Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in the United States, Richard Blanco is the author of the poetry collections City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and Looking for The Gulf Motel, and the memoir For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey, recounting his experience in being selected by President Barack Obama in 2012 to serve as the nation’s fifth presidential inaugural poet. He is also a contributor to Home in Florida: Latinx Writers and the Literature of Uprootedness (University of Florida Press). The collection showcases what editor Anjanette Delgado calls “literatura del desarraigo,” a Spanish literary tradition. Home in Florida features fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by Blanco, Ana Menéndez, Caridad Moro-Gronlier, Achy Obejas, Isvett Verde and many others. These writers – first-, second-, and third-generation immigrants to Florida from places such as Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Perú, Argentina, and Chile – reflect the diversity of Latinx experiences across the state. Together, they explore what exactly makes Florida home for those struggling between memory and presence.
Rose Bleus is the assistant principal at Paul L. Dunbar K-8 Center. She has been an educator at Miami-Dade County Public Schools for more than 14 years. She is also the director of Sosyete Koukouy of Miami, an organization dedicated to preserving Haitian culture in the United States through education, arts, and cultural presentations.
Charles M. Blow
Charles M. Blow has been a New York Times op-ed columnist since 2008. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Fire Shut Up in My Bones: A Memoir and is a frequent CNN contributor. And in the summer of 2020, at the intersection of a historic pandemic and the nadir of protests against systemic Black-directed violence, he was compelled to write a new story. The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto (Harper Perennial) is a succinct, counterintuitive, and impassioned corrective to the myths that have for too long governed thinking about race and geography in America. The small steps have frequently failed; Blow posits it’s going to take an unprecedented shift in power to allow Black people to seize equality on their own terms. Drawing on both political observations and personal experience as a Black son of the South, he presents the most audacious power play to be made by his brethren in the history of this country – and a grand exhortation to generations of a people, offering a road map to true and lasting freedom. The San Francisco Chronicle called it “a must-read in the effort to dismantle deep-seated poisons of systemic racism and white supremacy.”
T.C. Boyle, distinguished professor of English at the University of Southern California, has published 14 novels and 10 collections of short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner award for World’s End: A Novel, and the Prix Médicis étranger for The Tortilla Curtain, as well as a Henry David Thoreau award for excellence in nature writing. In Talk to Me: A Novel (Ecco), when animal behaviorist Guy Schermerhorn demonstrates on a TV game show that he has taught Sam, a young chimp, to speak in sign language, Aimee Villard, an undergraduate at Guy’s university, is taken with the performance and applies to become his assistant. A romantic and intellectual attachment soon morphs into an interspecies love triangle that pushes hard at the boundaries of consciousness and questions what we know and how we know it. What if it were possible to speak to members of another species and exchange ideas, and have a meeting of minds? Do apes have God? Do they know about death and redemption? Do they have dreams? In this wide-ranging and hilarious tale, Boyle explores what it means to be human, communicate with another, and truly know another person or animal. Booklist noted that “Boyle poignantly exposes our anthropocentric biases while exploring the nature of consciousness and reminds us of the adage about the most dangerous species in the zoo being the humans.”
John Paul Brammer
John Paul Brammer is an author, illustrator, and columnist. He runs the popular advice column “¡Hola Papi!” on Substack. His work, including essays, short fiction, and illustrations, has appeared in The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Catapult, Business Insider, and many more. Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons (Simon & Schuster), a funny memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland, is his first book. As he shares his story, Brammer attempts to answer some of life’s toughest questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he’s out of the closet? The Advocate said that “John Paul Brammer brings his trademark heart and wit to essays that reveal how he grew up queer and mixed-race in the American heartland, came out in a Walmart parking lot (he does not recommend it), and became the LGBTQ+ community’s favorite advice columnist – the ‘Chicano Carrie Bradshaw’ of his generation.”
Historian and author H.W. Brands has written more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestseller The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, and two of his biographies were Pulitzer Prize finalists. In Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution (Doubleday) Brands reminds us that before America could win its revolution against Britain, patriots had to win a bitter civil war against family, friends, and neighbors. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were the unlikeliest of rebels. The former stood at the apex of Virginia society, while Franklin rose from humble origins to world fame. John Adams might have seemed a candidate for rebellion, but he revered the law. Yet all three men rebelled against the empire that fostered their success. Others in the same circle chose differently. Franklin’s son, William, remained loyal to the British. So did Thomas Hutchinson, a royal governor, and friend of the Franklins. They soon were denounced as traitors – for not betraying the country where they grew up. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Jon Meacham noted that “In this splendid new book, H.W. Brands tells the story of the American Revolution as it really unfolded – as a civil war between colonial patriots and those loyal to the British Crown and Parliament. Division … is as American as unity.”
