Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea (Chair) is a Guggenheim Fellow, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and the bestselling author of 18 books. His honors include a Pushcart Prize, an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, and an Edgar Award. (Photo credit: Brave Lux Joe Mazza)

Luis Alberto Urrea (Chair) is a Guggenheim Fellow, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and the bestselling author of 18 books. His honors include a Pushcart Prize, an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, and an Edgar Award. His most recent book, The House of Broken Angels was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

(Photo credit: Brave Lux, Joe Mazza)

Nell Painter

Nell Painter (Chair), the author of The History of White People; Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol; and Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over, is Madame Chairman of MacDowell’s Board of Directors. (Photo credit: Dwight Carter)

Nell Painter (Chair), the author of The History of White People; Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol; and Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over, is Madame Chairman of MacDowell’s Board of Directors. She writes opinion pieces for the New York TimesThe Washington Post, The Paris Review, and other journals when not painting self-portraits and reading artist’s books that visualize people and history.

(Photo credit: Dwight Carter)

Cathryn Mercier

Cathryn Mercier (Chair) directs the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and the graduate degree programs in Literature for Children and Young Adults at Simmons University. She contributed to the anthologies Keywords for Children’s Literature and Teaching Young Adult Literature.

Cathryn Mercier (Chair) directs the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and the graduate degree programs in Literature for Children and Young Adults at Simmons University. She contributed to the anthologies Keywords for Children’s Literature and Teaching Young Adult Literature.  She has served on the committees for the Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal, the Geisel Award, the Sibert Medal, the Children’s Literature Legacy Award, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. She has been a board member of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others.

Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014Best American Short Stories 2012Best Sex Writing 2012A Public SpaceMcSweeney’sTin HouseOxford AmericanAmerican Short FictionVirginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books AyitiAn Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects.

Terry Tempest Williams

Terry Tempest Williams is the author of sixteen books, including the environmental literature classic, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, a New York Times bestseller; and her latest book, Erosion: Essays of Undoing.

Terry Tempest Williams is the author of sixteen books, including the environmental literature classic, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, a New York Times bestseller; and her latest book, Erosion: Essays of Undoing. She is a recipient of a Lannan Literary Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction. In 2019, Terry Tempest Williams was given The Robert Kirsch Award, a lifetime achievement prize given to a writer with a substantial contribution to the American West. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is currently writer-in-residence at the Harvard Divinity School. She divides her time between the red rock desert of Utah and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Joan Trygg

Joan Trygg is general manager at Red Balloon Bookshop in Saint Paul, where she has been since 2004. She has been a bookseller for twenty-eight years. She is a creative nonfiction writer and has an MFA from Hamline University.

Joan Trygg is general manager at Red Balloon Bookshop in Saint Paul, where she has been since 2004. She has been a bookseller for twenty-eight years. She is a creative nonfiction writer and has an MFA from Hamline University.

Danzy Senna

Danzy Senna is the author of five critically acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction, including her award-winning first novel Caucasia, and her most recent novel, New People, selected as a New York Times Notable Book and one of Time Magazine’s Best Novels of the Year.

Danzy Senna is the author of five critically acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction, including her award-winning first novel Caucasia, and her most recent novel, New People, selected as a New York Times Notable Book and one of Time Magazine’s Best Novels of the Year. Senna is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and the Dos Passos Prize for Literature. She lives in Los Angeles and is a Professor at the University of Southern California.

Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet (Chair) is the bestselling author or editor of six books, including The Family, C Street, and Sweet Heaven When I Die.

Jeff Sharlet (Chair) is the bestselling author or editor of six books, including The FamilyC Street, and Sweet Heaven When I Die. He is an editor at large for VQR and a contributor to a number of other periodicals, including The New York Times MagazineHarper’s Magazine, Esquire, and GQ, for which his story on LGBTQ life in Russia won a National Magazine Award. Sharlet is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.

Mark Wunderlich

Mark Wunderlich (Chair) is the author of four books of poetry, the most recent of which is God of Nothingness, forthcoming from Graywolf Press. His other collections include The Earth Avails, which received the Rilke Prize, Voluntary Servitude, and The Anchorage, which received the Lambda Literary Award.

Mark Wunderlich (Chair) is the author of four books of poetry, the most recent of which is God of Nothingness, forthcoming from Graywolf Press. His other collections include The Earth Avails, which received the Rilke Prize, Voluntary Servitude, and The Anchorage, which received the Lambda Literary Award. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and elsewhere, and his poems have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, New Republic, Poetry, The Paris Review, and have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. He is the director of the Bennington Writing Seminars graduate writing program and lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.