S. Ansari lives in a very loud house in Minneapolis with her husband, their four boys and two huge dogs. After twelve years as an ER doctor, she shelved her scrubs to write magical and mysterious worlds for middle grade readers. When she isn't writing, you can find her joyously skiing or biking, begrudgingly running, or escaping "up north" with family, friends and a stack of good books. The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly is her first novel.
middle grade author
The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly
(Walden Pond Books)
Plot turns abound, both delightful and heartbreaking, in this story of Charlie O'Reilly, who wished away his little brother the night before his birthday. Now Liam is gone and no one, including his parents, believe Liam ever existed. Every trace of Liam is gone, and Charlie's insistence that he was real has caused hardship throughout his family. His only solace is his friend Ana, who vows to help him find Liam, even though she can't remember him either.
Julie Berry is author of the 2017 Printz Honor Book The Passion of Dolssa, set in medieval France; the Carnegie Medal and Edgar Award shortlisted novel All the Truth That’s in Me; humorous middle-grade novels, including The Emperor’s Ostrich and The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place; and the picture books Long Ago, On a Silent Night and Don’t Let the Beasties Escape This Book. Visit her online at julieberrybooks.com.
Young adult author
Lovely War(Viking Books for Young Readers)
A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it's no match for the transcendent power of Love.
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 has been adapted into a feature film; he is also the author of the critically acclaimed YA novel Things I’m Seeing Without You. Peter teaches creative writing at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Visit him at peterbognanni.com.
Young adult author
This Book is Not Yet Rated (Dial Books)
This Book Is Not Yet Rated is about growing up, letting go, and realizing love hides in plain view—in the places that shape us, the people who raise us, the first loves who leave us, and the lives that fade in and fade out all around us.
Marlene Targ Brill
Marlene Targ Brill is an award-winning author of 72 books for readers of all ages. Much of her writing is nonfiction, but she also writes historical fiction novels for younger readers. Through her books, she hopes to write more girls and women into history, empower young people, and lessen bullying and encourage peaceful interactions by providing information from history and about different types of people. Visit her at marlenetargbrill.com.
Middle Grade Author
(Golden Alley Press)
Picture Girl is an historical story about a real 12-year-old girl who saved her family from deportation and certain death in 1920 with her art talent.
Dolores Huerta Stands Strong
(Ohio University Press)
Dolores Huerta Stands Strong: The Woman Who Demanded Justice is a biography of the famed cofounder (with Cesar Chavez) of United Farmworkers of America, a social justice activist who has fought for the rights of workers, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ populations. Both books are age-appropriate accounts that will inspire anyone who believes that one person can make a difference.
Abby Cooper is a former teacher and school librarian. Her previous two middle-grade novels are Sticks and Stones and Bubbles. An avid book talker, Abby visits schools around the world in-person and around the globe throughout the year. Abby lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit her online at abbycooperauthor.com.
middle grade author
Friend or Fiction (Charlesbridge)
Stuck in a dead-end town with absolutely zero friends, Jade makes one up. In the pages of her notebook, she writes all about Zoe—the most amazing best friend anyone could dream of. When Jade loses her notebook and an actual girl named Zoe shows up at school, Jade notices the new Zoe has an awful lot in common with her made-up Zoe. But who could pull off something this incredible?
John Coy is the author of young adult novels, the 4 for 4 middle-grade series, and fiction and nonfiction picture books. He has received numerous awards for his work, including a Marion Vannett Ridgway Award for best debut picture book, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, Notable Book for a Global Society, the Burr/Worzalla Award for Distinguished Achievement in Children’s Literature, and the Kerlan Award in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children’s literature. John lives in Minneapolis. Visit him at johncoy.com.
picture book author
My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story
(Minnesota Historical Society Press, ages 4-8)
Written from the perspective of the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River, John Coy’s new book considers the people who lived nearby, the ways they lived, and how the area nearby changed over the past two centuries. Internationally acclaimed artist Gaylord Schanilec created stunning visual images featuring material collected along the riverbank to show the progression of the waterfall—eventually known as St. Anthony Falls—as it moved fifteen miles upriver from present-day St. Paul to its current location in downtown Minneapolis.
On Your Way
(Beaming Books, ages 3-5)
A tender look back at a child's first steps, On Your Way is a celebration of growth, movement, and the importance of slowing down to observe life's milestones both big and small.
Kirstin Cronn-Mills writes fiction and nonfiction for young adults. Three of her books have been Minnesota Book Award finalists, and her second novel, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, won the Stonewall Award from the American Library Association in 2014. Kirstin lives in southern Minnesota with her family. Visit her at kirstincronn-mills.com.
