Kelli Russell Agodon was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1969. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and an M.F.A. from the Rainier Writers Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. She is the author of Small Knots, finalist for the 2004 Cherry Grove Poetry Prize and Geography, winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award.
She is the recipient of two Washington State Artist Trust GAP grants, a Puffin Foundation grant, The James Hearst Poetry Prize, the William Stafford Award, the Lohmann Prize, and the Carlin Aden Award for formal verse. Agodon edited the Poetry Broadside Series: The Making of Peace, which was displayed internationally throughout National Poetry Month in 2006. She also worked as the Regional Coordinator for Poets for Peace organizing the Poets for Peace: Mission 911 readings for Washington State raising money for the American Red Cross after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Her work has been featured on NPR's "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor and in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Poets Against the War edited by Sam Hamill and Good Poems for Hard Times edited by Garrison Keillor. She lives in a small seaside community with her husband and daughter in the Northwest. Her website is: www.agodon.com
Marco Rafalà is a first-generation Sicilian American novelist, musician, and writer for award-winning tabletop role-playing games. He earned his MFA in Fiction from The New School and is a co-curator of the Guerrilla Lit Reading Series in New York City. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review and Literary Hub. His debut novel, How Fires End, won the honorable mention in fiction for the 2020 Connecticut Book Awards.
Justin Johnson has been hailed by Guitar World as a "must-see act", dubbed "The Wizard" for his mastery of stringed instruments, and recognized as Slidestock International Slide Guitar Champion. In 2014, Justin Johnson recorded his debut double album, "Smoke & Mirrors," a celebration of the art, history, and traditions behind handmade roots instruments. Along with 18 modern-built roots instruments representing builders from all over the world, the album resurrects the voices of 8 of the oldest cigar box guitars and banjos known to exist. Having never previously been recorded, these fragile relics emanate voices on the album that would otherwise have been lost to time. "Smoke & Mirrors" saw it's official release in March of 2014, as Johnson took the stage to present his "2014/2015 Smoke & Mirrors World Tour," which spanned mainland Australia and Tasmania, North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom. In response to worldwide demand for his educational offerings, Justin Johnson founded "Roots Music School" in Nashville, TN. Under this umbrella, he has released an Instructional Series consisting of DVDs and books on Roots Music technique and theory. As Roots Music School founder, Justin Johnson has partnered with educators across the country to develop Roots Music curriculum for schools.
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If you're in the Richmond, Virginia area, please check out Linden Row Inn for a history stay that's nothing short of epic: https://www.lindenrowinn.com/
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