Brein Lopez

Brein Lopez (Chair) is the general manager of Children’s Book World in Los Angeles, a Pannell Award–winning bookstore whose mission is that every child sees themselves and each other reflected on bookshelves.

Brein Lopez (Chair) is the general manager of Children’s Book World in Los Angeles, a Pannell Award–winning bookstore whose mission is that every child sees themselves and each other reflected on bookshelves. He has been a bookseller for three decades, having previously served at legendary Los Angeles bookstores Book Soup and Every Picture Tells a Story. Lopez is an advocate for BIPOC, LGBTQIA2+, and Disability representation and inclusion in all aspects of the children’s book industry.

Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco (Chair) was the fifth presidential inaugural poet in US history—the youngest, and the first Latinx, immigrant, and gay person to serve in that role. In 2023, Blanco was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Biden. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, Blanco’s cultural identity characterizes his many collections of award–winning poetry, including his most recent, Homeland of My Body.

Richard Blanco (Chair) was the fifth presidential inaugural poet in US history—the youngest, and the first Latinx, immigrant, and gay person to serve in that role. In 2023, Blanco was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Biden. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, Blanco’s cultural identity characterizes his many collections of award–winning poetry, including his most recent, Homeland of My Body. Blanco serves as Education Ambassador of the Academy of American Poets, and is an Associate Professor at Florida International University.

(Photo credit: Matt Stagliano)

Mat Johnson

Mat Johnson (Chair) is a Philip H. Knight Chair of Humanities at the University of Oregon. His publications included the novels Invisible Things and Pym, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the graphic novel Incognegro.

Mat Johnson (Chair) is a Philip H. Knight Chair of Humanities at the University of Oregon. His publications included the novels Invisible Things and Pym, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the graphic novel Incognegro. Johnson is the recipient of the 2007 United States Artists James Baldwin Fellowship, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, and the American Book Award.

(Photo credit: Andrea Walls)

 

Ada Ferrer

Ada Ferrer (Chair) is the author most recently of Cuba: An American History, which won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History.

Ada Ferrer (Chair) is the author most recently of Cuba: An American History, which won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History. She has held fellowships from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, among others. Ferrer is Julius Silver Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University.

(Photo credit: Cundill History Prize, Owen Egan)

 

Heid E. Erdrich

Heid E. Erdrich (Chair) is the author of seven poetry collections, including Little Big Bully, a National Poetry Series winner.

Heid E. Erdrich (Chair) is the author of seven poetry collections, including Little Big Bully, a National Poetry Series winner. Erdrich edited the anthology New Poets of Native Nations and has received many honors, including the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress, the Balcones Poetry Prize, and a National Artists Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Erdrich is a 2020-2024 guest curator for the Mead Art Museum of Amherst College. She lives in Minnesota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain.

(Photo credit: Angela Erdrich)

Jeremy Tiang

Jeremy Tiang (Chair) is the translator of over 20 books from Chinese, including novels by Zhang Yueran, Shuang Xuetao, Yan Ge, Yeng Pway Ngon, Lo Yi-Chin, and Chan Ho-Kei.

Jeremy Tiang (Chair) is the translator of over 20 books from Chinese, including novels by Zhang Yueran, Shuang Xuetao, Yan Ge, Yeng Pway Ngon, Lo Yi-Chin, and Chan Ho-Kei. He is the author of a short story collection, It Never Rains on National Day, and a novel, State of Emergency, which won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. He also writes and translates plays. Originally from Singapore, he now lives in New York City.

(Photo credit: Jeremy Tiang)

Claudette S. McLinn

Claudette S. McLinn (Chair) is the executive director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. Dr. McLinn has served on numerous book award committees and juries, and chaired the American Library Association’s 2022 Randolph Caldecott Award Committee and 2009 Pura Belpré Award Committee. 

Claudette S. McLinn (Chair) is the executive director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. Dr. McLinn has served on numerous book award committees and juries, and chaired the American Library Association’s 2022 Randolph Caldecott Award Committee and 2009 Pura Belpré Award Committee. She is the recipient of the 2023 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement and the 2020 Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award.

(Photo credit: CSMCL)

Oscar Villalon

Oscar Villalon is the managing editor at ZYZZYVA. His writing has been published in Stranger’s Guide, Freeman’s, The Believer, Literary Hub, and other publications.

Oscar Villalon is the managing editor at ZYZZYVA. His writing has been published in Stranger’s Guide, Freeman’s, The Believer, Literary Hub, and other publications. A former book editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, he lives with his family in San Francisco.

(Photo credit: Oscar Villalon)

Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is the author of 22 books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. He is a George W. Holmes University Professor at the University of Nebraska, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and Glenna Luschei Editor-in-Chief of Prairie Schooner.

Kwame Dawes (Chair) is the author of 22 books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. He is a George W. Holmes University Professor at the University of Nebraska, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and Glenna Luschei Editor-in-Chief of Prairie Schooner. His honors include an Emmy Award, the Forward Prize for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing, and the Windham Campbell Prize for Poetry.

(Photo credit: El Secretario)