Skip navigation

You are here

Presenter Biographies


The 2019 festival took place from Oct. 10-12 on the University of Minnesota, Morris campus.

Ariel Gordon

Ariel Gordon is a writer from the Canadian prairies/Treaty One territory. She is author of two collections of urban-nature poetry, both of which won the Landsdowne Prize for Poetry at the Manitoba Book Awards. Recent projects include the anthology GUSH: menstrual manifestos for our times, co-edited with Tanis MacDonald and Rosanna Deerchild, and the fourth installment of the National Poetry Month in the Winnipeg Free Press project. Her latest book is Treed: Walking in Canada's Urban Forests (Wolsak & Wynn, 2019).

Alan Shapiro

Alan Shapiro was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1952 and graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he studied poetry with Galway Kinnell and J. V. Cunningham. Shapiro has published over ten poetry collections, including Life Pig (University of Chicago Press, 2016); Reel to Reel (University of Chicago Press, 2014); Night of the Republic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), a finalist for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize and National Book Award; and Old War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008), winner of the Ambassador Book Award. Shapiro’s poetry is steeped in the drama and loss of domestic life, traversing the line between the public and private spheres.

Sarah Stonich

Sarah Stonich is an American writer and editor based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stonich was born in northern Minnesota in the area known as the Iron Range, located northwest of Duluth. Sarah Stonich is the best-selling author of These Granite Islands (2001), which has been translated into seven languages and shortlisted for France’s Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle; the critically acclaimed novel The Ice Chorus (2003); and a memoir, Shelter: Off the Grid in the Mostly Magnetic North (2011). Her novel-in-stories, Vacationland (2013), is the first volume in her Northern Trilogy, followed by Laurentian Divide (2018). She has written the novels Fishing with RayAnne and Reeling under the pen name Ava Finch. She is currently working on the third novel of her Northern Trilogy titled Watershed.

Bill Willingham

Bill Willingham has been writing, and sometimes drawing, comics for more than twenty years. During that time he's had work published by nearly every comics publisher in the business and he's created many critically acclaimed comic book series, including Elementals, Coventry, Proposition Player, Day of Vengeance, Shadowpact, Jack of Fables, and the Eisner Award-winning Vertigo series, Fables. Additionally, his work has been nominated for a number of other awards including the Harvey and Ignatz comic industry awards as well as the Hugo and International Horror Guild awards.