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 2018 Kerrytown BookFest Authors*

AMY L. ARNOLD is the preservation planner for the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Western Michigan University and studied at Duke University before returning to Michigan to obtain her master's degree in historic preservation from Eastern Michigan University. She has served as the project manager for Michigan Modern since its inception in 2008. 

RUTH BEHAR (, an acclaimed author of fiction and nonfiction, received the 2018 Pura Belpré Author Award for Lucky Broken Girl, her first book for young readers. She was born in Havana, Cuba, grew up in New York City, and has also lived in Spain and Mexico. An anthropology professor at the University of Michigan, she is the author of The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart, An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba, and Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in between Journeys, and other books about her travels, as well as a bilingual book of poetry, Everything I Kept/Todo lo que guardé. Her honors include a MacArthur Fellows "Genius" Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and travels frequently to Miami and Havana. 

SUE BURKE has worked as a reporter and editor for a variety of newspapers and magazines, and Semiosis is her debut novel. She is a Clarion workshop alumnus and has published over thirty short stories. Burke also worked extensively as a literary translator, and while living in Madrid, Spain, she headed the long-running Madrid Writer's Critique Group. She now lives in Chicago. 

MICHAEL BYERS teaches radio drama and comedy (as well as creative writing) at the University of Michigan.  His first book of fiction, The Coast of Good Intentions, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and garnered a Whiting Writer's Award. His first novel, Long for This World won the annual fiction prize from Friends of American Writers.  Byers' short fiction has appeared several times in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards.  His novella The Broken Man was a finalist for the World Fantasy Awards in 2010, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Best American Travel Writing, and elsewhere.  

New York Times bestseller JACQUELINE CAREY is the author of the critically acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy series of historical fantasy novels, The Sundering epic fantasy duology, postmodern fables Santa Olivia and Saints Astray, and the Agent of Helcontemporary fantasy series.  Jacqueline enjoys doing research on a wide variety of arcane topics, and an affinity for travel has taken her from Finland to China to date.  She currently lives in west Michigan.  Although often asked by inquiring fans, she does not, in fact, have any tattoos. 

 JOELLE CHARBONNEAU has performed in opera and musical theatre productions across Chicagoland.  She’s the author of the New York Times and USA Today best selling THE TESTING trilogy (THE TESTING, INDEPENDENT STUDY and GRADUATION DAY), the fantasy duology DIVIDING EDEN and EDEN CONQUERED as well as the YA thrillers, NEED and TIME BOMB. Her books have appeared on the Indie Next List, on the YALSA Top 10 books as well as the YALSA Quick Picks for reluctant readers as well as dozens of state reading lists across the country.  She is currently working on a new near-future alternate history thriller that will be announced soon and hit shelves in September of 2019. 

JACK CHENG was born in Shanghai and grew up in Michigan.  He has worked in advertising and technology as copywriter, designer, and art director.  Jack lived in Brooklyn for a decade before settling in Detroit. See You in the Cosmos is his first novel for children. 

CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, got into trouble for day-dreaming in class. She writes young adult fantasy novels in settings ranging from Appalachian Ohio to long-ago queendoms. These include the Heir Chronicles, beginning with The Warrior Heir, the Seven Realms series, which begins with The Demon King, and her latest, the Shattered Realms series, beginning with Flamecaster.  Chima believes in the magic of books. They took her from first grade failure to first generation college graduate to college professor to best-selling author. Now, she daydreams on the page.   

ANNA CLARK is a journalist in Detroit. Her writing has appeared in ELLE Magazine, The New York Times, the Columbia Journalism Review, Next City, and other publications. Anna edited A Detroit Anthology, a Michigan Notable Book. She has been a Fulbright fellow in Kenya and a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan. Her book, The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy, will be published in 2018 by Metropolitan Books.

BRIAN D. CONWAY was appointed Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer in 1997. In that capacity, he directs the State Historic Preservation Office in fulfilling the state’s responsibility under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, including the identification, protection, and redevelopment of historic and archaeological resources. Conway holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and a Masters of Architecture degree from the University for Florida and has been involved with historic preservation and the rehabilitation of historic buildings throughout Michigan since 1980.  

