2016 Moderators

Maureen Abood

Maureen Abood is a native of Michigan. After leaving her desk job for culinary school in 2010, she moved to Harbor Springs to launch her award-winning blog and cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen. Maureen writes, teaches, and speaks nationally about Lebanese cuisine, and runs MaureenAboodMarket.com, for exceptional Lebanese ingredients and tools.

Kate Bassett

Kate Bassett is the author of Words and their Meanings, which received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Voices of Youth Advocates Magazine. It was a 2014 IPPY gold medal winner for Young Adult Fiction and is a Young Adult Library Services pick. She is also an award-winning editor of her community newspaper, the Harbor Light Newspaper, and frequent contributor to Traverse Magazine.

Kent Case

Kent Case received his English degree from Salisbury University in Maryland and his MA in Rhetoric from Eastern Michigan University. Kent, along with his wife and three children, have called Northern Michigan home for many years, enjoying the location and, surprisingly, the long winter in which skiing and hiking are favored activities. Kent is a teacher (on hiatus) of AP English Language and Composition as well as AP English Literature and Composition, an AP and SAT reader, and a bookseller.

Michael Delp

Michal Delp is the author of numerous collections of prose and poetry. He is currently co-editor of the award-winning Made in Michigan series from Wayne State University Press. His newest collection of poetry is Lying in the Rivers Dark Bed: The Confluence of the Deadman and the Mad Angler, and he is the editor of the recently released Bob Seger's House and Other Stories, featuring 22 short stories from Michigan's most well-known writers. Delp lives in Interlochen, Michigan.

Elizabeth Fergus-Jean

Elizabeth Fergus-Jean is an interdisciplinary artist, a graduate professor, and occasional writer. She received her PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Cultural Mythology. Elizabeth lectures nationally on creativity, personal myth, and archetypes in media, but is most frequently found working in her studio in Harbor Springs. She has three websites of her artwork: www.memoryboats.com, www.izzefrances.com and www.fergusjean.com.

Peter Ford

Peter Ford was born and raised in Harbor Springs, residing in southern Michigan, Colorado, Montana and Minnesota before recently returning to Harbor Springs with his family. A one-time PhD dropout (English at MSU), he prefers to spend his time outdoors, in the woods or on the water, with his wife and kids, or working with the family business.

Mary Ellen Geist

Mary Ellen Geist was born and raised in the Detroit area and spent her summers on Walloon Lake. She is an award-winning broadcast journalist, author and jazz singer, who worked for ABC News Stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Salt Lake City. She also worked at WCBS 880 in New York, but quit her job to come home to take care of her father who had Alzheimer’s Disease. She wrote a book about her time as a caregiver called Measure of the Heart. She has worked at WPZ Radio, CMU and Interlochen Public Radio, and written articles for Traverse Magazine and MyNorth.com. She began her career as a journalist and singer in Northern Michigan. She is now a journalist in Detroit. Her author website is maryellengeist.com.

Sara Grochowski

Sara Grochowski is the Children's and YA Manager and Buyer at Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Michigan. In her spare time, she regularly blogs about kidlit and YA at The Hiding Spot. You can connect with her via Twitter at @thehidingspot.

Javier Ramirez

Javier Ramirez is one of Chicago’s best known and respected booksellers. With 20 years experience, he has managed a variety of independent bookstores throughout the city and suburbs. He is also the co-founder of Publishing Cocktails, a networking group for Chicago-area publishing professionals. He was named to New City’s Lit 50 2015: Who Really Books in Chicago. He was also nominated by his peers and received a $5,000 holiday bonus from James Patterson.

Peter Olson

Peter Olson is the Vice President of Academic Affairs at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey. He taught English and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan and Hillsdale College, and is also a licensed paramedic and paramedic instructor. He writes poetry and occasional essays, including “Somewhere to the West, Maybe in South Dakota,” collected in Airplane Reading, edited by Christopher Schaberg and Mark Yakich (Zero Books, 2016). He lives in the woods north of Harbor Springs with his wife, Marta.

Daniel Poppick

Daniel Poppick is the author of The Police (Omnidawn, 2017). His work has been recognized with fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he earned his MFA in 2011. His poetry has recently appeared in BOMB Magazine, Granta, The New Republic, The Volta, and Fence. He lives in Brooklyn, where he co-edits the Catenary Press.

Dylan Taylor

A devoted reader and writer, Dylan has worked with local authors, reviewing and editing a wide range of works. He has also served as a judge for the Crooked Tree Young Writers Exposition for several years.

Katherine Taylor

Katherine Taylor is the author of the novels Valley Fever (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2015) and Rules for Saying Goodbye (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2007). Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Elle, Town & Country, ZYZZYVA, The Southwest Review, and Ploughshares, among other publications. She has won a Pushcart Prize and the McGinnis Ritchie Award for Fiction. She has a B.A. from University of Southern California and a master’s degree from Columbia University, where she was a Graduate Writing Fellow. Katherine lives in Los Angeles.

Glen Young

Glen Young teaches full-time at Petoskey High School. He is also a freelance writer, publishing on a wide range of topics in several regional publications. For sixteen years, his "Literate Matters" Column has run in the Petoskey News Review, covering book reviews and author interviews. He lives in Petoskey and Mackinac Island.