Fleda Brown was born in Columbia, Missouri, and grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She earned her Ph.D. in English (specialty in American Literature) from the University of Arkansas, and in 1978 she joined the faculty of the University of Delaware English Department, where she founded the Poets in the Schools Program, which she directed for more than 12 years. Her books, essays, and individual poems have won many awards. Her eighth collection of poems, No Need of Sympathy, was published in 2013 by BOA Editions, LTD. Her collection of memoir-essays, Driving With Dvorak, was released in 2010 from the University of Nebraska Press. She has co-edited two books, most recently On the Mason-Dixon Line: An Anthology of Contemporary Delaware Writers.
Fleda has read and lectured in secondary schools, retirement communities, libraries, bookstores, a prison for delinquent adolescents, Rotary Clubs, AAUWs, and many universities and colleges, from Oxford University, Cambridge, to small liberal arts colleges. She has slept in a bunkhouse and has read with cowboy poets in North Dakota, and she has read for the Governor of Delaware and for the Delaware Legislature. She served as poet laureate of Delaware from 2001-2007, when she retired from the University of Delaware and moved to Traverse City, Michigan. In Traverse City, she writes a monthly column on poetry for the Record-Eagle newspaper, and she has a regular commentary on poetry on Interlochen Public Radio. She teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop, a low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, and she spends summers with her husband, Jerry Beasley, also a retired English professor, at their cottage on a small lake in northern Michigan. Between them, they have four children and ten grandchildren. Learn more about Fleda and her work at www.fledabrown.com.
“What in the world am I going to say?” This is one of our first thoughts when a friend loses a loved one. Everyone feels unprepared when faced with another's grief. We want to reach out and be supportive, but we fear saying the wrong thing and making matters worse. A Friend in Grief: Simple Ways to Help gives you the words and actions to reach out and support your friend, with confidence and compassion. Topics include: What NOT to say and why, small things that you can do to make a big difference, how to support a colleague at work, suggested wording for writing a note, how to provide support when you live far away. Author Ginny Callaway, whose ten-year-old daughter Sara Jane died in a car accident, draws on her own experience and the stories of people she interviewed, whose loved ones died. They have lived through grief and know first hand what comforts and what hurts. Here are the straightforward answers you've been looking for.
University of Miami Professor Emeritus Michael L. Carlebach's photojournalism career began in New York and Washington D.C. Upon coming to Florida, he worked briefly as a staff photographer for the Miami Herald. In 1973, he began teaching at the University of Miami, which launched a thirty-year career in higher education. Dr. Carlebach taught photojournalism in the School of Communication, re-established the program in American Studies, and chaired the Department of Art & Art History.
Throughout his life he remained a sought-after photojournalist with a discerning eye for the subtleties of the human condition and the comic aspects of everyday life. His photographs have been published in Time, People, the Miami Herald, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, and The New York Times. His books include thorough scholarly histories of photography, such as The Origins of Photojournalism in America, and American Photojournalism Comes of Age, both published by Smithsonian Institution Press. He remains active as a photographer, scholar, and writer. His latest book, Sunny Land, showcases his startling, humorous black and white images of the lesser documented “margins” of South Florida society. He is especially interested in illuminating the lives of people outside the glare of contemporary media, and in finding and memorializing extraordinary moments that would otherwise be lost.
Kimberly Childs grew up moving between London, New York, and her grandparent’s Kentucky farm. Determined to find her spiritual family she searched through 1960s San Francisco and found Guru Sri Chinmoy’s ashram in Queens, New York. While with the group she was the owner of three vegetarian restaurants and was also waitress, cook, and dishwasher. After leaving the ashram she enrolled in Adelphi University and received her Masters Degree in Social Work. She worked with alcoholics and their families and turned to fiber arts as a mode of self-expression. She has had many one-woman shows and won awards.
When she lost her voice to spasmodic dysphonia she turned to a women’s creative writing circle as a way of healing. Her writing has been published in Writing in Circles – a Celebration of Women’s Writing edited by Peggy Tabor Millin and Sisters Singing edited by Carolyn Brigit Flynn. She Writes Press will be publishing Childs’ Remember Me As Loving You: a Daughter’s Memoir in September, 2017.
