Laverne Merritt-Gordon was born in 1946 in Lincoln Heights Ohio. One of sixteen children, she lived in New Miami Ohio until at age six the ‘State’ sent her to live in Oxford Ohio. She holds a diploma from Talawanda High School, A Bachelor of Science from Miami University, and Masters of Science from Purdue University. Retired from a career in Health Science, Laverne lives in Jacksonville Florida with her husband, Denman P. Gordon, where she is active in Florida’s Democratic Party politics and dedicated to her sons, grand and great-grand children. Tell Them What You Want is Laverne Merritt-Gordon’s first book.
Dr. Beau Grosscup grew up in Oxford Ohio and is Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, California State University, Chico. He lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills on Rancho4heavenseko with his partner, the lovely Rose Ann York. Tell Them What You Want is his fifth book.
Dr. Doug Larche is an internationally recognized playwright, professor, poet, singer-songwriter, director and composer, who was a Senior Fulbright Scholar to Ukraine. He holds a B.A. from Graceland University, an M.Ed. from Wichita State University, a Ph.D. from Indiana University, and an MFA in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop, where he was a Norman Felton Fellow. He has done post-doctoral residencies at Yale, Oxford, and Harvard. The founder of five international playwrights workshops, Doug is a lifetime Artistic and Production Director of over 200 plays and 40 film projects. His day job was as Playwright-in-Residence, Chair and International Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Communication in Ukraine, Korea, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Northwoods and across America.
Dr. Arvid Osterberg is University Professor at Iowa State University, where he teaches graduate courses on inclusive design and historic preservation in the Department of Architecture. During his 43+ years at ISU, he has taught students to prioritize accessibility and safety. Arvid has consulted with attorneys on fall investigations throughout his career. He is a registered architect and holds two degrees in architecture from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in architecture from the University of Michigan.
David Akombo is a Faculty Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts, Associate Professor of Music Education, and Graduate Coordinator at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, where he has taught music education and world music courses since 2011.
Brian Delford Andrews received his BArch from Tulane University and his March from Princeton University. As an undergraduate student he studied in London at the Architectural Association for a year. Andrews is a registered architect and has continually practiced while teaching. He received the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Traveling Fellowship, and has taught at the University of Virginia, Syracuse University, and the University of Southern California.
Diana Brantley, educated at Wake Forest (BA) and Rutgers (MA), spent more than thirty years teaching traditional advanced courses in high school English. She helped establish curricula for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. She also served as IB Coordinator and taught Theory of Knowledge. Her teaching was praised by critic John Leonard in the New York Times, when his son was in her class.
Richard E. Brantley is Alumni Professor of English, Emeritus, at the University of Florida, where, from 1969 to 2011, he taught courses in Romanticism, the History of Criticism, and the Bible as Literature. He hibernates in Gainesville, Florida, and rusticates in Zirconia, North Carolina. He gladly teaches, and gladly learns from, his fellow retirees. He still explores the realistic, yet hopeful, give-and-take between science and religion during the long Romantic Movement from roughly 1770 to 1870.
From an early age, John Browning always wanted to be a Chemist and that’s what he turned out to be. During a career as a scientist and inventor, he always retained a deep interest in the Fine Arts. Some fifty years ago he took to making and flying kites; always more interested in traditional materials – paper, silk and bamboo. Inspired by the work of French Artist, Claude Léa Comallonga, he took up the use of natural materials (leaves and other growing things) to make his kites. Papermaking also became a means of supplying material to be included in his creations. He has exhibited at shared, international, and one-man exhibitions.
Marian Mathews Clark grew up in logging country in Mist, Oregon, the only child in a family of chroniclers. Her mother kept a diary from age thirteen until she died at eighty-seven, and her father wrote poetry about sawmilling, logging and the neighbors. When she graduated from high school in ‘63, she enrolled in Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, and majored in English Education, and went on to earn a Master’s in Counselor Education from The University of Iowa. In 1971 she assumed the role of Director of Counseling at Graceland and also taught a variety of classes including Counseling, Rhetoric, and a winter term in the Changing Roles of Women. In 1985 she enrolled in The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and received her MFA in 1987, the same year she won the Iowa Art Council’s First Place Fiction Award for ‘Houseboats and Peacock Feathers.’
Carol Polsgrove, Professor Emerita of Journalism at Indiana University, is author of Ending British Rule in Africa: Writers in a Common Cause; Divided Minds: Intellectuals and the Civil Rights Movement, and It Wasn’t Pretty, Folks, But Didn’t We Have Fun: Esquire in the Sixties. For more information go to her website at carolpolsgrove.com
C. Arthur Croyle is Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Integrated Studio Arts at Iowa State University. He taught classes in foundations, drawing, painting, graphic design, and design history. His professional activity has kept him engaged as an artist, graphic designer, and historian. His grandfather, Max Hertwig, impressed an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all of the visual and design arts upon him. He lives and works in Ohio.
For over three decades, David Dutton served as an award-winning Park Ranger for two federal agencies. He enjoys fishing, birding, gardening and red chile. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife and three rescue dogs.
Born in Detmold, Germany in 1961, Golisch completed her studies in German in Hannover with a Ph.D., writing linguistic and literary book chapters and essays, as well as monographs on Uwe Johnson and Ingeborg Bachmann. She’s also written stories, essays, and translations for anthologies and literature magazines, winning the prestigious Würth Literary Prize in 2002. She lives, reads, and writes in Monza, Italy since 1987.