Raúl Brasca (Buenos Aires, 1948) – Narrador, antólogo, crítico literario y ensayista. Ha publicado los libros de cuentos Las aguas madres (1994) y Últimos juegos (2005); los libros de microficciones Todo tiempo futuro fue peor (2004 y 2007) y Las gemas del falsario (2012), y La pluma y el bisturí (coeditor, 2008), actas del 1er. Encuentro Nacional de microficción. También ha participado en quince antologías en diversos países. Su libro Las aguas madres fue traducido al italiano con el título L’edonista e altri racconti (2006). También ha sido traducido parcialmente a otros idiomas. Ha sido ponente y conferencista en congresos internacionales, dictó clases magistrales, talleres y seminarios en universidades europeas y americanas y es jurado habitual en certámenes literarios. Desde 2009, organiza y conduce la Jornada Ferial de Microficción en la Feria del Libro de Buenos Aires. Recibió, entre otros, los premios del Fondo Nacional de las Artes y de la municipalidad de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. La Universidad de Carabobo (Venezuela) le confirió la Orden de Alejo Zuloaga como personalidad relevante de la cultura y, como microficcionista, fue premiado dos veces por la revista mexicana El Cuento. Un jurado internacional le concedió en 2017 el Premio Iberoamericano de Minificción Juan José Arreola, que organiza la Secretaría de Cultura de la Ciudad de México y el Seminario de Cultura Mexicana. Su último libro, Microficción. Cuando el silencio toma la palabra (2018), compendia sus ensayos sobre el tema. Participa en el Homenaje a Augusto Monterroso en el centenario de su nacimiento.
Pablo Brescia is a translator and the author of three collections of short stories: La derrota de lo real/The Defeat of the Real, Fuera de Lugar/Out of Place, and La apariencia de las cosas/The Appearance of Things, and a book of hybrid texts, No hay tiempo para la poesía/NoTime for Poetry.
Beatrice A. (Bea) Brickell
Beatrice A. (Bea) Brickell, an attorney who practiced international law in Washington, D.C., is the great-granddaughter of South Florida pioneers Mary and William Brickell. Her young years in Miami were filled with bay breezes, palm shadows, and visits to her grandmother's home just a few feet from the epicenter of where her great-grandparents helped to birth a city. She is also the steward of critical family documents and artifacts that have been key in telling Mary Brickell’s story.
Tilla, the central character in Asha Bromfield’s Hurricane Summer: A Novel (Wednesday Books), is a young woman who desperately loves her father but is troubled by his leaving the family every six months to return to his true home: Jamaica. When her mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him, but she also longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him. And as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise, looming threats include the hurricane that approaches. Booklist noted that “Bromfield may have made a name for herself for her role on Riverdale, but with this debut, about a volatile father-daughter relationship and discovering the ugly truths hidden beneath even the most beautiful façades, she is establishing herself as a promising writer ... this is a must.”
Brian Broome is a poet and screenwriter. He’s been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and has won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Awards, as well as a 2019 VANN Award for journalism from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation. In his debut Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir (Mariner Books), Broome writes about his early years growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys. His recounting of his experiences – in all their cringeworthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory – reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly trying to find his way in. Indiscriminate sex and drug use help soothe his hurt young psyche, usually to uproarious and devastating effect. Broome’s writing brims with swagger and sensitivity, while his voice in the retelling shows the true depth of vulnerability for young Black boys. Framed around Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem “We Real Cool,” the iconic ode to Black boyhood, Punch Me Up to the Gods is at once playful, poignant, and wholly original. Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors, praised the book as “some of the finest writing I have ever encountered and one of the most electrifying, powerful, simply spectacular memoirs I – or you – have ever read. … It contains everything we all crave so deeply: truth, soul, brilliance, grace.”
