We are currently confirming new presenters for the fall festival.
2016 Presenter Archive
Maureen Abood Cookbooks
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 Young Adult
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.
Bryan Bliss Young Adult
Bryan Bliss is the author of Meet Me Here, No Parking at the End Times, and the forthcoming We'll Fly Away, all with Greenwillow Books. He lives in Minneapolis, MN.
Martha Brockenbrough Children & Young Adult
Martha Brockenbrough is the author of The Game of Love and Death, which was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and a winner of the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Prize, among other honors. She founded National Grammar Day, wrote game questions for Trivial Pursuit and Cranium, and is a former teacher, journalist, and editor of MSN.com.
Nickolas Butler Novels & Short Stories
Nickolas Butler is internationally bestselling and prize winning author of the novel Shotgun Lovesongs and the short story collection Beneath the Bonfire. His third book, The Hearts of Men, will be published in early 2017 by Ecco. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and two children.
Diane Cook Short Stories
Diane Cook is the author of the story collection Man V. Nature, and was formerly a producer for the radio show, This American Life. Man V. Nature was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, Believer Book Award and the LA Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Diane is the recipient of a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Elle Cosimano Young Adult
Elle Cosimano set aside a successful real estate career to pursue writing. Her debut thriller Nearly Gone was a 2015 Edgar Award Finalist and winner of the International Thriller Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She lives with her husband and two sons in Northern Virginia and Mexico. Holding Smoke is her latest novel for young adults. You can learn more about Elle at her website: www.ElleCosimano.com.
Luke Davies Fiction & Poetry
Luke Davies is a poet, novelist and screenwriter, whose books have won the Prime Minister's Literary Award, Age Book of the Year, South Australian and Queensland Premier's Awards and Grace Leven Poetry Prize. His films include Candy (adapted from his own novel), Life (directed by Anton Corbijn) and Lion, which will be released on Thanksgiving 2016. He lives in Los Angeles.
Alison DeCamp Children
Raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Alison DeCamp taught language arts before raising a couple of kids, herding a few dogs and cats, and writing some books. She now lives in Harbor Springs where she works part-time at Between the Covers and writes full-time everywhere else. She is the author of My Near-Death Adventures (99% True) and My Near-Death Adventures. I Almost Died. Again.
Michael Delp Poetry, Essays, Prose
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.
Jerry Dennis Fiction & Essays
Jerry Dennis is the author of many books, including the national bestsellers It's Raining Frogs and Fishes and The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Sea. His books have won numerous awards, have been translated into six languages, and his essays on nature have appeared in the New York Times, Smithsonian, and Audubon.
Toi Derricotte Poetry
WCMU Contemporary Black Poetry Project
Toi Derricotte is an award-winning poet whose writings, though frequently autobiographical, treat universal subjects such as racism and identity in ways that are moving, painful, and illuminating. Her style is credited with an evocative simplicity reminiscent of Emily Dickinson, though it also contains the kind of expansive colloquial expression attributed to Walt Whitman.
Born in Hamtramck, Michigan, Derricotte spent time as a child at her grandparents’ funeral home in Detroit -- an experience that shaped much of her early work. Her family life was marked by death, abuse, pain and racism. Coupled with her Roman Catholic schooling and light skin, Derricotte often felt alienated and guilty. Toi has confided that: “As a black woman, I have been consistently confused about my 'sins,' unsure of which faults were in me and which faults were the results of others' projections.”
Derricotte received her B.A. from Wayne State University and an M.A. in English Literature from New York University. She has received the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award from the United Black Artists, two Pushcart Prizes, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Guggenheim, and the Maryland State Arts Council. In 1996, with poet Cornelius Eady, she founded Cave Canem, a writing workshop for African- American poets. In 2012, she was elected chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.
Deborah Diesen Children
Deborah Diesen is the author of The Pout-Pout Fish children’s book series, illustrated by Dan Hanna. The series includes four pouty picture books and four mini-adventure board books. She is also the author of Catch a Kiss (illustrated by Kris Aro McLeod) and Picture Day Perfection (illustrated by Dan Santat).