DEBORAH DIESEN is the author of many children’s picture books, including the NYT-bestselling The Pout-Pout Fish.  She loves playing with words and rhymes and rhythms.  She has worked as a bookseller, a bookkeeper, and a reference librarian.  She and her family live in Michigan. 

KELLY DIPUCCHIO is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Grace for President and numerous other books for kids, including Super Manny Stands Up!; Crafty Chloe, Zombie in Love, Gaston, andAntoinette. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan. You can find out more about Kelly and her books at 

HARRY DOLAN is the author of the mystery/suspense novels BAD THINGS HAPPEN (2009), VERY BAD MEN (2011), and THE LAST DEAD GIRL (2014). He graduated from Colgate University, where he majored in philosophy and studied fiction-writing with the novelist Frederick Busch. A native of Rome, New York, he now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

ALAN DREW is the author of the literary thriller, Shadow Man (Random House, 2017), which the Wall Street Journal named as one of the ten best mysteries of 2017, and the critically acclaimed debut novel,Gardens of Water (Random House, 2008).  His novels have been translated into a dozen languages and published in nearly two-dozen countries.  He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded a Teaching/Writing Fellowship.  An Associate Professor of English at Villanova University where he directs the creative writing program, he lives near Philadelphia with his wife and two children. Learn more about his books at

ANNE DROZD is a public librarian by day and a cartoonist by night. She's an avid space exploration enthusiast and a card-holding member of the Planetary Society. Her favorite NASA mission is Apollo 12. Anne helps to introduce people to comics through her work at the Ann Arbor District Library and as co-organizer of the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival. 

JERZY DROZD is one of the artists of The Warren Commission Report. He has drawn special projects for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Marvel Comics, VIZ Media, and others. His favorite NASA mission is Apollo 15. He founded and runs the Ann Arbor Comics Arts Festival and also started a podcast called Galaxy of Super Adventure. 

JEAN ALICIA ELSTER is a professional writer of fiction for children and young adults. She is the granddaughter of Douglas and Maber (May) Jackson Ford, whose family story is the basis of The Colored Car. Her other books include Who's Jim Hines? (Wayne State University Press, 2008), which was selected as a Michigan Notable Book and a ForeWord Book of the Year finalist; I'll Do the Right Thing; I'll Fly My Own Plane; I Have a Dream, Too!; and Just Call Me Joe Joe. 

MICHAEL FERRO"S debut novel, TITLE 13, was published by Harvard Square Editions in February 2018. He was named as a finalist for Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers, won the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award for Fiction, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.   Michael is also a Sportswriter and a Features Writer for CBS and CBS Detroit, and a national music and sports columnist with AXS. Born and bred in the Detroit area, Michael attended Michigan State University and received a degree in Creative Writing. Michael has lived, worked, and written throughout the Midwest; he currently resides in rural Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

 R.J. FOX is an English and video production teacher who uses his own dream of making movies to inspire his students to follow their dreams. He has previously worked in public relations and as a journalist. He is the author of Love & Vodka. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

KEITH GAVE spent six years in the United States Army as a Russian linguist working for the National Security Agency during the Cold War. Nothing could have better prepared him for a career as a sports writer covering hockey for the Detroit Free Press. His 15 years with the newspaper were the highlight of a career spanning nearly four decades in the news industry, which included 14 years as a college journalism instructor. Besides his book, “The Russian Five, A Story of Espionage, Defection, Bribery and Courage,” Gave holds writer/producer to the acclaimed documentary film, “The Russian Five,” which made its world premiere in April at the Detroit Free Press Film Festival and is now playing to fervent reviews on the festival circuit around North America. 

LESLIE HELAKOSKI is the author of the

Big Chickens series as well as Woolbur and Woolbur Goes to School. She has written and illustrated Fair Cow, Big Pigs, Doggone Feet, and Hoot and Honk Just Can't Sleep. She lives in Michigan with her family.  

