Bill HolmBill Holm

Bill Holm (August 25, 1943- February 25, 2009)  was born in 1943 on a farm north of Minneota.   He continues to live in Minneota half the year while he teaches at Southwest State University in Marshall.  He spends his summers at his little house on a northern Iceland fjord where he writes, practices the piano, and waits for the first dark after three months of daylight.  He is the author of nine books, both poetry and essays. His most recent prose book is Eccentric Islands (Milkweed Editions, 2000).

He is working on a new prose book: The Windows of Brimnes, a long essay on what the United States and the last forty years of his own life look like when viewed from the windows of his house just south of the Arctic Circle. The view is not cheerful these days.

Carol BlyCarol Bly

Carol Bly (April 16, 1930 – December 21, 2007) was a teacher and an award-winning American author of short stories, essays, and nonfiction works on writing.  Her work often featured Minnesota women who must identify the moral crisis that is facing their community or themselves and enact change through empathy, or opening one's eyes to the realities of the situation.

Bly's short stories are known for their realistic characters and situations, which are fully developed within the small number of pages the story allows.  Although many of her stories are set in Minnesota, the people and the situations transcend local boundaries, emphasizing pride in one's work, resourcefulness, the ability to laugh at one's self, and the ability "to hold values beyond one's own immediate welfare."

To reach a broader audience, Bly wrote several books to assist others in learning to write well. Rather than concentrate on the technical basics of writing a story, these books provide tips for writing a story that is "morally, politically, and emotionally deep."  Her books are somewhat controversial, as they encourage students to use "the sort of 'empathetic questioning' therapists and social workers use" in order to find their strongest feelings and amplify their ideas.










Paul GruchowPaul GruchowPaul Gruchow (May 23, 1947- February 22, 2004) is the author of seven volumes of essays, including the Necessity of Empty Places; Grass Roots: The Universe of Home; and Boundary Waters: Grace of the Wild all published by Milkweed Editions.


Paul's work has appeared in many anthologies including: The Best American Essays. Paul has won numerous awards, including two Minnesota Book Awards, the Flannagan Prize and the Critics Choice Award of the San Francisco Review of Books. He has taught at St Olaf College and Concordia College and has occupied the Gamaliel Chair of Peace and Justice at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He was the Keller-Edlestein Minnesota Writer of Distinction at the University of Minnesota.