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Elmore Leonard | Purple Rose Theatre

Elmore John Leonard, Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 11, 1925. Beginning as an ad writer, Leonard quite work to become a full-time writer in 1961, publishing Westerns, fiction, and screenplays. Having written 45 novels, Leonard has received a myriad of awards including The Raymond Chandler Award, F. Scott Fitzgerald Award, and PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. Multiple adaptations have been made of Leonard’s work including the 1995 movie Get Shorty and Justified, the hit FX show currently in its fourth season.

Thomas Lux | River Gallery

Thomas Lux has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His most recent work is God Particles. His forthcoming collection, Child Made of Sand, will appear in the Fall of 2012. His collection of nonfiction essays, From the Southland is soon to be released. Currently, he is Bourne Professor of Poetry and director of the McEver Visiting Writers program at the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as on the MFA faculties of Sarah Lawrence College and Warren Wilson College.

Onna Solomon | Chelsea District Library

Onna Solomon’s writing has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Cimarron Review, and 32 Poems, among others. She received her Master’s in creative writing from Boston University, and now lives and works in Ann Arbor, MI. In her free time time, she organizes community art events through the Huron River Arts Initiative (HuRAI!).

Lolita Hernandez | Chelsea District Library

Lolita Hernandez is the author of Autopsy of an Engine and Other Stories from the Cadillac Plant, winner of a 2005 PEN Beyond Margins Award. She also is the author of two chapbook collections of poems: Quiet Battles and Snakecrossing. After over 33 years as a UAW member at General Motors, she now teaches in the Creative writing Department of the University of Michigan Residential College.

Robert Jones | Chelsea Center for the Arts

The Rev. Robert B. Jones has been a champion of American Roots music, with a special emphasis on traditional African American music. Spiritual, blues, work songs, field hollers, country music, folk songs, gospel, and original songs are all a part of his American Roots Music. The Rev. Robert Jones has been performing and recording a unique blend of poetry and music with acclaimed Detroit Poet ML Liebler for almost 20 years across the US and abroad.

ML Liebler | Chelsea Center for the Arts

ML Liebler is an internationally known and widely published Detroit poet, university professor, literary arts activist and arts organizer. He is the author of 13 books including the award winning Wide Awake in Someone Else’s Dream. Liebler has taught English, American studies, labor studies, Canadian studies and world literature at Wayne State University in Detroit since 1980.

David MacGregor | Chelsea Center for the Arts

David MacGregor, playwright and a Resident Artist at the Purple Rose Theatre, has produced plays such as The Late Great Henry Boyle (2006), Vino Veritas (2008), Gravity (2010), and Consider the Oyster (2011). Gravity was nominated for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, and Consider the Oyster was just named Best New Play of 2010-2011 by the Rogue Critic.

Jeff Kass | River Gallery

Jeff Kass teaches creative writing at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor and at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti and is Literary Arts Director at The Neutral Zone (Ann Arbor’s teen center). He is the author of the chapbook poetry collection Invisible Staircase, the essay collection From the Front of the Room about teaching, and the short story collection Knuckleheads from Dzanc Books.

Jerry Dennis | River Gallery

Jerry Dennis has emerged as one of America’s most celebrated writers about nature and the outdoors. His essays in publications such as Audubon, Smithsonian, and National Geographic Traveler have won many awards and are frequently reprinted and anthologized. His most recent book, The Windward Shore: A Winter on the Great Lakes, has appeared on national bestseller lists, has been translated into five languages, and is taught in many universities and high schools.

Bonnie Rose Marcus | River Gallery

Bonnie Rose Marcus, poet, theater artist and Director of the Readings/Workshops Program at Poets & Writers, has presented her work at venues including ABC NO RIO, Cornelia Street Cafe and Playwrights Horizon. Published in Salon, Brooklyn and Miss Fit’s Free Press. A hospice volunteer, she facilitates meditation classes and completed a book of poems inspired by her hospice work.

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