2017 Contributors

TA–COUMBA AIKEN is a Twin Cities artist, arts administrator, educator, and community activist who focuses on public art and collaborative projects. His “rhythm paintings” on paper and canvas are loose and lively. He has participated in the creation of over 300 murals and public art sculptures with themes ranging from local history to the artist’s own style of rhythmic pattern and spirit writing. He lives in Lowertown.

CAMI APPLEQUIST is a Saint Paul writer and artist working in variety of media. She draws, paints, works in collage and photography to create images, but she also works in 3-D. Her main goals as an artist are to tell stories and work with others, leading workshops and collaborating on projects.

COLLEEN CASEY uses language and other arts to facilitate positive transformation. From Bdote and of Mdewakanton Dakota and European American heritages, Colleen considers herself a person of crosscurrents and confluences. She loves supporting people who are strengthening their voices. She believes we are all related.

CAROL CONNOLLY Saint Paul’s first poet laureate, was appointed by Mayor Chris Coleman. Her family has lived in Saint Paul for six generations. She has been a political candidate, political and human rights activist, journalist, and poet. Her first book of poems, Payments Due, now in its fifth printing, was published by Minnesota Villages and Voices, a small press founded by poet Meridel Le Sueur. Her second book of poems, All This and More, is published by Nodin Press. She has curated and hosted the monthly Readings by Writers series at the University Club of Saint Paul for twenty years.

DEBORAH COOPER is retired from thirty years of corporate communications and public relations for Twin Cities–area corporations. Now a freelance marketing manager, she has served as a board member and secretary for the nonprofit Rondo Avenue, Inc., which produces the annual Rondo Days Festival. Deborah is currently writing a series of short stories that depict the people, places, and history of the former Rondo community.

MARY BETH MCCARTHY YARROW is a producer of social and political documentary films that serve as witness to the circumstance, history, and character of people. Beginning in 1980 with The Willmar 8, she has used this art form of storytelling to create lasting and tangible profiles of remarkable, inspirational, transformative lives. www.mccarthyfilm.com

JAMES ZIMMERMAN lives in the West Seventh neighborhood with his wife and children. His writings have appeared in numerous periodicals and books, including past volumes of this Almanac. He is the author of the memoir Deliverance at Hand!

C. X. YANG lives in Saint Paul.

AEGEAN YANG writes, “I used to live in California, in a small farming town called Fresno. I moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota in August 08, 2008. I am a musician. I play the electric guitar. In my free time, I like to write songs, short stories, and poetry.”

M. WRIGHT likes the way the wind trims the tall grass.

MARY VIRGINIA WINSTEAD is a Twin Cities–based writer. She earned her BA in English from St. Catherine University, and her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. Her memoir, Back to Mississippi: A Personal Journal Through the Events that Changed America in 1964, won the 2003 Minnesota Book Award for nonfiction. She lives in Apple Valley.

JIM WINSTEAD is a photographer originally from Minnetonka, Minnesota, and is currently living in Los Angeles.

DIANE BAROTT WINDHAM is a writer who lives in Woodbury.

JAY WILSON is a resident of Saint Paul who has a heart for community and photography.

SID CARLSON WHITE is a senior at Mounds Park Academy. Despite constant pressure from 99.9 percent of the people around him, he continues to maintain his belief that Saint Paul is better than Minneapolis and that baseball is the greatest game ever invented. He does not write as much as he should and is more at home at the ballpark or playing quiz bowl.

LINDA WHITE is a writer, reader, editor, reviewer, promoter, and instructor. Her writing has appeared in the Saint Paul Almanac, Writer’s Block, MNReads, and BookRiot. In 2013 she was a finalist in the Beyond the Pure Fellowship for Writers at Intermedia Arts. She runs BookMania.

CLARENCE WHITE is a writer, editor, and publicist living in Saint Paul. He is a master of the personal letter and too many emails for which “send” has been hit with too much haste. He has worked as a writer for the National Farmers Union in Washington, D.C., the international organization Nonviolent Peaceforce, and several Twin Cities nonprofits. He is a 2011–2012 Givens Foundation for African American Literature Retreat fellow and was a finalist for the mnartists.org miniStories flash fiction competition in 2008. He is the primary author of The Clarence White Blog and is a veteran of the Central Minnesota Writers’ Workshop.

TONY WEBSTER is a professional Twin Cities photojournalist who specializes in dance, live theater, and documentary photography. You can find his work at http://tonywebsterphoto.com.