Kim Edwards Novels & Short Stories
Kim Edwards is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, which was translated into thirty-eight languages. The Lake of Dreams is her second New York Times bestselling novel. She is also the author of a collection of short stories, The Secrets of a Fire King. Her honors include the Whiting Award, the British Book Award, and USA Today’s Book of the Year, as well as the Nelson Algren Award, a National Magazine Award, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has taught widely in the US and Asia, and currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Ashley Elston Young Adult
Ashley Elston lives with her husband, Dean, and their three sons in North Louisiana. She spent ten years as a wedding photographer but now writes Young Adult thrillers, such as Rules for Disappearing and Rules for Breaking. Her next novel, This Is Our Story, will be published by Disney Hyperion on November 15, 2016.
Kathleen Flinn Memoir & Essay
Kathleen Flinn is an award-winning author and journalist, best known for The New York Times best-selling memoir, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School. Her acclaimed follow-up, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks, was named a 2012 Book of the Year by the American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA). Her third book, Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family, a multi-generational memoir of her quirky family’s culinary adventures in the Midwest was named a 2015 Notable Book by the Library of Michigan, and was a finalist in the IACP Cookbook Awards for literary writing, Goodreads Choice Awards and the Pacific Northwest Book Awards.
Gina Frangello Fiction
GINA FRANGELLO is the author of the Target Emerging Authors selection A Life in Men, which was a book club selection for NYLON magazine, The Rumpus, and The Nervous Breakdown. She is also the author of two other books of fiction: Slut Lullabies, a Foreword Magazine Best Book of the Year finalist, and My Sister’s Continent. She is the founder of Other Voices Books, has served as the Sunday editor for The Rumpus, the fiction editor for The Nervous Breakdown, executive editor for Other Voices magazine, and the faculty editor for TriQuarterly Online. Frangello is the author of two previous novels and a story collection; her just released novel is Every Kind of Wanting.
Dan Gemeinhart Children
Dan Gemeinhart is the author of the middle grade novels Some Kind of Courage (2016) and The Honest Truth (2015). He is an elementary teacher-librarian and lives in Washington state with his lovely wife, three brilliant daughters, and one huge dog.
Peter Geye Fiction
Peter Geye is the award winning author of Safe from the Sea, soon to be a motion picture, The Lighthouse Road, a 2014 World Book Night selection, and Wintering. He holds a PhD from Western Michigan University, where he was editor of Third Coast. He teaches at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where he was born and raised and still lives.
Craig Johnson Crime Fiction
Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mystery series. His books are the inspiration behind Longmire, the hit TV show that was picked up by Netflix in 2015 where it has been renewed for its fifth season. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five.
Julia Claiborne Johnson Fiction
Julia Claiborne Johnson grew up on a farm in Tennessee. After college in Virginia she moved to New York, where she worked at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines before marrying and moving to Los Angeles. She now lives there with her comedy-writer husband and their two children. Her debut novel is Be Frank With Me published to wide acclaim earlier this year.
Zilka Joseph Poetry, Essays, Prose
Zilka Joseph’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon ReviewOnline, Mantis, Quiddity, Review Americana, and Gastronomica. Lands I Live In and What Dread, her chapbooks, were nominated for a PEN America and a Pushcart respectively. Her full-length collection, Sharp Blue Search of Flame, was just published by Wayne State University Press.
Laurie Keller Children
Laurie Keller is the author/illustrator of The Scrambled States of America, Do Unto Otters, and Arnie the Doughnut (picture book and chapter book series). Her newest book, We Are Growing!, is an early reader in Mo Willems' new series, Elephant and Piggie Like Reading. Laurie lives in North Muskegon, Michigan.
Elizabeth Letts Nonfiction
Elizabeth Letts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation, as well as two novels, Quality of Care and Family Planning. A competitive equestrian in her youth, Letts rode for California in the North American Junior Three-Day Eventing Championships. She currently lives in Southern California. Her most recent release is The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallion Kidnapped by the Nazis.