CHERYL HONIGFORD has always loved old time radio (and classic movies) and claims to have the nagging suspicion that she was born at least 50 years too late. She lives in northern Illinois with her husband and six-year-old daughter and received her degree in journalism from Ohio State University. She works as a designer/trainer for Abbott Laboratories, which provides her with ample travel opportunities. 

 DR. MURRAY HOWE is the author of the National Bestseller, Nine Lessons I Learned from My Father. He is also a recipient of the University of Michigan's prized Avery Hopwood Award. He is head of Sports Medicine Imaging for Toledo Radiological Associates and Promedica Health System's Sports Care program. An associate clinical professor at the University of Toledo Medical Center, he also serves on the University of Michigan Medical School Admissions Committee.  And happens to be the youngest son of hockey legend, Gordie Howe.

LAURA KASISCHKE has published nine collections of poetry and nine novels. Her work has been translated widely.  She has been the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry, the Rilke Award for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the DiCastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, several Pushcart Prizes, the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers, the Beatrice Hawley Award, and numerous others.   

MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL is the author of the historical fantasy novels Ghost Talkers and the five books in The Glamourist Histories series. She is also a multiple Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncanny,, and Asimov's. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen manual typewriters. 

AKIL KUMARASAMY is a writer from New Jersey. Her fiction has appeared in Harper's Magazine, American Short Fiction, Boston Review, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, and has been a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the University of East Anglia. She is a Visiting Professor of Fiction at the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan. Her first book, Half Gods, is forthcoming with Farrar, Straus and Giroux in June 2018.  

PETRA KUPPERS is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Petra uses somatic and speculative writing as well as performance practice to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. She has written academic books on disability arts and culture, medicine and performance, and community performance. Her book of speculative short stories, Ice Bar, appeared in 2018. She lives with her partner, poet and dancer Stephanie Heit, in Ypsilanti, where they co-create Turtle Disco, a community arts space. 

AUGUSTUS ROSE grew up in Bolinas, California, and later moved to San Francisco. For many years he kept himself afloat through a series of bookstore jobs, where he found and collected books on cults, subcultures, urban exploration, speculative science, metaphysics, alchemy, conspiracy theories, subversive or underground art movements, and, of course, Marcel Duchamp. All stuff that later became both the center and the background noise of his debut novel The Readymade Thief, forthcoming from Viking in August 2017. His screenplay Far From Cool was a finalist for the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowship. He lives in Chicago with his wife, the novelist Nami Mun, and their son. He teaches fiction writing at University of Chicago

ALEXANDER WEINSTEIN is the director of the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. He is the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and his stories have received the Lamar York, Gail Crump, and New Millennium Prizes, have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and appear in the anthology New Stories from the Midwest. He is an associate professor of creative writing at Siena Heights University and leads fiction workshops in the United States and Europe. 

LILLIAN LI received her BA from Princeton and her MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award in Short Fiction, as well as Glimmer Train’s New Writer Award. Her work has been featured in Guernica, Granta, and Jezebel. She is from the D.C. metro area and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Number One Chinese Restaurant is her first novel.

DIANE SEUSS'S third collection of poems, Four-Legged Girl, was published in 2015 by Graywolf Press and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (2010) won the Juniper Prize and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2010. Her fourth collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in May 2018. Seuss was raised in rural southwest Michigan and taught for

many years at Kalamazoo College. She has been the MacLean Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of English at Colorado College in 2012, 2017, and 2018.

AMY YOUNG trained as a fine artist at Yale and received an MFA in painting from Indiana University. She then went on to earn a law degree from Harvard and worked as a lawyer for several years. She now devotes herself full time to writing and illustrating and is the creator of the popular Belinda picture books. 

CALEB ROEHRIG producer originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Having also lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Helsinki, Finland, he has a chronic case of wanderlust, and can recommend the best sights to see on a shoestring budget in over thirty countries. A former actor, Roehrig has experience on both sides of the camera, with a résumé that includes appearances on film and TV—as well as seven years in the stranger-than-fiction salt mines of reality television. In the name of earning a paycheck, he has: hung around a frozen cornfield in his underwear, partied with an actual rock-star, chatted with a scandal-plagued politician, and been menaced by a disgruntled ostrich. 