FRANKIE WEAVER was born in Saint Paul and has grown up here ever since. His mum moved to Australia when he was in first grade and he has lived with his dad ever since. He skateboards and fingerboards. He is in fifth grade and goes to Expo Elementary.

GREG WATSON’s work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies and has been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. His most recent collections are What Music Remains, and All the World at Once: New and Selected Poems, both published by Nodin Press. He lives in Saint Paul with his wife, Shelisa, and their daughter, Hadley.

MEYER WARREN is the man. St. Paul Slim is the emcee. #TheW8OnEmptySpace is the painter. In the tradition of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Warren is his own artistic invention. In the past two years, Warren has had three solo art shows, been featured as an artist for the Made Here series #Represent, and is one of only ten artists featured on the 2016 Summer Arts Discovery Series at the Landmark Center in Saint Paul. www.StPaulSlim.com

XIAOLU WANG is a filmmaker based in Minneapolis. She speaks Mandarin Chinese, writes everything down while she can, looks at the clouds instead of her feet, and keeps the camera on at all times.

Whether keeping track of her beloved baseball team’s progress in her middle school diary or reflecting on family life in her essays today, BETH L. VOIGT has always had a passion for writing. Growing up in Saint Paul in a family of two hard-working parents, nine fun-loving siblings, and numerous friends and relatives who came for an afternoon visit or stayed for a few years, she has much to write about—always. She has published her work in national and local publications, including two editions of the Saint Paul Almanac.

JENS VANGE has lived variously on both sides of the river for over thirty years. When not practicing architecture, he collects moments in words and pictures.

NELL MORNINGSTAR UBBELOHDE writes in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. She teaches writing to college students, in community settings, and in the Minnesota state prisons. She has been published in a variety of local and national publications, and is hard at work completing a novel.

JOAN MAEDA TRYGG would rather tell you about herself through the essays she writes, but, when pressed, will say she is a creative nonfiction writer, bookseller, and grandmother of four. She has published essays in Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women and the Journal of the Asian American Renaissance. She has an MFA from Hamline University and is, most adamantly, from Saint Paul.

STEVE TRIMBLE lives in Dayton’s Bluff on Saint Paul’s East Side and can easily walk to Indian Mounds Park. He is a trained urban historian and has published several articles and books. In the summer you can often find him tending his heirloom tomatoes.

JUDITH TREISE grew up on the East Side of Saint Paul and now lives in Minneapolis. She is a part-time designer and editor. There is much to say in favor of our lives in 2016, but she is thankful that she grew up where and when she did. It was a marvelous beginning.

DIANE THAYER loves to take photos. She fell in love with Saint Paul after multiple visits to the city while her two children attended McNally School of Music and Macalester College. She’s originally from Iowa City, Iowa.

JUSTIN TERLECKI is an artist living and working in Saint Paul. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Terlecki graduated from Youngstown State University in 1997, earning a BFA in painting and printmaking. He has exhibited his work regularly in the Twin Cities since moving to Minnesota in 1998. In 2009, Justin received a Jerome Fellowship for Emerging Printmakers through Highpoint Center for Printmaking. This fellowship funded a series of prints inspired by his travels to India and Spain. Justin is currently represented by Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis.

MICHAEL TEFFERA, currently working at U.S. Bank as a financial management analyst, graduated with an MBA degree in finance at Hamline University School of Business. Michael is a member of Toastmasters. He has completed the Competent Communication, the Advance Communicator Bronze, and Competent Leadership Award in less than three years. He was a president of Energy Park Toastmaster Club for the term 2013–2014. He won first place in the Area 11 and third place in the Eastern Division Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contests. He also won second place in Area 11 Toastmasters Tall Tales. Two years ago he was nominated as U.S. Bank’s Toastmaster of the Year. Michael likes to make people laugh and he has a way to make the most ordinary things funny.

CHHOLING TAHA is of Cree First Nations heritage and a certified Cree First Nations artisan. She has been art making for more than sixty years. The many ceremonials she has been blessed to participate in over the years have helped Chholing develop as an artist. It is her heart’s wish to instill a sense of mystery within anyone who views these works and to discover that place within each spirit that beats together as one heart.

JOHNNA SUIHKONEN teaches sixth and seventh grade language arts in Ely, outside of the BWCAW. In her free time, she enjoys rockhounding, the North Shore, traveling, live music, reading, hiking, and photography.