Mardi Jo Link Nonfiction
A Michigan native, Mardi Jo Link is the New York Times bestselling author of three true crime books and two memoirs. Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm has been optioned for film and The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance was a Pulpwood Queens main selection. She lives in Traverse City, Michigan.
Jim Lynch Fiction
Jim Lynch lives with his wife in Olympia, Washington. His novels The Highest Tide, Border Songs, and Truth Like the Sun have been adapted for the stage in Seattle. His prizes include the Indies Choice Honor Book Award, the Washington State Book Award for Fiction, and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. His latest novel is Before the Wind.
Thomas Lynch Poetry, Essay, Short Stories
Thomas Lynch is a funeral director and the author of several books of essays, poems, and short stories. His book, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His work has been the subject of two documentary films including the Emmy Award-winning The Undertaking (PBS Frontline, 2007).
Naomi Long Madgett Poetry
WCMU Contemporary Black Poetry Project
Naomi Long Madgett is author of ten books of poetry, including Octavia and Other Poems (1988), which was made required reading in all Detroit public high schools; in 1997 Vander Films produced a documentary film, A Poet’s Voice, based on this award-winning book. Madgett is also author of A Student’s Guide to Creative Writing, a college level textbook. Her autobiography, Pilgrim Journey, won the Creative Scholarship Award from the College Language Association in 2006. She also edited two anthologies including the groundbreaking Adam of Ifé: Black Women in Praise of Black Men. Individual poems have appeared in numerous journals and 91 anthologies both here and abroad. Some have been translated into foreign languages and three set to music and publicly performed.
Recognition of her achievement includes an American Book Award in 1993, appointment as Detroit Poet Laureate in 2001, the 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Award, four honorary doctoral degrees, induction into three halls of fame, and several lifetime achievement awards. In 2005 her life-size bronze bust, sculpted by Artis Lane, was unveiled at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit and is a part of its permanent collection. A documentary film about her life and work, Star by Star, Naomi Long Madgett Poet & Publisher, premiered on PBS stations in 2011.
Naomi founded Lotus Press, Inc. in 1972 and served as its publisher/editor for 43 years. In 1993, its board of directors established the national annual Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award to recognize and publish an outstanding book-length manuscript by an African American poet.
Rebecca Makkai Novels & Short Stories
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the new story collection Music for Wartime -- four stories from which have appeared in The Best American Short Stories. She has taught at Northwestern University and the Iowa Writers Workshop.
David Maraniss Nonfiction Keynote Speaker
Born in Detroit, David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post. Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and bestselling author of Once in A Great City: A Detroit Story; First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton; Rome 1960:The Olympics that Stirred the World; Barack Obama: The Story; Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero; They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967; and When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, which was hailed by Sports Illustrated as “maybe the best sports biography ever published." He lives in Washington, DC, and Madison, Wisconsin.
Domenica Marchetti Cookbooks Luncheon Presenter
Domenica Marchetti is the author of seven cookbooks, most recently Preserving Italy: Canning, Curing, Infusing, and Bottling Italian Flavors and Traditions. Her articles and recipes on Italian home cooking have been widely published, including in The Washington Post, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, and Food and Wine.
Herbert Woodward Martin Poetry
WCMU Contemporary Black Poetry Project
Herbert Woodward Martin has been told that he studied with the last of the formalists of the Twentieth Century. He has come to believe that assertion. He knows that he fully endorses the idea that revision is vital to the process of writing any poem.
Martin began his teaching career at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and continued for three decades at The University of Dayton. He honed his poetic skills by first studying at Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English, M. Litt. 1972, and finally at Carnegie Mellon University where he earned his Doctor of Arts in1979. He has published ten volumes of poetry and edited three volumes of the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the Nineteenth Century celebrated African American poet born in Dayton.
He has made a number of guest appearances as narrator with American symphonic orchestras, most recently a recording made with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra of William Grant Still’s Symphonic #1: “The Afro-American” which has as its text four Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poems. It is the first such recording of this work produced in the United States.