Young Adult Author
Wreck (Sky Pony Press)
Set on the shores of Lake Superior, Wreck follows high school junior Tobin Oliver as she navigates her father’s diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Tobin struggles to find a “normal” life, especially as Steve makes choices about how his own will end, and though she fights hard, Tobin comes to realize that respecting her father’s decision is the ultimate act of love.
Rachel Gold is the award-winning author of five queer and trans young adult novels—including Being Emily, the first young adult novel to tell the story of a trans girl from her perspective. Despite having a B.A. in English and Religious Studies and an MFA in Writing, Rachel is better known as an all-around geek and avid gamer. Visit her at www.rachelgold.com.
young adult Author
In the Silences
In the Silences tells the story of two teens who unravel gender identity and confront racism using their love of comic book superheroes. As Penny Mickelbury writes, “teens gravitate to Rachel Gold’s novels with good reason: she gets them.”
Michael Hall is an award-winning designer whose work has been widely recognized for its simple and engaging approach. He studied biochemistry and psychology at the University of Michigan and worked in biomedical research for several years before becoming a designer. He is the creator of the New York Times–bestselling My Heart Is Like a Zoo and the acclaimed Perfect Square, Cat Tale, and It’s an Orange Aardvark! He is also the creative director of the Hall Kelley design firm. He lives with his family in St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit him at michaelhallstudio.com.
picture book author
Monkey Time (Greenwillow Books, ages 4-8)
Monkey is hanging out in a tree in a tropical rainforest when he is challenged to try to catch a minute. Minutes are quick, minutes are elusive, and monkey just cannot seem to catch one—until 59 minutes have sped past Monkey and finally he is able to capture one! Hooray for Monkey! What will he do with a minute? What are you able to do with a minute?
Kayla Harren graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a BFA in Illustration. Her children’s books include The Boy Who Grew a Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng and Hannah’s Tall Order: An A to Z Sandwich. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her tattoo artist husband and her dog Tina. Visit her at kaylaharren.com.
picture book illustrator
A Boy Like You (Sleeping Bear Press, ages 4-7)
Written by teacher and coach Frank Murphy, A Boy Like You is a loving tribute to all the wonderful ways to be a boy and the most true version of yourself. It expands the definition of what it means to be a boy and a man, making it an important and timely message for all.
Lora Hyler is a resident of Glendale, WI, and a former radio news journalist, community commentator on television, and executive speechwriter. She currently owns Hyler Communications, a public relations and marketing firm founded in 2001. Her goal is for all children to enjoy adventure stories like those she remembers from her own childhood, and to see themselves reflected within the pages of a book.
middle grade author
The Stupendous Adventures of
Mighty Marty Hayes (HenschelHAUS Publishing)
Winner of the Eric Hoffer Book Award, Hyler’s debut middle grade novel features multicultural superheroes working on the new CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology in their advanced seventh grade science classroom. They share a love of spy gadgets. International goons spy on their every move in an attempt to steal their data secrets, leading to a showdown at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
Lana Wood Johnson
Lana Wood Johnson was born and raised in Iowa in the time before the internet, but has spent the rest of her life making up for that. After years working in wireless communication for companies of all sizes, she now works doing the same for a local youth shelter. Lana lives in Minnesota with her husband and their English bulldog. Visit her at lanawoodjohnson.com.
young adult Author
Technically, You Started It (Scholastic)
Told through a series of text messages, this noteworthy new addition to YA literature explores friendship, sexual orientation, mental health, and falling in love in a way that speaks directly to today’s teens.
Katharine McGee is the New York Times bestselling author of the Thousandth Floor trilogy. She studied English and French literature at Princeton University and has an MBA from Stanford. She now lives in Houston with her husband. Visit her online at katharinemcgee.com.
Young Adult Author
(Random House Books for Young Readers)
In this alternate history of America’s inception, George Washington took the crown and thus ushered two and a half centuries of the House of Washington. Now, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha, vying for the crown, and a prince’s heart.
Bethany C. Morrow
Bethany C. Morrow is the author of speculative stories that run the gamut between science fiction and speculative literary fiction. Her debut novel, Mem (Unnamed Press, 2018), was an ABA Indies Introduce and Indies Next pick. Bethany lives in New York. Visit her online at bethanycmorrow.com.
young adult author
Take the Mic (Arthur A. Levine Books)
Bethany C. Morrow edits this powerful collection of short #ownvoices stories featuring literary luminaries and emerging talent such as Newbery-winner Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed, L.D. Lewis, Laura Silverman, Sofia Quintero, Darcie Little Badger, Yamile Saied Mendez, and more. While teens and young adults continue to have conversations around hard-hitting topics such as racism, tolerance, consent, giving voice to feelings with artistic expression, and taking a stand for what’s right, stories about resisting systems of oppression are more important than ever.