MIKE STRAND sustained a severe brain injury in 1989 in a motor vehicle accident. He has been writing the “Here and Now” column in the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance’s quarterly publication, Mind Matters, since 1999.

DEBRA STONE is a short-story writer and poet who lives in the Twin Cities with her dogs and husband.

PATTI STORM writes, “I moved to Saint Paul in January 2015 and have made this city my own. I have created so many great memories and started several new traditions. I look forward to all the exciting activities Saint Paul has to offer every month.”

RONALD CRAIG SPONG spent his formative years in Saint Paul before his family moved to Rochester. His hometown lured him back after college, military service, and marriage, when he and Katie embarked upon raising four children in Merriam Park. Retired after forty years in public health, he writes about his experiences.

SUSAN SPINDLER has been writing poetry for many years, often using writing to understand, reflect, protest, and be in awe of the world in which we live. She is a nurse, an educator, and an avid golfer, biker, and swimmer. Her family includes two grown children and her dog, Annie.

SUSAN SOLOMON’s paintings are first and foremost about color and light in specific moments of time. Her inspiration is her environment at any given moment. She aims for her work to resemble stained glass, and her painting heroes are Georges Rouault and Édouard Manet.

JULIA KLATT SINGER writes poems, is the poet in residence at Grace Nursery School, and a rostered artist for Compas. She is the author of three books of poetry, her most recent, Untranslatable, and coauthor of Twelve Branches: Stories from St. Paul. She’s cowritten songs with composers Tim Takach and Jocelyn Hagen.

GRANT SINGER is a freshman in high school. He enjoys taking pictures.

GORDON SHUMAKER was born and raised in Saint Paul and went to grade school, college, and law school all on the same street. He majored in English, taught high school English, and then went to law school. He worked as a Ramsey County District Court Judge and a Court of Appeals Judge, and is now retired.

LINDA SHAW grew up near Saint Paul and spent lots of time there when she was young. Married with two teens and an adorable but anxiety-ridden dog, she works for a nonprofit and spends her free time at Saint Paul coffee shops, with friends, or at concerts.

Chef GREGORY SCOTT has been working in food service for nearly twenty years. He spent eleven years working in fine dining establishments before coming to the Dorothy Day Center, where he is now head chef. He manages the menus, donations, and volunteers to feed the people of Saint Paul.

KENNETH SCHWEIGER is from Saint Paul and paints still lifes, portraits, figures, and landscapes.

ADRIAN DANIEL SCHRAMM has been writing and illustrating since the day his mother handed him his first crayon. He has written for publications both online and in print all across the United States. His true passion lies in fiction, and he spends most of his time toiling away tirelessly on the Great American Novel.

EDDY SAMARA writes, “For as long as I can remember I have been a poet, spinning lines like a web to hold myself together, to find a thread of connection with those around me. Today, I meditate with my eyes wide open, hear poetry in whispering leaves, and still believe that words can change the world. I love facilitating and participating in transformative spaces that open opportunities for people to really look at each other—to really listen—to see each other through stories and hear ourselves echo in each unique voice. I write poetry as an embodied prayer to the universe that we as a species wake up, connect, heal, remember, and love.”

DEB RUNYON It took forty-three years to heed the advice of her English teacher, proving it’s never too late. Kudos to those special teachers in our lives!

MARY KAY RUMMEL grew up in the West Seventh area of Saint Paul and lived in the city for many years. Her most recent book of poetry is The Lifeline Trembles, which won the Blue Light Press Book prize.

ERNESTO RUIZ was born in Puerto Rico and attended the graduate program at the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota. He has lived in the Twin Cities since 1996, where he practiced architecture and taught design studios at the University of Minnesota. His other hobbies include reading, ballroom and salsa dancing, and boating on the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers.

SHERRY ROBERTS is the author of Down Dog Diary, a Minnesota mystery with a yoga spin, and Book of Mercy, a funny story about a serious issue: book banning. She spends way too much time watching eagles, crows, and any wildlife that crosses her backyard or online path.

JANICE QUICK still treasures each agate she found at Phalen Lake during the 1950s. She leads cemetery art tours and local history hikes.

