Following his graduation from Vassar College, Ben Busch served 16 years as an infantry and light armored reconnaissance officer in the United States Marine Corps, deploying for two combat tours in Iraq. He returned to the U.S. to play a Marine in HBO’s Generation Kill, where he pretended to invade towns he had actually invaded in the line of duty. His written work has been published in Harper’s,The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and North American Review among others, and was notable in the 2010 Best American Essays anthology.
Busch’s searing memoir Dust to Dust (Ecco 2012) reflects a complicated relationship between destruction and creation. In chapters such as “Water,” “Metal,” “Bone,” and “Blood,” Ben reflects on his rural upbringing, his combat training, his relationship with his father—acclaimed novelist Frederick Busch—and, most poignantly, his own mortality, his family and the natural world.
His photographs have been featured in Five Points, Connecticut Review, Photography Quarterly, and War, Literature, & the Arts. As an actor, he is best known for his appearances in Homicide, The Wire, Generation Kill, and The Beast. His first film, Sympathetic Details, came out in 2008 winning numerous international film awards, and his new film as writer/director, BRIGHT, was released in January 2011.
Busch was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his essay, Growth Rings, printed in the Michigan Quarterly Review, and for his poem, You Know Who You Are, printed in the Dunes Review. Busch Received a Purple Heart medal in 2005 for combat wounds sustained in Ramadi, Iraq.
Rick Campbell’s most recent book is The History of Steel: A Selected Works (2014), from All Nations Press. His other books include Dixmont (Autumn House 2008); The Traveler’s Companion (Black Bay Books 2004); Setting The World In Order (Texas Tech 2001); and A Day’s Work (State Street Press 2000). He’s won a Pushcart Prize, an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and two poetry fellowships from the Florida Arts Council.
Campbell was the director of Anhinga Press from 1992 to 2014, during which time the press published about 80 books of poetry. He is a founder and the Director of the Florida Literary Arts Coalition and its Other Words Conference in St. Augustine, FL.
His poems and essays have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Florida Review, Prairie Schooner, Fourth River, Kestrel, Puerto Del Sol, New Madrid and other journals. He was chosen to take part in the Georgia Poetry Circuit eight school tour, and has read or presented workshops at over 100 schools and conferences in the last thirty years.
Campbell teaches English at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Editing, Writing for Children & Young Adults
- BA in Creative Writing, University of California, San Diego
Joanna Cárdenas is an editor at Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. She acquires and edits picture books, chapter books, and middle grade (including graphic novels). Joanna has edited books by Julie Falatko, Tim Miller, Margaret Mincks, Mac Barnett, Greg Pizzoli, Celia C. Pérez, Christopher Weyant, Aaron Reynolds, and Pablo Cartaya, among others.
Joanna is also on the steering committee for Latinx in Publishing, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting and increasing the number of Latino/a/x in the publishing industry, as well as promoting literature by, for, and about Latino/a/x people.
- MBA, University of Nevada, Reno
- BS, Accounting/Computer Information Systems, University of Nevada, Reno
- Certified Public Accountant, licensed in California and Nevada
Tony Cardinalli has over twenty years of professional accounting experience. After practicing in small firms across Nevada and California, he took time out to teach accounting and has never looked back. Tony has been teaching undergraduate accounting courses and workforce development technical courses for the past decade, and is currently an adjunct professor at Truckee Meadows Community College and Sierra Nevada College. He also sits on Board for Washoe Little League and is the Chief Financial Officer for Drone America, a high tech manufacturer in Reno. Tony and his wife have three sons, and they enjoy swimming, skiing and mountain biking around Lake Tahoe.
Writing for Children & Young Adults
- BA in Writing, Loyola Marymount University
- MFA in Writing, Vermont College of Fine Arts
Pablo Cartaya is the author of the acclaimed middle-grade novel, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora (Viking Children’s Books/Penguin Random House). He is a Publisher’s Weekly “Flying Start” and has received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publisher’s Weekly. For his performance recording the audiobook of his novel, Pablo received an Earphone Award from Audiofile Magazine and a Publisher’s Weekly Audiobooks starred review. The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora was named one of the best books of the month by Amazon and Barnes and Nobles and one of the “50 Most Brilliant Books of Summer” by Scholastic Library. His novel Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, also with Viking, is set for publication in summer 2018, with two forthcoming titles to follow in 2019 and 2020. He is the co-author of the picture book, Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes (Random House Children’s Books, 2010), a contributor to the literary magazine, Miami Rail; the Spanish language editorial, Suburbano Ediciones; and a translator for the poetry chapbook, Cinco Poemas/Five Poems based on the work of the poet Hyam Plutzik.
Pablo has been a guest speaker at Florida International University’s Exile Studies Program, University of Miami’s Lowe Museum, and has visited schools throughout the US. He holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA from Loyola Marymount University. He currently serves as lead faculty at Sierra Nevada College’s low residency MFA in the Writing for Children and Young Adults track. He calls Miami home and Cuban-American his cultura.
Li Han is the co-founder and CEO of DynaOptics, an optics company pioneering the use of free-form lens technology in cameras. With almost 15 years of experience in technology commercialization, business development and strategy consulting, Li Han cut her teeth at ST Engineering, Singapore’s largest defense and engineering company, and successfully led sales and business development efforts while based in Singapore and London. Subsequently, she was a strategy consultant at Marakon Associates, a boutique top-tier management consulting firm in London, where she advised Fortune 500 clients in the oil and gas, energy, and hospitality industries. Most recently, she was Vice President of Operations at NIREC, a clean energy technology incubator where she worked with universities and research institutions to license and commercialize early stage technologies.
Li Han is a graduate of Stanford University and Sierra Nevada College (Ski Business & Resort Management), a member of the Sierra Angels and an avid climber/skier/biker. She regularly commutes between Asia, Lake Tahoe, and the San Francisco Bay area.
Essayist and writer of memoir and literary nonfiction Steven Church is the author of The Guinness Book of Me: a Memoir of Record, Theoretical Killings: Essays and Accidents, The Day After The Day After: My Atomic Angst, Ultrasonic: Essays, One With the Tiger: Sublime and Violent Encounters between Humans and Animals, and the collection of essays, I’m Just Getting to the Disturbing Part: On Work, Fear and Fatherhood. He’s also the editor of the forthcoming anthology of essays, The Spirit of Disruption: Selections from The Normal School. He is the winner of the Glenna Luschei Prize from Prairie Schooner, and received the Colorado Book Award in Creative Nonfiction for The Guinness Book of Me: A Memoir of Record.
His essays have been published and anthologized widely, including in the 2011 Best American Essays. He is a Founding Editor and Nonfiction Editor for the nationally recognized literary magazine, The Normal School; and he Coordinates the residential MFA Program at Fresno State.
Church received is MFA in Fiction from Colorado State University and his BA in philosophy from the University of Kansas. In addition to his academic positions as an adviser, adjunct instructor, and professor, he has worked as a housepainter, paperboy, grocery store clerk and bagger, fry cook, shovel and Uni-loader operator, construction laborer, tour guide (twice), maintenance man, and conflict mediator.