Marlena Myles is a Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscokee Creek artist and designer. She has exhibited her work at the Sioux Indian Museum, the Journey Museum, the Heritage Center on the Pine Ridge reservation, All My Relations Gallery, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and more. Marlena uses her art to celebrate her Indigenous culture and language and to help the public understand the significance of Native oral traditions and history. Visit her at marlenamyl.es.
picture book illustrator
Thanku: Poems of Gratitude (Millbrook Press/Lerner Publishing, ages 6-10)
This poetry anthology, edited by Miranda Paul, explores a wide range of ways to be grateful (from gratitude for a puppy to gratitude for family to gratitude for the sky) with poems by a diverse group of contributors, including Joseph Bruchac, Margarita Engle, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Waters, and Jane Yolen.
Bao Phi is an award-winning poet and children’s book author. His stunning debut children’s book, A Different Pond (illustrated by Thi Bui), won a Caldecott Honor, a Charlotte Zolotow Award, an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, an Ezra Jack Keats Honor, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, and numerous other awards and accolades. My Footprints is his second children’s book. Bao is a single co-parent father, an arts administrator, and a book nerd who lives in Minneapolis. Visit him online at baophi.com.
picture book author
My Footprints (Capstone Press, ages 5-9)
Every child feels different in some way, but Thuy feels "double different." She is Vietnamese American and she has two moms. After being bullied at school, Thuy sets on an imaginary exploration of escape, mimicking the footprints of each creature she sees in the snow. She makes her way home to the arms of her moms, where the three of them imagine beautiful and powerful creatures who always have courage—just like Thuy.
Catherine Thimmesh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including Team Moon, winner of the Sibert Medal. Her books have received numerous starred reviews, appeared on best books lists, and won many awards, including the ILA Children's Book Award. She lives in Minnesota with her family. Visit catherinethimmesh.com.
middle grade author
Helping Cubs Return to the Wild
(HMH Books for Young Readers)
From the bestselling author of Girls Think of Everything comes a riveting, timely account of panda conservation efforts in China, perfect for budding environmentalists and activists. Roughly a thousand years ago, an estimated 23,000 pandas roamed wild and free through their native China. But within the past forty years, more than fifty percent of the panda’s already shrinking habitat has been destroyed by humans, leaving the beautiful and beloved animal vulnerable to extinction. Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds—poaching, habitat destruction, pollution, human overpopulation, and global climate change—the panda is making a comeback. How? Come find out.
Dr. Artika R. Tyner is a passionate educator, author, sought after speaker, and advocate for justice. At the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Tyner serves as the Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. She is committed to training students to serve as social engineers who create new inroads to justice and freedom.Visit her online online at artikatyner.com.
middle grade author
Amazing Africa: A to Z (Planting People Growing Justice)
For children and adults alike, Amazing Africa: A to Z takes readers on an exciting, educational, and informative visual journey through the 54 countries of the African continent and includes key facts about a continent that has one of the fastest growing populations in the world.
Mike Wohnoutka is the acclaimed author and illustrator of Dad’s First Day, Croc & Turtle, and Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster, and the illustrator of many books including MOO!, which received two starred reviews and was chosen as an ALA Notable Book and winner of the Minnesota Book Award. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Mike lives with his family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit him online at mikewohnoutka.com.
picture book author
Croc & Turtle Snow Fun!
(Bloomsbury Children's Books, ages 3-6)
It's a wintry day, so Croc and Turtle are ready for snow fun! But Croc likes outside activities and Turtle likes inside activities. What happens when best friends have very different ideas of fun? In this new humorous and heartwarming adventure, Croc and Turtle navigate the ups and downs of friendship.
Kao Kalia Yang
Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American writer and author of the award-winning books The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir and The Song Poet. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, her daughter, and twin sons. This is her first picture book. While her family did not get a chance to know Ruth well, Bob is a beloved friend and neighbor. Visit her online at kaokaliayang.com.
picture book author
A Map Into the World (Carolrhoda Books, ages 5-9)
A heartfelt story of a young girl seeking beauty and connection in a busy world. As the seasons change, so too does a young Hmong girl's world. She moves into a new home with her family and encounters both birth and death. As this curious girl explores life inside her house and beyond, she collects bits of the natural world. But who are her treasures for?
Hours & Location
Saturday, October 12th, 2019
10AM - 5PM