YVONNE PEARSON’s poetry has appeared previously in the Saint Paul Almanac, as well as in other journals and magazines, including Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior, Main Street Rag, Chrysalis Reader, Wolf Head Quarterly, Open to Interpretation, Sidewalks, Literary Mama, and Sing Heavenly Muse! Transformations. She is the recipient of a Loft Creative Nonfiction Award, the Shabo Award in children’s literature, and a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.

DEANNE L. PARKS creates chaos on the canvas with no clear plan of the outcome. Her paintings and sculptures are held in private and corporate collections. DeAnne’s work has been published on book, CD, and DVD covers, and in magazines, calendars, and Bible studies. DeAnne’s studio is located in the Midway Triangle Building on University Avenue in Saint Paul. www.artdeanne.com

GORDY PALZER is a lifelong resident of Saint Paul who grew up in the West Seventh area and now lives in Highland Park. His lifelong writing odyssey has taught him that the older he gets, the more clearly he sees the extraordinary in the ordinary!

MARTY OWINGS has been drawing pictures for as long as he can remember and took up painting during the twentieth century. He draws and paints all kinds of subject matter, including architecture, landscapes, and portraits. His work has been featured in many galleries in Minnesota, from the Edina Art Center to the Stillwater Art Gallery.

PATRICIA OLSON was born in Minneapolis and earned a BA in studio art at Macalester College (1973), where she studied with painter Jerry Rudquist. She received an MFA in Visual Studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (1998). She is a founding member of WARM, the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota (1975).

MICHAEL E. MURPHY is retired after a thirty-year career in international business law at Medtronic and the Faegre law firm in Minneapolis. Before he became a lawyer, Mr. Murphy taught English at St. Olaf and Macalester colleges. In retirement, he has been teaching a seminar on The Law in Literature at the University of St. Thomas Law School and writing poetry.

SANDY’ CI MOUA, according to the Pioneer Press, “wears many hats.” A community organizer, actor, shaman-in-limbo, and aunt to over twenty-five nieces and nephews, she enjoys creating her neighborhood toy library where kids can use jump ropes, chalk, games, and more. She loves being a Frogtown and Eastside girl and enjoys pho noodle soup on ninety-eight-degree summer days.

PATRICK MORAN says he and his wife moved to Minnesota four years ago and have absolutely fallen in love with the state and the Twin Cities!

MICHAEL KIESOW MOORE is the author of the poetry collection What to Pray For. His work has appeared in several books and journals, including Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience, Water~Stone Review, and the Saint Paul Almanac. He serves as cocurator of the Birchbark Books Reading Series and lives in Saint Paul.

DAVID MENDEZ born in Minneapolis and growing up on Saint Paul’s West Side,  writing focuses on his experience as a third generation Chicano in Minnesota. He looks to the blue collar roots of his community. He hopes that his works will inspire others to find their voice and share a story.

MARIANNE MCNAMARA Saint Paul native is a proud grandmother of two and can usually be found hanging out with one or both of her little grand-girls. She loves learning something new every day and, if asked, will tell you grandchildren and discovery make her days rewarding!

SEAN MCLAUGHLIN, MFA Columbia, is a Lowertown artist and writer who journals his devotion to myth and the common object in intimate drawings, large-scale paintings, amulets, essays, and short stories. He has shown with John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, Paul Rotterdam, and Sue Coe.

ETHNA MCKIERNAN is the author of three collections of poems: Caravan, The One Who Swears You Can’t Start Over, and Sky Thick with Fireflies. Widely published in anthologies and literary journals, she has twice received the Minnesota Arts Board Fellowship in literature. McKiernan earned her MFA from Warren Wilson College in 2004, and works as a homeless advocate in Hennepin County.

LINDA BACK MCKAY is a poet, author, teaching artist, and writing coach who grew up talking to oak trees. She lives with David McKay between two bridges in Minneapolis where she can gaze across the river to her homeland in Saint Paul.

DAVID MATHER is a writer, archaeologist, and gardener. He and his family enjoy life on the West Side. David is the author of Frog in the House, a book for children that takes place here in Saint Paul.

PETER J. MARKHAM says he works as a system engineer by day, but “by night I’m a husband, a father, a photography lover, and a lover of animals.” He lives in Loretto, Minnesota. www.minnesotageek.net

DAVID LYNDALE grew up in Michigan, where at a young age he began writing about the world around him. He eventually left snowy Michigan for the warmer sunny climate of Minneapolis. He is the author of the novel Watertown Fires.