ASHLEY SHELBY is prize-winning writer whose fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Slate, The New York Times Book ReviewLitHub, the Los Angeles Review, J Journal: New Writings on Social Justice, and other literary outlets. She's received the Red Hen Press Short Fiction Award, the Enizagam Short Story Award, the Third Coast Fiction Prize, and has been nominated twice for the  Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, South Pole Station, published in 2017, received praise from The New York TimesThe Washington PostNational Public Radio,  Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Time, Library Journal, The Guardian, LitHub, Booklist,  Kirkus Reviews, and Bookpage.  As a journalist, Ashley's original reporting on the Exxon Valdez litigation was published in The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, and alternet. She is also the author of Red River Rising: The Anatomy of a Flood and the Survival of an American City, a work of narrative nonfiction praised by Salon, the Associated Press, Philadelphia Inquirer, Library Journal, and other media outlets. She lives in the Twin Cities with her family, where, in her super plentiful free time, she plays basketball with her son and steps on her daughter's Legos.  

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NICK YRIBAR is a University of Michigan alumnus, a managing partner at Vault of Midnight Inc, and co-host of the weekly comic book podcast Super Skull. 

MICHAEL ZADOORIAN is the author of three novels, BEAUTIFUL MUSIC (Akashic Books), THE LEISURE SEEKER (William Morrow) and SECOND HAND (W.W. Norton), and a story collection, THE LOST TIKI PALACES OF DETROIT (Wayne State University Press). A motion picture of THE LEISURE SEEKER starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland was released in March 2018 by Sony Pictures Classics. His work has appeared in The Literary Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, American Short Fiction, Witness, Great Lakes Review, North American Review, The Huffington Post and the anthologies Bob Seger’s House, On The Clock, and Detroit Noir. He has worked as a copywriter, journalist, voiceover talent, shipping room clerk, and plant guard for Chrysler. A lifelong resident of the Detroit area, he lives with his wife in a 1937 bungalow filled with cats and objects that used to be in the houses of other people. 

 2018 Kerrytown BookFest Panel Moderators*

ZOE CLARK is Michigan Radio's Program Director. In that role, Clark oversees all programming on the state's largest public radio station - including the station's award-winning newsroom, commentary from voices like Jack Lessenberry and John U. Bacon, and daily news-magazine Stateside.  Clark also co-hosts, with Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing Bureau Chief Rick Pluta, It's Just Politics, a weekly look at Michigan politics airing Monday mornings on Morning Edition. 


 AARON FOLEY is a Detroit native, who grew up on both the west side (Russell Woods) and the east side (Lafayette Park) and currently lives on the east side (Gold Coast), although he favors the west side, always. Prior to joining the City of Detroit, he was editor of BLAC Detroit Magazine, and held positions at Ward’s Automotive Group, MLive and the Lansing State Journal. He was also Detroit editor for the popular car blog Jalopnik, where readers took note of his point-blank, tell-it-like-it-is takes on the city. In 2015, Aaron published his first book, “How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass.” In 2017, he edited the anthology, “The Detroit Neighborhood Guideboook.”


TYLER BENGEL grew up in small-town Michigan, where he found that sports and books were basically his only free-time options. He removed his nose from a book long enough to graduate from the University of Michigan, and currently works at the Ann Arbor District Library.   

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JEFF KASS, a teacher at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor MI, and the Assignment Editor for Current Magazine, is the author of Knuckleheads, Independent Publishing's Gold-Medal winning Best Short Fiction of 2011. In addition, Knuckleheads was awarded E-Lit's Silver Medal for Best Short Fiction E-book Collection of 2011 and was a finalist for Foreword Reviews Best Short Fiction Collection of 2011. 

 EJ OLSEN grew up in the shadow of the Motor City. He reads everything, but mystery, crime, and noir tend to muscle their way to the front of the line. He lives in an undisclosed location in Southeast Michigan. He is the editor of Detroit Noir, a collection of stories set in Detroit.