Julie K. Brown
Julie K. Brown is an investigative reporter with the Miami Herald. During her 30-year career she has worked for a number of newspapers, focusing on crime, justice, and human rights. Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story (Dey Street Books) shines a spotlight on Epstein’s crimes and longtime avoidance of any real consequences – legal, financial, and personal – and is an in-depth look at a gross miscarriage of justice. Epstein’s penchant for teenage girls was an open secret in high society circles for years, and when he was finally charged with soliciting prostitution from minors in 2008 he benefited from unheard of leniency, dictating the terms of his non-prosecution. The media virtually ignored the matter; Epstein’s friends and business partners brushed the allegations aside. But when U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who approved Epstein’s plea deal, was chosen by Donald Trump to serve as Secretary of Labor, Brown was compelled to ask questions. After tracking down dozens of Epstein’s victims, poring over thousands of redacted court documents, and chasing down information in difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances, Brown’s resulting three-part series in the Herald led to Epstein’s final arrest; the arrest of his closest accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell; and Acosta’s resignation. Slate observed that “class, as much as the dismal state of journalism, is the great undercurrent in Perversion of Justice, and gives this scrappy book its heart.”
Karen Burkett Rundlet
Karen Burkett Rundlet is a director of journalism at Knight Foundation, where she manages a portfolio of investments that support the future of journalism, including grants to Report for America, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Howard University, and NewsMatch. Before entering the field of philanthropy, Burkett Rundlet worked as a journalist at the Miami Herald.
Jill Louise Busby
Jill Louise Busby spent years in the nonprofit sector specializing in diversity and inclusion. She spoke at academic institutions, businesses, and detention centers on the topics of race, power, and privilege, and delivered more than 200 workshops to nonprofit organizations all over the California Bay Area. In 2016, fed up with what passed as progressive in the Pacific Northwest, Busby uploaded a one-minute video about race, white institutions, and faux liberalism to Instagram. The video received millions of views across social platforms. Her memoir-in-essays Unfollow Me: Essays On Complicity (Bloomsbury Publishing) retraces her steps in a collection of writings on race, authenticity, and ambition. Busby’s social commentary manages to be both wryly funny and achingly open-hearted as she recounts her shape-shifting moves among the subtle hierarchies of progressive communities. Unfollow Me is a sharply personal and self-questioning critique of racism, respectability politics, and all the places where fear masquerades as progress. Publishers Weekly called it “a stirring take on a young woman’s search for identity and the fight for racial equity.”
John Ellis “Jeb” Bush
John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, former governor of Florida, is the author of Reply All, which chronicles his time in that office from 1999-2007 through his email exchanges with his staff, members of the media, and the people he served. He is the second son of the country’s 41st president, George H.W. Bush, and the brother of George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. president.
Jenna Bush Hager
Jenna Bush Hager is the co-host of the fourth hour of the Today show with Hoda Kotb, and the founder of the Today book club, Read with Jenna. She is the author of The New York Times bestselling Everything Beautiful in Its Time (William Morrow) and co-author of Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope (HarperCollins), based on the life of a 17-year-old Latin American single mother infected with HIV. Hager has also written two children’s books – Our Great Big Backyard and Read All About It – the latter with her mother, Laura, as well as New York Times bestseller Sisters First, written with her sister, Barbara.
Vinod Busjeet was born in Mauritius, a multiracial island in the Indian Ocean. He holds degrees from Wesleyan University, New York University, and Harvard University, and spent 29 years in economic development, finance, and diplomacy, holding positions at World Bank and International Finance Corporation, and as a secondary school teacher in Mauritius. Silent Winds, Dry Seas: A Novel (Doubleday Books) is his debut. In it, Busjeet explores the intimate struggle for independence and success of Vishnu Bhushan, a young descendant of Indian indentured laborers in Mauritius. Through precise language, Busjeet conjures Mauritius’ spirit and rich life, even as its diverse peoples live under colonial rule. He weaves the hopes, love, and heartbreaking tragedies of Vishnu’s proud Mauritian family with the country’s turbulent path to gain independence. In the intimate moments of a boy’s life, he evokes the epic sweep of history. Edward P. Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World, observed that the “beauty of Busjeet’s splendid, often breathtaking book is, like the best stories of journeys to young adulthood, the precious and well-observed and heart-breaking details of day-to-day life.”
Michael J. Bustamante, Ph.D.