BRITTANY “MISS BRIT” LYNCH is a Twin Cities–based poet, TV/radio personality, actress, entrepreneur, creative consultant, and community organizer. Working interdependently between media, art, curation, and social justice, she has emerged as a tastemaker for the local entertainment scene. For more info, visit HeyMissBrit.com.

PAISLEY LUNA is a high school student at Visitation School. She loves taking photos of Saint Paul for her photography class.

MELODY WERNER LUEPKE, originally from Cleveland, is now a proud resident of Saint Paul. After moving here to be close to her daughters, she quickly discovered the wealth of activities and venues in Saint Paul and became a live-music junkie. Her writing background consists primarily of poetry and short stories, and her artistic endeavors include jewelry making and photography. Melody is also a massage therapist, choral member, and, most importantly, the grandmother of three youngsters who live in Saint Paul.

CHIA “CHILLI” LOR is Saint Paul raised and graduated from St. Catherine University. She sees herself as an artist organizer, with writing themes revolving around identity, racial justice, and youth empowerment. She has been invited to perform at open mics, reading series, rallies, conferences, and a variety of community events.

AMANDA LINDER dislikes the scrutiny of strangers.

RACHEL LIMON writes, “My artwork is very diverse, and I utilize a multitude of mediums such as photography, jewelry, pottery, beadwork, sewing, watercolor and acrylic painting to express my inner creativity. The focus of my work is on the beauty and intrigue of the present moment. I try to capture rare moments in time as they unveil themselves with the hope to share and enlighten these reflective moments. My work is influenced by my love of family and nature.”

ABE LEVINE is a community-based chef and gardener who is both strange and full of flavor, like an eggplant. His kitchen is his dojo, and you’re invited to judo chop!

ANNIKA LEIKNES works in an intuitive yet strategic manner so her geodesic abstract paintings come to life. She uses acrylic, mixed media, and bold watercolor. The focal point of her paintings lies in the movement. Radial loops of outgoing color emerge from dark surfaces intentionally leading the eye through its path and back again. These are emotions and experiences expelled, something she believes we can all see, remember, and feel.

ASHLEY LEE is twenty-one years old, born and raised on the East Side of Saint Paul. Recently she moved to Oakdale, but it’s a thirty-second drive to Saint Paul from her new home. She enjoys writing and eating!

HLEE LEE is a community-based, globally minded storyteller in the Twin Cities. She is a photographer, communications professional, and production specialist with a passion for telling community-based stories with a global twist.

CHRISTOPHER DAVID LEAR is a writer, storyteller, and zen clown. Anxious by birth and mirthful by practice, Christopher writes and performs to show folks the joy in life and convince them (and himself) that no trouble exists that cannot be overcome with a sufficient amount of imagination.

KEVIN LARIVA has always moved around and never quite liked writing. His girlfriend, Leilani, has always had this idea that one thing or person can be your inspiration, and she’s his inspiration. He feels like he’s home with her and enjoys writing with her in mind.

SARAH J. K. KOPER writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her poem “Moonwalker” is engraved on a sculpture located at St. Cloud State University. “Baseball Bits #2” was published in A View from the Loft (2001). “Searching for Answers” was selected for Hazelden’s Conference on Arts and Healing. Her first book is Potholes: A Collection of Poems, Quotes & Cameos, (2008). the-liberal-prude.com.

SUSAN KOEFOD lives across the street from Saint Paul. Her debut young adult novel, Naming the Stars, was published by Curiosity Quills Press in 2016. Koefod is a recent McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers winner. Koefod has also widely published poetry, short stories, and blogs at susankoefod.com.

BARRY KLEIDER is a teaching artist and photographer. He uses art and art making to build self-awareness and strengthen communities. He lives and works in Minneapolis. On a good day, we get to see ourselves and the world in a new light.

DANNY KLECKO (McGleno) has been baking bread for Saint Paul for three decades. The CEO of Saint Agnes Bakery, he lives with Russian supermodel Sue McGleno in stately Klecko Manor on Summit Avenue. He has over eighty tattoos and loves Saint Paul’s people with all his heart and soul.

PATRICIA KIRKPATRICK received the 2013 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry for Odessa, published by Milkweed Editions. She has taught writing in many colleges, universities, schools, and community settings and worked as a community editor and senior editor for the Saint Paul Almanac.

