Frances Dinkelspiel is an author, journalist, and the co-founder and executive editor of Cityside, a nonprofit civic news organization that oversees Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Her most recent book is Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, which was a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, a finalist for the Northern California Book Awards and a finalist for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association award in nonfiction. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, a Chronicle Best Book of 2008, and a Northern California Independent Booksellers Association best book of the year. Frances’ articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, People magazine and AARP magazine. www.francesdinkelspiel.com
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Alex Espinoza earned his MFA from UC Irvine and is the author of the novels Still Water Saints and The Five Acts of Diego León, both from Random House. His newest book is Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime. He’s written for the LA Times, the NY Times Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, and NPR’s All Things Considered. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the MacDowell Colony, as well as an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, he is the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at UC Riverside and is completing a new novel. https://www.alexespinoza.com/
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Glen David Gold is the author of the best selling novels Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside and the memoir I Will Be Complete. He has written short stories, essays and journalism for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Playboy, McSweeney’s, Wired and Zyzzyva, and comic books for DC, Marvel and Dark Horse. His dramatic work includes stuff you’ve never heard of nor seen anywhere, and easily-available episodes of the podcasts Welcome to Night Vale and The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
Debra Gwartney is the author of two memoirs: most recently, I Am a Stranger Here Myself, winner of a Willa Award — Women Writing the West — in Creative Nonfiction, as well as winner of the RiverTeeth Nonfiction Prize, and shortlisted for the Oregon Book Award; Live Through This was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Debra’s work has appeared in such journals as Granta, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Scholar, Tin House and others, including the New York Times “Modern Love” column. She teaches in the MFA Program at Pacific University, and lives in Western Oregon.
Sands Hall‘s recent memoir, Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology, (Counterpoint), was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book in Religion and Spirituality. She is also the author of the novel, Catching Heaven (Ballantine), a Willa Award Winner, Women Writing the West, and a Random House Reader’s Circle selection; as well as a volume of essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft. Stories and essays have been published in such places as Iowa Review, New England Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books, and she has written several produced plays. Professor Emeritus at Franklin & Marshall College, Sands is a writing coach and teaches for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and for the Community of Writers, among other conferences. She is also a theater artist and a singer/songwriter. Sands lives in Nevada City, California. Please visit https://sandshall.com/
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Lauren Markham is a writer based in California whose work has appeared in outlets such as Guernica, Harper’s, Orion, Freeman’s, Lithub, Best American Travel Writing, The New Republic, Narrative, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times and VQR, where she is a contributing editor. Lauren is the author of The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, which was awarded the Northern California Book Award, The California Book Award Silver Medal, and the Ridenhour Prize. She teaches in the MFA programs at Ashland University and the University of San Francisco. www.laurenmarkham
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Gregory Pardlo is an essayist and Pulitzer Prize-winning for poet. His most recent book is Air Traffic, a memoir in essays. His poetry collection Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Other honors include fellowships from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts for translation. His first poetry collection Totem won the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is Poetry Editor of Virginia Quarterly Review and Director of the MFA program at Rutgers University-Camden. www.pardlo.net
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Julia Flynn Siler is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist. Her most recent book, The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown (Knopf, 2019) was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the California Book Award. Her other books are The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, a finalist for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting, and Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure. A veteran journalist, Siler was a foreign correspondent based in London and has been a guest commentator on PBS, the BBC, CNBC, and CNN. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two sons. www.juliaflynnsiler.com
Photo Credit: Brett Hall Photography