Martin is the librettist for two new American Operas, a Cantata, and a Magnificat. His poems have been set to music by Joseph Fennimore and Philip Carl Magnuson and Adolphus Hailstork.
He has held Visiting Professorships at Central State University (Ohio), Urbana University (Ohio), and Central Michigan University. He was a 1990-1991 Visiting Fulbright Scholar to Pecs, Hungary.
For his scholarship work on Dunbar he has been awarded four Honorary Doctor of Arts and Humanities. They are from Urbana University, The University of Dayton, The Wright State University, and Central Michigan University.
He is the Paul Laurence Dunbar Laureate Poet for The City of Dayton, Ohio.
Keith McCafferty Crime Fiction
Keith McCafferty is the survival and outdoor skills editor of Field & Stream, and the author of The Royal Wulff Murders, The Gray Ghost Murders (recommended by Oprah’s Book Club), Dead Man’s Fancy, and Crazy Mountain Kiss, which won the Western Writers of America 2016 Spur Award for Best Western Contemporary Novel. Buffalo Jump Blues, his fifth Sean Stranahan novel, has been awarded starred reviews from Booklist and Kirkus, as well as recommendation in Oprah Winfrey's "O" Magazine. It was released this June.
Winner of the Traver Award for angling literature, Keith is a two-time National Magazine Awards finalist, as well as a two-time High Plains Award finalist for the novel. He lives with his wife, cat, and, as a wild bird rescue volunteer, various feathered friends, in Bozeman, Montana.
Megan Miranda Young Adult & Crime Fiction
Megan Miranda is the author of the young adult novels Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, Soulprint, and The Safest Lies. All the Missing Girls is her debut novel for adults. Megan has a degree in Biology from MIT and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.
Travis Mulhauser Fiction
Travis Mulhauser was born and raised in Northern Michigan. His novel, Sweetgirl, (Ecco/Harper Collins) has been listed for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, was an Indie Next Pick, and named one of Ploughshares' Best Books of the New Year. He is also the author of Greetings from Cutler County: A Novella and Stories. Travis received his MFA in Fiction from UNC-Greensboro and is also a proud graduate of North Central Michigan College and Central Michigan University. He lives currently in Durham, North Carolina with his wife and two children.
Stewart O'Nan Fiction
Stewart O'Nan is the author of fifteen previous novels, including West of Sunset,The Odds, Emily Alone, Songs for the Missing, Last Night at the Lobster, A Prayer for the Dying, and Snow Angels. His 2007 novel Last Night at the Lobster was a national bestseller and a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. His novel City of Secrets was released earlier this year. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, where he lives with his family.
Anne-Marie Oomen Fiction & Memoirs
Anne-Marie Oomen is author of Love, Sex and 4-H (Next Generation Indie Award for Memoir), Pulling Down the Barn (Michigan Notable Book); and Uncoded Woman (poetry), among others. She teaches at Solstice MFA at Pine Manor College (MA), Interlochen’s College of Creative Arts (MI), and at conferences throughout the country.
Deb Pilutti Children
Deb Pilutti feels lucky to have a job where reading, playing with toys and watching cartoons is considered “research.” Deb has worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, most recently for Oliebollen.com, and now spends her time writing and illustrating for children. Her most recent picture book is Bear and Squirrel Are Friends . . . Yes, Really!
Dan Poppick Poetry
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.
Renee Rosen Fiction
Renee Rosen is the bestselling author of historical fiction including White Collar Girl, What the Lady Wants and Dollface. Her new novel Windy City Blues about Chicago's famed Chess Records and the birth of the blues will be published by Penguin Random House in February 2017. She lives in Chicago where she is working on a new novel.
Wade Rouse Fiction, Memoirs, Essay
Wade Rouse’s debut novel, The Charm Bracelet, was released in March of this year from St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books. He wrote it under the pen name Viola Shipman, which is an homage to his grandmother. Rouse is also the author of four memoirs and one essay collection. He’s currently at work on The Hope Chest, the second novel in his Heirloom Series.