ISMAIL KHADAR Community editor + raised on the East Side + aspiring anthropologist + devilishly handsome face + a humorous personality + a sweater vest, not vest + a pet turtle named Hidalgo = priceless

JAMIE KALVESTRAN An accomplished product designer, published illustrator, with three design patents to her name, brings her inspirational designs into textile, quilting, home fashions, sporting goods, and personal accessories. She is also a painter and former resident of Saint Paul’s Lowertown Lofts Artist Cooperative.

CHRISTINA JOYCE often seeks writing inspiration in other parts of the world but finds her richest material comes from right here in Saint Paul, where she grew up.

BARBARA JONES was born in Saint Paul sixty-three years ago and lives there still. A graduate of the University of Minnesota and William Mitchell College of Law, she is the editor of Minnesota Lawyer newspaper.

PAUL JACKSON writes, “My ancestors came from Sweden to Minnesota between 1852 and 1889. When I walk to Como Park and around the lake, I imagine my great-great-grandparents, my great-grandparents, my grandparents, and my parents once walking there and enjoying the lily ponds.”

DONNA ISAAC, teacher and poet, likes to write poems centering on people and landscapes. Her two published chapbooks are Tommy (Red Dragonfly Press) and Holy Comforter (Red Bird Chapbooks). Her poetry website is donnaisaacpoet.com.

KAI HSU is an aspiring writer. When he is not writing, he can be found playing basketball or reading one of many books he has started but not finished.

SUNNY HILDEN is a singer, musician, and songwriter who has written for Ray Charles, Sting, Patti LaBelle, The Temptations, Yolanda Adams, David Archuleta, Disney, TV, and film. She visits her childhood’s beloved Mac-Groveland neighborhood often to see family and friends, and to marvel at the snow and lilacs. sunnyhilden.com

KEVIN HERSHEY is a Saint Paul native and former community editor with the Saint Paul Almanac. He lives in New York City, where he works in Early Childhood Education.

“In this hope I live.” —Shakespeare “In this hope, and love, and beauty I live.” —JUDY HAWKINSON

MARGARET HASSE, thirty-year resident of the Mac-Groveland neighborhood, believes what Brenda Ueland wrote in If You Want to Write: “Everyone is important and has something to say.” Between Us, her fifth collection of poetry, was published in 2016.

JANET LUNDER HANAFIN grew up on a South Dakota farm, transplanted herself to Saint Paul for college, and grew deep roots. Her writing has appeared in local and metro-wide publications. She and her husband have two children and five grandchildren (all above average) and enjoy the companionship of two very fine cats.

CHAD HAMBRIGHT is a multidisciplinary artist who specializes in painting and illustration. He lives and works out of his artist loft near CHS Field.

CARLA HAGEN’s debut novel, Hand Me Down My Walking Cane, won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association award for Best Historical Fiction and Best Literary Fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives with her husband in Saint Paul.

PEG GUILFOYLE is the author of several books, including Offstage Voices: Life in Twin Cities Theater. Her company, Peg Projects, produces history books for private clients. The first office she ever worked in was in a turret in Landmark Center, then called the Old Federal Court House. She lives in downtown Saint Paul.

ISADORA GRUYE is a writer and photographer living in Saint Paul. She believes in cartography and beekeepers but has little need for maps or honey. She frequently reads her work at the Barbaric Yawp, and she is a past participant of the Loft Mentor Series

MEG GROVE is the daughter and granddaughter of Saint Paul natives who found her way to town nearly thirty years ago. She lives in the MacGroveland neighborhood, where, finally, she is no longer considered the newcomer.

GEORGIA GREELEY is a writer and visual artist, interdisciplinary in thought and creative action. She lives and works in Saint Paul and at Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Her passion for combining words and images has historically shown up as fine-press broadsides, handmade artist’s books, and limited-edition fine-press books.

WILLIS GILLIARD is a photographer born and raised in Saint Paul. He specializes in wedding, concert, and documentary photography.

JOSEPHINE GEIGER lives in Saint Paul with her dog and a pond full of (sometimes frozen) goldfish. She creates geometric and slightly abstract landscape mosaics crafted in traditional leaded stained glass with copper and sometimes fused elements.

MICHAEL K. GAUSE has taught German, sold men’s clothes, and stocked diapers at midnight. His writing can be found online and in print. Originally from Tennessee, he now lives in Minnesota, where he is trying to write a memoir and be happy.