Her personal passions include: meditation, watercolors, ecstatic dance, hiking, and bird watching. She lives with her husband and dog in the mountains of beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. Discover more at http://kimberlychildsauthor.com/.
Frances Ruthe Figart has always focused on words and language. While editing the monthly magazine for the National Tour Association based in Lexington, Kentucky, she became passionate about ecotourism and sustainable travel. This led her to live in Canada and Costa Rica supporting a small kayak tour operator as director of marketing and communications. She returned to Kentucky in 2010 to help her mother, Ruthe, die with grace and dignity. After this transition, Frances moved to Asheville, North Carolina, in 2013 to start life anew. With her sights set on working again in magazine publishing, she was hired by the city’s popular arts and culture monthly, The Laurel of Asheville, and is now its editor. She lives north of Asheville on six acres in a small mountain community with her husband, artist John Philip Beaudet, two cats, Grendel and Oki, and two Australian Shepherds, Dukkha and Ivy.
Anthony Flaccavento is an organic farmer, consultant and small business owner in the Appalachian region of southwestern Virginia. He writes and speaks regularly on economic justice, sustainable development, and related issues and also produces a YouTube series called “Take Five with Tony!” that can be viewed at www.bottomupeconomy.org.
PRAISE FOR BUILDING A HEALTHY ECONOMY FROM THE BOTTOM UP
“Flaccavento deftly weaves a big-picture vision for building a better economy—one that truly serves our needs and long-term well-being—with down-to-earth stories and practical tips for how to set these changes in motion within your own household and community.” —Stacy Mitchell, codirector of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and author of Big-Box Swindle
“No matter how many books on ‘local economies’ you have read, you will learn something new and eye-opening from Anthony Flaccavento. Starting with his own organizing efforts in Southwest Virginia, Flaccavento spins the colorful tales of successful grassroots economy-building in Appalachia and in small towns and low-income neighborhoods across the United States. There’s so much inspiring material packed into these pages, I challenge anyone to read it and NOT want to buy from, invest in, or even start a local business in food, energy, or finance. This book will change readers’ lives.” —Michael H. Shuman, author of The Local Economy Solution
“Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up is an invaluable guidebook for those who seek to liberate their communities from colonial servitude to Wall Street and the money-seeking corporate robots that come only to take.” —David C. Korten, author of Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living EartH
“Flaccavento brings a completely unique perspective to economics, which is to say that he is both entertaining and factual. Economists generally aren’t concerned with either. I recommend this book to those who have come to realize our country is running on fumes and who desire to explore what’s next.” —Kimber Lanning, founder and director of Local First Arizona
Andrew Lawler is author of two books, The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke and Why Did the Chicken Cross the World: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization. As a journalist, he has written more than a thousand newspaper and magazine articles from more than two dozen countries. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and many others. He is contributing writer for Science and contributing editor for Archaeology. Andrew’s work has appeared several times in The Best of Science and Nature Writing
KAREN HOKANSON MILLER
Writing for and about children is something Karen Hokanson Miller is truly passionate about. Turning everyday calamities and mishaps into humor inspired Karen to write stories for the Chicago Tribune and special interest magazines. Funny stories of her family, edited and embellished, have appeared in several children’s magazines. Her children’s interest in Nature sparked nonfiction pieces in magazines like National Geographic World. A former school teacher and bookseller, Karen has never strayed far from her childhood love of books. Currently Karen is a tutor for the Yancey County Literacy Council, a member of the Author’s Guild, American Library Association, National Council of Teachers of English, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the North Carolina Writer’s Network.
She served as the Children’s Literature Coordinator for the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival (Burnsville, North Carolina). She has also been a judge for the Writer’s DigestAnnual Writing Contest and the Rebecca Caudill Award (an award given by the children of Illinois for the best in Children’s Literature.)
Check out Karen's website at karenhokansonmiller.com.
Author and yoga instructor Lillah Schwartz is known by appreciative students across the country as “the queen of alignment.” She has trained for 35 years with numerous instructors, including BKS Iyengar, Aadil Palkhivala, Eric Small, and Mathew Sanford. She pioneered the Iyengar method in North Carolina from 1981- 2009. Lillah brings the science and spirit of yoga wisdom to thousands who have become pain-free from her alignment-based instruction.