Ben Jacks, a designer, architect, writer, and teacher, holds degrees from the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine. In between trips to experience and take pictures of buildings, he teaches courses in beginning design, human behavior, design detailing, and understanding architecture through drawing. As a designer, Ben focuses on detail and craft, seeking to develop the potentially rich and intimate relationship between landscape, building, furniture, and interior. He is currently at work designing and building the second of two houses for his own family: a LEED Platinum, net-zero, passive house in Cincinnati, Ohio (the first was completed in Deer Isle, Maine in 2012).
Dr. Derham Groves joined the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne in 1999. After completing his Bachelor degree at Deakin University in 1981, Derham worked in several Melbourne architectural practices, including Denton Corker Marshall and the Public Works Department. In 1983 Derham enrolled in a Masters program at RMIT, researching builders’ rites and ceremonies. In 1991 he enrolled in a PhD in Art History at the University of Minnesota, researching the post-war do-it-yourself movement. Derham spent 1992 at the University of Minnesota studying with pop culture historian Karal Ann Marling, and completed his PhD in 1996.
Mary Howard advised art and design students in the College of Design at Iowa State University for seventeen years, which inspired her to write novels with visual artists as main characters. The Girl with Wings is her second suspense novel to feature graphic designer Linda Garbo and the fictional Madison County town of Linden Grove. Mary was named among “Outstanding Writers” in The Pushcart Prize, IX for her short fiction. Parts of this novel were written during a Residency at The Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois. She lives and writes in Ames, Iowa.
Coach K started running in 2008 to prepare for his first Triathlon. He quickly found out how much he hated running and looked for every excuse to skip it. Luckily, he kept at it and realized that he needed some help. He studied as much as possible and earned his coaching certification with the USATF to learn even more. Then he combined that new knowledge with twenty-five years of Chinese Martial Arts experience and proven training methods from Olympic Weightlifting (thanks to his teacher Mr. Harvey Newton). Soon he was running UltraMarathons on consecutive days. He is a firm believer in the adage that Science plus Strength produces results.
Fern Kupfer was born in the Bronx, moved with her family to suburban Long Island in the mid-1950s, and to Ames, Iowa, where she currently lives. Fern Kupfer’s work has appeared in Newsweek, Redbook, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, The Women’s Review of Books, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Parents and Cosmopolitan magazines. She recently retired from Iowa State University where she taught creative writing. For more than a decade, her popular column “Mothering” and “A Certain Age” appeared regularly in the Long Island newspaper Newsday. She was the recipient for the Myrtle Wreath Award by the Nassau County Hadassah, the largest women’s philanthropy in the nation.
Anthony R. Mawson, an epidemiologist, social scientist, and inventor – and later in life an aspiring writer – was born in England, educated in Canada and the United States, and has lived for many years in Louisiana and Mississippi. During a two-year stint working in Des Moines, Iowa, he met and married Carol Andersen, who was raised on a farm in northwest Iowa. Visits to the farm and Carol’s tales of her early life there inspired the author to invent the Shirley character and her adventures to tell to their two young children, Hayley and Mary Olivia, when they were toddlers. The children liked them so much that they encouraged their dad to create and tell them more Shirley stories.
With their forty Alaskan Husky sled dogs, Frank Moe and his wife Sherri live near Grand Marais, Minnesota, on the North Shore of Lake Superior. When he’s not training and racing, Frank and Sherri love to work in their garden, chop wood to heat their off-the-grid log cabin, or guide canoeing, sea-kayaking and rock-climbing trips on Lake Superior and in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Daniel Naegele is an architect and associate professor emeritus of architecture at Iowa State University. A graduate of Yale University and of the Architectural Association in London, he completed his dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania. His writings on Le Corbusier, Wright, Kahn, Duchamp, Picasso, and on architectural photography have been published throughout the United States and in the UK, Western Europe, New Zealand, and Korea.
Rachel Longstaff grew up in South Africa, where she lived with her family in the city of Durban on the east coast of KwaZulu Natal. She has a degree in English from Northwestern University and an MS in Library and Information Science from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She has worked as an academic librarian for twenty years, first at the Swedenborg Library in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, and later at Saint Leo University in Florida. She and her husband, Alan, have four grown children. They have lived in The Hague, in Toronto, and in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Now retired and living in Florida, Rachel enjoys reading, writing, cycling, and gardening.
Jenny Quillien. French/American. Jenny splits working time between Europe and the USA. Degrees in anthropology (Licence, Paris), linguistics (Maitrise, Strasbourg) and industrial psychology (3ème cycle, Montpellier) and a late-life Masters in Eastern Classics from St John’s College, Santa Fe. Home is Santa Fe, New Mexico, the launching pad for many wanderings and hikes into her backyard liminal lands.
Sr. Stella Sabina was born in Uganda and raised in East Africa. She studied in Kenya and holds a Master’s in Education, and a Diploma in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She is a teacher by profession and enjoys going back to her mother’s methodology of teaching through story telling, music, dance, drama, proverbs, poetry, tongue-twisters, riddles, and life experiences.
Bart Yates lives in Iowa City, Iowa, and is the author of four previous novels: Leave Myself Behind (winner of the 2004 Alex Award), The Brothers Bishop, The Distance Between Us, and (writing as Noah Bly) The Third Hill North Of Town. He is also a music teacher, and plays clarinet, saxophone, and bass guitar.