MARLA GAMBLE is best known as a custom jeweler who creates one-of-akind pieces in gold and gemstones. Working with individuals to create their most powerful jewelry has been an extremely rewarding business for her for over thirty-five years. To balance the technical aspects of jewelry design, Marla paints in both oil and watercolor. She has taught all three mediums both in schools and privately.

PIERRE FULFORD, aka Pierre The Poet, not only seeks to promote peace for himself but for all of humanity, and art is his weapon of choice. A native of Saint Paul, he is greatly inspired by the life and works of Jesus Christ, Tupac, and Malcolm X.

TOM FRENCH Poet of County Meath, Ireland, received the twentieth annual Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies.

MARY HELEN MCHUGH FRANZE is from Minnesota, lived out West, and has traveled three continents. Her first official “reject letter” for a writing submission was from the New York Times. Additional passions: singing, music, dancing, cooking, gardening, biking, swimming, skiing, nature, youth advocacy, being a mom, and friends.

BARBARA EVAN is a Saint Paul artist with a BA in Fine Art from the University of Minnesota and a BA in English from the University of South Dakota. She specializes in painting and drawing

ADALINDA ESTRADA drives a motorcycle as old as she is, and she has a dog named Batman and a daughter that has more energy than all three put together. She works as a school-based therapist and writes to remind herself that the healing lies in the stories we hold.

MIKE ELLIOTT grew up in West Saint Paul and has had homes on Saint Paul’s West Side and in Maplewood. He now resides “Up North” on the lake near Jacobson, Minnesota, where he is planning his twenty-eighth annual canoe trip to the BWCAW. In the summer, he enjoys teaching his young grandchildren how to jump off the dock, paddle his canoe, and catch bluegills. The only ashes under his big cedar are from his former dog Scooter.

DIANE EDWARDS treads water (and snow) in the land of 10,000 lakes. She loves libraries and kids and dogs and books and walleye and people who can riff. She lives in a tragically old house that needs repairs approximately every ten minutes. The people that know her best report that her brain is a cartoon. She talks about anvils too much.

ANITA DUALEH lives in Saint Paul with her husband and two sons. She blogs at 1stteacher.wordpress.com.

ARIA DOMINGUEZ was born in Saint Paul and now lives in Minneapolis with her family. She loves the arts scene, the miles of good biking, the library systems, the parks, and many other things about the Twin Cities, but she abhors subzero temperatures.

NORITA DITTBERNER-JAX Only a health crisis in the family a year ago could have induced to move out of Saint Paul where she has lived and taught and walked all her life. She has published four books of poetry, the latest in 2014, Stopping for Breath, from Nodin Press. Now she can see the Saint Paul Cathedral and the high bridge from her window, so that’s good.

LOUIS DISANTO retired from Como Zoo in 2005. He was also a writer/ photographer for the weekly Sun Newspaper. His interests include writing children’s stories, listening to classical music, watching old movies, and reminiscing with friends about the good times had in downtown Saint Paul. Louis is especially honored to be one of the winners of the 2011 Saint Paul Sidewalk Poetry Contest, as well as to have several stories published in the Almanac.

JOHN DINGLEY After years of adventures and collecting stories, has taken up writing between the many forays into executing his other trade, stonemasonry. He is well on his way into a series of at least five books for children, actually for all ages, called The Timeless Cavern. He will also be publishing shortly a nonfiction work, “Hard Work in Paradise—When all Our Food and Lives Were Organic.

BRITTANY DEXTER is a writer and photographer who currently lives across the river (gasp!) in Minneapolis but misses the character and quiet of Saint Paul nearly every day.

SHARON DEMARK lives in Saint Paul with her husband, son, and a cat named Rigby. She draws every day.

JULIETTE CUZEY is a photographer currently residing in Toulouse, France.

ANGELA DAVIS is a local artist born and raised in Minneapolis. She is mainly an acrylic painter but loves taking photos too.

TESSA DANIELSON is a soon-to-be-graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From Saint Paul, Tessa says all of her best memories from childhood are rooted in the Saint Paul culture.

ATHENA CURRIER is a book designer by day, cartoonist and illustrator by night. However, the one thing she really likes to draw is maps! Her comics and essays appear regularly on her website, The Marjorie. Athena’s work has appeared in various publications, including City Pages, Sunoikisis, the Daily Cross Hatch, and Broken Pencil Magazine. She has an MFA in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she was a Dean’s Fellowship recipient.

DEAN CROSHERE is a photographer who is currently living in Thailand.