Michael J. Bustamante, Ph.D., is associate professor of history and the Emilio Bacardí Moreau Chair in Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, where he teaches courses on Cuban, Latin American, Caribbean, Latinx, and U.S. histories. He previously served as assistant professor of Latin American history at Florida International University. With Jennifer Lambe, Bustamante is co-editor of, and contributor to, The Revolution from Within: Cuba, 1959-1980 (Duke University Press). In Cuban Memory Wars: Retrospective Politics in Revolution and Exile (University of North Carolina Press), by excavating Cubans' contested memories of the revolution's roots and results over its first 20 years Bustamante unsettles a familiar schism. The revolution represented deliverance from a legacy of inequality and national disappointment versus Cuba’s turn to socialism – which made the pre-revolutionary period look like a paradise lost. Those battles over the past, Bustamante argues, not only defied simple political divisions; they also helped shape the course of Cuban history itself. Drawing on troves of archival materials, including visual media, he tracks the process of what he calls “retrospective politics” across the Florida Straits. In doing so, he drives Cuban history beyond the polarized vision seemingly set in stone today and raises the prospect of a more inclusive national narrative.
Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 18 works of fiction, including Hell: A Novel, A Small Hotel: A Novel, and Perfume River: A Novel. He is also the author of six short story collections and a book on the creative process, From Where You Dream. Late City: A Novel (Atlantic Monthly Press) centers around former newspaperman Sam Cunningham as he prepares to die. As a conversation between the dying man and a surprising God unfolds, the stories cover much of the early 20th century. They go back to his childhood in Louisiana with a harsh father who he comes to resent for his physical abuse and flawed morality, and revisit an underage Sam enlisting in the Army as a sniper – as an escape and a way to prove himself. The hardness he learned in service helped him make it out of World War I’s trenches alive, but it has also prevented him from dealing with the emotional wounds of battle. As Sam recalls his newspaper career in Chicago during the Roaring Twenties and the decades that follow, snippets of history are brought sharply into focus. And as he contemplates his relationships – with his parents, his brothers in arms, his wife, his editor, and most importantly, his son – Sam is amazed at what he still has left to learn about himself.
Judy Cantor-Navas is a music journalist and curator. She wrote for Billboard (in New York, LA, and Barcelona) for more than a decade and is now a regular contributor to the website of the Gladys Palmera Collection in Madrid. In 2020, she was nominated for a Grammy for the album notes for The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions, a box set reissue of five historic recordings originally released on Cuba’s Panart label; she served as a co-producer of the collection. Cantor-Navas has also been a reporter, critic, and staff writer for The Associated Press (New York City desk and Spain correspondent), Buenos Aires Herald, Miami New Times, and Miami Herald. She and her husband, artist and animator David Navas, created El Pequeño Circo de Asno y Camello, an illustrated children’s book. They also create nonfiction comics, which have been published in international magazines. Among Cantor-Navas' most recent work was the translation of Cha-Cha-Cha (Gladys Palmera Collection), a beautifully illustrated chronicle that bears witness to the seemingly infinite ways three little words can be combined to spell out the onomatopoeic name of one of the world's most infectious – and joyful – rhythms.
Jennine Capó Crucet
Cuban American writer Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of the essay collection My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education and the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers, and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is also a contributor to Home in Florida: Latinx Writers and the Literature of Uprootedness (University of Florida Press). The collection showcases what editor Anjanette Delgado calls “literatura del desarraigo,” a Spanish literary tradition. Home in Florida features fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by Capó Crucet, Richard Blanco, Ana Menéndez, Achy Obejas, Isvett Verde and many others. These writers – first-, second-, and third-generation immigrants to Florida from places such as Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Perú, Argentina, and Chile – reflect the diversity of Latinx experiences across the state. Together, they explore what exactly makes Florida home for those struggling between memory and presence.
Julio Capó Jr.
Julio Capó Jr. is the deputy director of Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab Department of History. He is a noted historian whose research and teaching interests especially include the United States’ relationship to the Caribbean and Latin America, and how gender and sexuality have historically intersected with constructions of ethnicity, race, class, nation, age, and ability. His first book, Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940 (UNC Press, 2017), highlights how transnational forces – including (im)migration, trade, and tourism – to and from the Caribbean shaped Miami’s queer past.
Eileen Cardet (Puerto Rico) – Periodista con una maestría en la Universidad de Miami. Reside en la ciudad de Coral Gables. Lleva veinte años conduciendo el noticiero de Univision Miami y, además, presenta Edición Digital Miami. Ha ganado dos Emmy, entre otros reconocimientos. Presenta en la feria su libro Urano (Page Publishing, 2021), que tiene por protagonistas a tres amigas dispuestas a romper las ideas que han limitado sus vidas para comenzar una nueva etapa de sus existencias.