Lance Rubin Young Adult
Lance Rubin enjoys laughing. His debut YA novel Denton Little Deathdate came out in 2015. Lance lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. Learn more at lancerubin.com and follow him on Twitter/Instagram @lancerubinparty.
Jim Shepard Fiction
The author of six previous novels and four collections of stories, Jim Shepard was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and now lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children, and teaches at Williams College. His work has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, McSweeney's, Tin House, Zoetrope, Playboy, and Vice, among other periodicals. His latest critically acclaimed novel is The Book of Aron and he has a new story collection coming in 2017.
Maggie Shipstead Fiction
Maggie Shipstead is the author of Astonish Me and Seating Arrangements, a New York Times bestseller and the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford.
Christine Sneed Novels & Short Stories
Christine Sneed Is the author of two novels, Little Known Facts and Paris, He Said, and two story collections, the most recent of which is The Virginity of Famous Men: Stories (9/2016). She has received the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Library Foundation, the Grace Paley Prize, and lives in Evanston, IL.
Tricia Springstubb Children
Tricia is the author of lots of books for young readers, including the award-winning What Happened on Fox Street,Phoebe and Digger, and the many books she's sharing at the festival. She loves visiting schools and libraries and is delighted to be in Harbor Springs. Mother of three daughters (and a brand new Nana!) she lives in Cleveland Ohio.
J. Ryan Stradal Fiction
J. Ryan Stradal edits the fiction section of The Nervous Breakdown and works as acquisitions editor at Unnamed Press. He writes regularly for The Rumpus, and has been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, McSweeney's: The Goods and Hobart, among others. He produces a culinary reading series in Los Angeles called Hot Dish, and has worked as a producer on the History Channel's Ice Road Truckers and the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles. Kitchens of the Great Midwest is his first novel.
Matthew Sweeney Poetry, Essays, Prose
Most recent collection, Inquisition Lane, came out from Bloodaxe in November 2015. Previous collection, Horse Music (Bloodaxe, 2013) won the inaugural Piggott Poetry Prize. In between there were two pamphlets in 2014, The Gomera Notebook (Shoestring) and Twentyone Men and a Ghost (The Poetry Business).
Amy Thielen Cookbooks
Amy Thielen is a chef, a writer and a tv cook. She’s the author of the James Beard Award-winning The New Midwestern Table, an upcoming food memoir (coming out from Clarkson Potter in June, 2017), and is a contributing editor at Saveur magazine. A former New York City line cook, she lives in the country outside her hometown in northern Minnesota with her family.
Julie Lawson Timmer Fiction
Julie Lawson Timmer grew up in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. She earned a Bachelor's degree from McMaster University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University. She serves as in-house legal counsel to an automotive supplier near her home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she lives with her husband, two children, two stepchildren, and two badly behaved rescued dogs. Her most recent novel Untethered came out earlier this year.
Amor Towles Fiction
Amor Towles was born and raised just outside Boston, MA. He graduated from Yale University and received an MA in English from Stanford University. For many years a principal at an investment firm in Manhattan, he now devotes himself full-time to writing. His first novel, Rules of Civility, published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. Towles lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children. His second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, was released in September 2016.
Kenneth L. Woodward Nonfiction Guest Speaker
Kenneth L. Woodward, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, graduated from Notre Dame University in 1957 and edited Newsweek’s Religion section from 1964 until his retirement in 2002. He remained a writer-at-large at Newsweek until 2009. He is the author of Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint and Who Doesn’t and The Book of Miracles:The Meaning of the Miracle Stories in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. He has contributed numerous articles and book reviews to publications such as Commonweal, America, Smithsonian, the New York Timesand The Washington Post.
Brenna Yovanoff Young Adult
Brenna Yovanoff is the author of Places No One Knows,Fiendish, Paper Valentine, The Space Between, and the New York Times bestseller, The Replacement. She lives in Denver with her husband.
Sara Zarr Young Adult
Sara Zarr is the award-winning author of six books for young adults, most recently The Lucy Variations, which the New York Times called “an elegant novel.” She is also the host of the This Creative Life podcast. She lives in the Intermountain West, and online at sarazarr.com.