NANCY COX is a singer and teacher of singing. She has traveled widely on concert tours and performs as a soloist throughout the Twin Cities. Her poems have appeared in a number of small press publications, including Milkweed Editions, Loonfeather, Sidewalks, and Kansas Quarterly. She lives in Minneapolis.

DEBORAH COSTANDINE loves historic Saint Paul and all its interesting nooks and crannies. Deborah is mostly an artist, art therapist, and mental health practitioner and an occasional writer and storyteller. Deborah comes from a long line of misfits and whopper tellers.

BILL COSGROVE is a dedicated reader and writer, retired year-round biker, avid if not fanatical tennis player, and incorrigible do-it-yourselfer. He remains unrepentant in these commitments. He also conducts origami workshops as Professor Origami and is a longtime impersonator of Mark Twain in his one-man show “An Evening with Mark Twain: The Trouble Begins at Eight.”

MARYANN CORBETT has lived in Saint Paul for thirty years and recently retired from thirty-five years of work for the Minnesota Legislature. She’s the author of three books of poems; her most recent book, Mid Evil, won the Richard Wilbur Award and is published by the University of Evansville Press.

JERMAIN COOPER is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of T.R.U.T.H. Academy and has extensive corporate, nonprofit, and government experience. Jermain obtained a bachelor of arts in sociology and a bachelor of arts in criminology from Johnson C. Smith University. He also holds a master of science in human behavior from Capella University. Currently, Jermain is finishing courses to obtain his doctor of education (EdD) in leadership from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where he also serves as an adjunct in the Graduate School of Business and Technology.

TOM COLLINS writes, “Yes, I am aware that there is a drink with my name on it. My story is real. No need for exaggeration. This is my first submission and I hope it leads to more.”

AMY R. CLARK is a lifelong resident of Saint Paul, a mother, a teacher at Saint Peter Claver, an artist and member of AZ Gallery, the host of Young Geniuses radio program, and an avid Saint Paul Saints fan.

DOUG CHAMPEAU was born and raised in Milwaukee, degreed in River Falls, and arrived in Saint Paul in 1980. Doug’s father lived in Saint Paul, graduating from St. Thomas in 1928. His father worked as a chauffeur for a needle-and-thread magnate on Summit Avenue, where he met Doug’s mother. Doug fell in love with photography in high school, where he had the opportunity to mix his first Microdal X. He’s been out of focus since.

GREG BRICK works for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and is responsible for documenting and mapping Minnesota’s springs. He has previously been published by the Almanac.

IMMANUEL BRATZEL is an artist who lives and works in Lowertown in Saint Paul.

MELISSA BORGMANN-KIEMDE is a contemplative writer, teacher, and spiritual director residing in the Lex-Ham neighborhood of Saint Paul. She is happily married to Francois, a bread baker from Burkina Faso, West Africa, and they are the proud parents of Marguerite and Gabby. You can read her work at VisitationMonasteryMinneapolis.org.

BETTY BONSON is a labor and delivery nurse who is passionate about caring for women of many different cultures and circumstances. She is honored to work in the “hinge moments” of people’s lives as they step through the metaphoric door of the birth or death of a baby.

CONSTANCE BEUTEL was born in Saint Paul, graduating from Archbishop Murray Memorial High School (’64) and the University of Minnesota (’67). He is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and, after many years in a career in high tech and higher education, is happily retired and living in the little town of Benicia, California.

A. EVERETT BEEK is a scholar of Latin and Greek poetry. She has a PhD from the University of Minnesota and a BA from Macalester College, and she has taught at the University of St. Thomas. Beyond her academic publications, she has published a poem in Saint Paul’s Sidewalk Poetry Contest.

SCOTT BADE is an educator for Saint Paul Public Schools and resides in North Saint Paul with his darling wife, Erika; his adorable children, Audrey (1) and Oliver (4) and his very supportive brother, Dan.

POLYXENI ANGELIS emigrated from Greece to Saint Paul with her family in 1967. She holds a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Minnesota. She has her dream job of buying books for people to enjoy. She lives with her son, two cats, and one spoiled Pekingese.

KRISTIN D. ANDERSON a retired pastor and former high school teacher and counselor, is determined to overcome every barrier she meets. If that turns out to be fun, well, so much the better.


Saint Paul Almanac is a literary-centered arts organization. We share stories across cultures and cultivate dialogue to promote understanding, relationships, and collaborative action.

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