Through her popular DVDs, “Yoga for the Asymmetric Pelvis,” “Yoga: Your Freedom from Back Pain,” and “Yoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder Pain,” Lillah brings the essence of alignment-based Yoga Wisdom home in a practical, safe and unique way. Recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, Prevention Magazine, and Yoga Journal, Booklist calls the DVDs “an excellent resource for beginning yoga enthusiasts.”
In her new book, Healing Our Backs with Yoga, Lillah clearly explains movement principles, basic anatomy, breath awareness, and the central elements of alignment-based yoga to help one uncover their own healing potential of moving toward back pain relief. Step-by-step instructions with 285 color photos, explanations, hints, and cautions help the reader perform simple and powerful poses aimed at healing the back. This transformative book is designed to be enjoyed by everyone— from first time yoga practitioners to seasoned yoga instructors. In it, the reader will learn the most effective yoga poses in 22 time-tested sequences to unlock the natural healing capabilities of the body.
“A masterpiece book that should be an essential resource for yoga therapists, health care professionals, yoga practitioners and instructors, and all individuals with back issues.” —Dilip Sarkar, MD, FACS, CAP Associate Professor of Surgery (Retired), President, International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT)
New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd’s first novel, The Madman’s Daughter (HarperCollins, 2013), was a Kids’ Indie Next List selection from the American Booksellers Association, won the 2013 North Carolina Young Adult Book Award, and received a starred review from School Library Journal. It was followed by two more books in the series, Her Dark Curiosity and A Cold Legacy, and was optioned for film by Paramount Pictures. Megan’s second young adult series, The Cage (HarperCollins, 2015), is a New York Times bestselling title, and is followed by The Hunt and The Gauntlet. Her next young adult series, Grim Lovelies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) is forthcoming.
Megan’s debut middle grade title, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill (Random House, 2016), received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness, and was written about in Time magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Her shorter works include the stories “Hide-and-Seek” in the young adult horror anthology Slasher Girls and Monster Boys (Penguin, 2015) and "Lady Firebrand" in the young adult historical fiction anthology The Radical Element (Candlewick, 2018).
“Born” into the book world, Megan grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Interested in foreign languages and travel, she earned a degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and later joined the US Peace Corps, where she spent two years living and working in a small village in Senegal. There, she partnered with a local elementary school to transcribe oral folk tales into an illustrated picture book to distribute to students. Though she has always been an avid reader, this project first sparked her interest in telling her own stories.
Megan frequently speaks to schools and libraries and has taught for UNCA’s Great Smokies Writing Program, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the NC Writers’ Network. In previous lives, she worked for a book publisher, an environmental nonprofit, as a raft guide, a nanny, and a park ranger in Montana.
When she is not writing, she can usually be found daydreaming in cafes, hiking in the mountains, binge-watching WestWorld and Game of Thrones, and gardening at her 125-year-old farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina, which she and her husband share with several hives of bees, five chickens, two cats, an especially scruffy dog, and a new baby.
She is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.
Sue Wasserman believes she had the best of both worlds growing up in New Jersey. A lake in her front yard provided the perfect place to learn about the beauty of nature while her proximity to New York City, along with an art-appreciating mother, helped foster a passion for the arts.
Sue’s confidence was bolstered by a talent for fencing, which helped her earn a scholarship to The Ohio State University. Her resume proudly proclaimed that “the pen writes mightily with the sword.”
As a freelance writer, Sue Wasserman has interviewed a diverse group of people from baseball great Hank Aaron and Home Depot Founder Bernie Marcus, to Penland School of Craft Director Jean McLaughlin and renowned NC Potter Cynthia Bringle. She’s written for such publications as The New York Times, Southern Living, American Style, Ceramics Monthly, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Asheville Citizen Times.
Sue became an accidental nature photographer thanks to a combination of curiosity, a bad back, and an impending corporate layoff. She sought solace in the woods and found herself intrigued by the colorful wildflowers she found on her journeys. She began carrying a camera to help identify the beauty she discovered. Identification turned to inspiration. Friends encouraged her to publish the images.