Chris "The Sandman" Sand
Chris Sand, AKA Sandman the Rappin’ Cowboy, has traversed the blue highways and gravel backroads of the USA for over two decades, performing his unique blend of folk, punk, hip hop, and cowboy music in basements, living rooms, barns, and libraries along the way. Dubbed by Punk Planet in 2003 as “our Troubadour for the 21st Century,” Sand continues his adventure this year with a 36-page illustrated, interactive children’s songbook titled MAGIC BEANS: 16 Songs For Sprouting Children & Other Human Beans! (www.rappincowboy.com)
Philip Schaefer’s collection Bad Summon (University of Utah Press, 2017) won the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize, while individual poems have won contests published by The Puritan, Meridian, & Passages North. His work has been featured on Poem-A-Day, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and in The Poetry Society of America. He runs a modern Mexican restaurant called The Camino in Missoula, MT.
Rob Schlegel lives in the Pacific Northwest and is the
author of three previous collections of poetry, including
January Machine (Four Way Books, 2014). With the poets
Rawaan Alkhatib and Daniel Poppick, he co-edits the
Willa Schneberg is a poet, ceramic sculptor, interdisciplinary artist, curator and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, (LCSW) in private practice. The Naked Room, her sixth poetry collection, is a true synthesis of her life as a psychotherapist, and her life as a poet. She received the Oregon Book Award for Poetry.
Derek Sheffield is an acclaimed poet, naturalist, teacher, and editor. He is the author of the award-winning book Not for Luck, publishing in January 2021, and an editor of the Collection Cascadia Field Guide
Alexandra Teague’s most recent book is Spinning Tea Cups: A Mythical American Memoir (Oregon State University Press, fall 2023). She is previously the author of three books of poetry—Or What We’ll Call Desire, The Wise and Foolish Builders and Mortal Geography—and the novel The Principles Behind Flotation, as well as co-editor of Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence. She is a professor at University of Idaho, where she co-directs the MFA program.
Part humorist, part journalist, part storyteller, Ednor Therriault brings a unique perspective to his work. His first book, 2009’s Montana Curiosities, became the best-selling title in Globe Pequot’s Curiosities series. The second edition was released in 2013. He spends much of his time crisscrossing the state, researching history and culture and gathering stories from his fellow Montanans. Ednor has published eight titles in all, including Haunted Montana, Myths and Legends of Yellowstone, and Seven Montanas.
The Missoula-based writer has written articles for several regional magazines and local papers, including Mountain Outlaw, Distinctly Montana, and the late, lamented Missoula Independent. Ednor specializes in nonfiction and cannot stop himself from injecting his quirky humor into much of his writing.
Jodi Varon is the author of two essay collections, Your Eyes Will Be My Window (University of Georgia Press Crux Series in Creative Nonfiction) and Drawing to an Inside Straight: The Legacy of an Absent Father (University of Missouri Press). Her translations of the Tang Dynasty poet Li He are collected in The Rock's Cold Breath: Selected Poems of Li He (Ice River Press). Varon is professor emeritus of English and writing at Eastern Oregon University, where she established the low residency MFA in creative writing and served as founding editor of basalt: a journal of fine and literary arts. She lives in Missoula, Montana.
Nathan Ward, who was an editor with American Heritage, has written for The New York Times and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, not far from the Red Hook piers. He is the author of Dark Harbor: The War for the New York Waterfront and The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett.
Kristen Millares Young
Kristen Millares Young is a journalist, essayist, and author of the novel Subduction, named a staff pick by the Paris Review and called “whip-smart” by the Washington Post, “a brilliant debut” by the Seattle Times, and “utterly unique and important” by Ms. Magazine. Winner ofNautilus and IPPY awards, Subduction was shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and named a finalist for two International Latino Book Awards and Foreword Indies Book of the Year in 2020. Her essays, book reviews, and investigations appear in the Washington Post, the Guardian, Literary Hub, and the anthologies Advanced Creative Nonfiction, Latina Outsiders, and Alone Together, winner of a 2021 Washington State Book Award. A former Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, she is the editor of Seismic: Seattle, City of Literature, a finalist for a 2021 Washington State Book Award. Kristen was the researcher for the New York Times team that produced “Snow Fall,” which won a Pulitzer Prize. She is the 2023 Distinguished Visiting Writer for Seattle University and the University of Washington Bothell Master of Fine Arts program.
Maya Jewell Zeller
Maya Jewell Zeller's most recent book is the forthcoming out takes/ glove box, selected by Eduardo Corral for the New American Poetry Prize. She teaches for Central Washington University and the low-residency MFA program of Western Colorado University.