JIM OTTAVIANI has written nonfiction, science-oriented comics since 1997, notably the number one New York Times bestseller, Feynman and Fallout which was nominated for an Ignatz Award. He has worked as a nuclear engineer, caddy, programmer, and reference librarian. Primates is his first collaboration with artist Maris Wicks. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

DOUGLAS TREVOR is the author of the novel Girls I Know (SixOneSeven Books, 2013), and the short story collection The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space(University of Iowa Press, 2005). Thin Tear won the 2005 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the 2006 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction. Girls I Know won the 2013 Balcones Fiction Prize. Doug’s short fiction has appeared most recently as a Ploughshares Solo, and in The Iowa Review, New Letters, and the Michigan Quarterly Review. He has also had stories in The Paris Review, Glimmer Train, Epoch,Black Warrior Review, The New England Review, and about a dozen other literary magazines. Doug lives in Ann Arbor, where he is the current Director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, and a Professor of Renaissance Literature in the English Department at the University of Michigan. 

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 CODY WALKER teaches English and directs the Creative Writing Sub-concentration at the University of Michigan. He’s the author of three poetry collections, including, most recently, The Trumpiad. His work appears in The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and The Best American Poetry (2015 and 2007). He’s the co-director of the Bear River Writers’ Conference and the co-editor of Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest.

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 DAN WHISLER is an architect engaged in the practice since 1985. Experience includes working with a variety of building types and client groups including additions, renovations and new buildings for municipal, educational, commercial, office, religious, and residential clients.  Specialist in Library Design, has served as the Lead Architect / Project Architect responsible for more than 15 library building projects and has served on the design team in the design of more than 35 library building projects and facility studies in the states of Michigan, Ohio, & Wisconsin

Community involvement and leadership development gained from serving as President of the Ann Arbor Jaycees, the Ann Arbor Jaycee Foundation, and the Junior Chamber Family AIDS Network charitable foundation. Also, a graduate and alumni of the Saline Leadership Institute.


SHUTTA CRUM, formerly a librarian, currently writes full time. Among other picture books, she is the author Thunder-Boomer (Clarion), which received four starred reviews, was nominated for a Cybil Award, and was an SLJ Best Book, a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book, and an ALA Notable Book. Shutta was born in Paintsville, Kentucky, and lives with her husband in Michigan.  

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 FRANK MORELLI has been a teacher, a coach, a bagel builder, a stock boy, a pretzel salesman, a bus driver, a postal employee, a JC Penney model (see: clerk), an actual clerk (like in the movie of the same name), a camp counselor, a roving sports reporter, and a nuclear physicist (okay, maybe that’s not true). At heart, he’s a writer, and that’s all he’s ever been. His fiction and essays have appeared in more than thirty publications, including The Saturday Evening Post, Cobalt Review, Philadelphia Stories, Jersey Devil Press, and Indiana Voice Journal. His sports-themed column—“Peanuts & Crackerjacks”—appears monthly at Change Seven Magazine. A Philadelphia native, Frank now lives near Greensboro, NC in a tiny house under the trees with his best friend and muse, their obnoxious alley cats, and two hundred pounds worth of dog.

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SHANNON POWERS is an adult services librarian at the Chelsea District Library in Chelsea, MI. She grew up in Dexter, a small town west of Ann Arbor, and was an avid reader of Harry Potter and every Robin McKinley or Anne McCaffrey book she could get her hands on. Her love of books and literature led her to her first library job at the Dexter District Library, where she worked while earning her B.A. in English Literature and Language from the University of Michigan. Inspired by the librarians and fellow bibliophiles she met along the way, she returned to the University of Michigan and in 2016 graduated with a Master's of Science in Information, specializing in Library and Information Sciences.    

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MICHELLE TUPLIN is an English expat indie bookstore owner and soon-to-be MFA graduate living in Chelsea, Michigan. She is deeply involved in the literary community. At her bookstore, Serendipity Books, she hosts open mics, book readings, launches and book clubs.  Her current writing love--ignoring all customers as she taps away--is short stories. Her story, 'Goodbye Tigger' was published in the Summer 2018 edition of the Avalon Literary Review. 

*Moderators and Authors are subject to change without notice

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