- MFA, the Institute of American Indian Arts
Brendan Shay Basham (Diné) is a fiction writer, poet, educator, and former chef, born in Alaska and raised in northern Arizona. His debut novel, Swim Home to the Vanished, is forthcoming from Harper Books, flagship imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, in early 2023. His prose and poetry have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Santa Fe Literary Review, Red Ink, Yellow Medicine Review, Juked, and Sheepshead Review. He is a recipient of Poetry Northwest’s inaugural James Welch Prize for Indigenous Writers, two Writing By Writers Fellowships, and the Truman Capote Trust Fellowship. He was a nominee for a 2016 PEN / Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers and a 2018 Pushcart. He is also the recipient of the Ucross Foundation’s first Native American Literary Award. He lives and teaches in Baltimore.
- MA in African America Studies, UCLA
- MFA, Warren Wilson College
Natalie Baszile is the author of Queen Sugar. The book, now a television series on the Oprah Winfrey Network, was adapted for television by writer/director Ava DuVernay of “Selma” and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey. Queen Sugar was named one of the San Francisco Chronicles’ Best Books of 2014, was long-listed for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
Laura J. Bennett received her MFA in Photo/Digital Media from the University of Houston and holds two B.A.’s from Humboldt State University in Editorial Journalism and Studio Art. Her work has received numerous national awards, and has been featured in SHOTS magazine, and in the 2nd edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes. Recently, Laura was one of five artists chosen for the NOPA 4×5 photo competition, juried by Steve Simmons, editor of View Camera.
- CLAD, National University
- BA, Lewis and Clark College
- MBA, Hofstra University
Jonathan Breiter is a 40-year veteran of the global marketing business world. His experience ranges across marketing, branding, licensing, retail and e-commerce relations, manufacturing, and product development. He has managed accounts for companies such as Wendy’s, General Mills, and Hasbro, and brands including Yoplait Yogurt, Pokémon, SpongeBob Squarepants, Elmo, Barney, Dora The Explorer, Eddie Bauer, Jeep and Carter’s. In 1994, Breiter started his own company, Oh Baby! In a remarkable move for a start-up, Oh Baby! was able to secure consumer goods licenses for both Sesame Street and Barney.
Breiter in now the Owner & Principal of Public Group LLC, an international new business development and marketing advisory with specialties in manufacturing, product development, financing, licensing, branding and retail. In January 2018 he joined Sierra Nevada University as the chair of the Entrepreneurship program.
“Nothing inspires me more than teaching students, at any level, and noticing when they magically grasp a concept and have that light bulb moment of clarity. Knowing that I can influence someone’s life by giving them the knowledge to do what they have dreamt about doing, and by giving them the skills to become practitioners of their field, is another of the many reasons why I love teaching.”
- BS, Early Childhood Education, University of Nevada, Reno
- MA, Educational Leadership, University of Nevada, Reno
- PhD, Educational Leadership, University of Nevada, Reno
Keli Brown has seventeen years of experience working with children and adults in educational environments including early childhood, experiential outdoor education, and private K-8 programs. Keli has extensive knowledge in Emilia Reggio, Montessori and Waldorf pedagogies and curriculums and has taught second through fifth grade using Waldorf methods.
- BA, Latin; MA, Strategic Communications, University of Minnesota
Anitra Budd is a freelance copywriter and editor for a variety of clients, including independent authors, the Loft Literary Center, FedEx, Thrivent Financial, Wise Ink, Red Line Editorial, and 3M. In her past job as acquiring and managing editor at Coffee House Press she worked with numerous authors, including Kirsten Kaschock, T. Geronimo Johnson, Kate Bernheimer, Ron Padgett, Lincoln Michel, Christopher Merkner, and many others.
In addition to her writing and editorial work, Budd is a visiting assistant professor at Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota) and a teaching specialist at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. She has presented on publishing and editing topics at a variety of venues, including The Thread on Minnesota Public Radio, Columbia College’s Story Week, SUNY–Binghamton, Hamline University, and the Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable. She currently lives with her family in Minneapolis.