Margaret Cardillo is a screenwriter, professor, and the author of the picture book biographies Just Being Audrey and Just Being Jackie. In her latest picture book, Dogs at Work: Good Dogs. Real Jobs. (Balzer + Bray) with illustrator Zachariah Ohora, she asserts that yes – dogs are wonderful companions – but there’s more to them than that. Opening a window onto all the real jobs that dogs do, the list she’s compiled may surprise you: From therapy dogs and rescue dogs that help stranded mountaineers to dogs that deliver mail by sled and dogs that dive for lobsters, some of the hardest-working friends you know may be of the furry, four-legged variety. Kirkus noted that the “joy in the illustrations is palpable, and seeing the many ways dogs help humans will be especially touching to dog lovers. … A solid choice for dog lovers and those who want to better appreciate how dogs help humans.”
Robert Casper is head of the Poetry and Literature Center, Library of Congress. He was previously programs director for the Poetry Society of America, the nation’s oldest poetry organization. In that capacity, he organized 50-60 events a year, including poetry readings, panel discussions, conferences, awards ceremonies, festivals, and events that were held in 13 cities across the country. He was also the founding publisher of the literary magazine Jubilat, which published the best of contemporary American poetry, along with interviews and a variety of other short literary forms.
Mckenzie Cassidy is a writer, journalist, marketer, and educator. His work has appeared in the anthology Walk Hand in Hand into Extinction: Stories Inspired by True Detective, Flash Fiction Magazine, Florida Weekly, and various newspapers throughout southwest Florida. Here Lies a Father: A Novel (Kaylie Jones Books) is his first published book of fiction. When Ian Daly and his sister Catherine arrive for their wayward father Thomas’ funeral in his small and desolate upstate New York hometown, a secret that was kept from them their entire lives emerges: Their father abandoned two other families, leaving behind two furious wives and several children who never knew their father. His sister and mother want to preserve the carefully constructed myth they’ve created around who Thomas really was. But 15-year-old Ian wants to know and sets out alone to learn the truth about his father’s past and the families he left behind. The book examines the long-term effects shameful secrets have on a family, and how a young man reconstructs his own sense of right and wrong when every value and moral principle he was ever taught was based on a lie. Publishers Weekly called it “an engrossing debut. [Cassidy] convincingly depicts the ways his sensitive, turbulent protagonist navigates the murky period between adolescence and adulthood.”
Ana Castillo is a poet, essayist, editor, activist, novelist, and translator. She is the author of the children’s book My Daughter, My Son, The Eagle, The Dove, and the play Psst…: I Have Something to Tell You, Mi Amor. Castillo is also the editor of La Tolteca, a journal devoted to “promoting the advancement of a world without borders and censorship,” and has edited or helped edit collections such as The Sexuality of Latinas, Recent Chicano Poetry: Neueste Chicano-Lyrik, and Goddess of the Americas. In My Book of the Dead: New Poems (High Road Books), she returns to her first literary love, poetry, to address the last decade’s social and political upheaval. She tackles the environmental crisis, COVID-19, systemic racism and violence, children in detention camps, and the Trump presidency. The collection also includes drawings by Castillo created over the past five years, and they further showcase her connection to her work as both a writer and a visual artist.
Humberto Castro (La Habana, 1957) – Artista multimedia que trabaja pintura, dibujo, grabado, escultura, cerámica e instalaciones. También ha incursionado en la escenografía para el teatro y el cine, la performance, la fotografía y el video-art. Vive en Miami. Graduado de la Academia de Artes Plásticas San Alejandro y del Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) en La Habana. Miembro de la generación de los 80, que generó cambios estéticos y conceptuales en el arte cubano. Fundador del equipo Hexágono, dedicado a realizar instalaciones en espacios exteriores para generar la participación del público en la acción artística. Emigró a Francia en 1989 y se estableció en París hasta 1999, año en que se trasladó a Estados Unidos y se radicó en Miami. Ha recibido numerosos premios en Cuba y otros países (Alemania, Francia y Polonia) y sus obras forman parte de colecciones museísticas y privadas de su país natal, así como de Brasil, Estados Unidos, Francia, Italia y Polonia, entre otros. El artista cubano Humberto Castro y la crítica de arte estadounidense Francine Birbragher-Rozencwaig traen a la feria una monografía dedicada a la vida y obra del creador que lleva por título el nombre de él. A cargo de esta edición, aparecida en el presente año, estuvo el sello HCg Collection.
Soman Chainani is the New York Times bestselling author of the five-book series School for Good and Evil. The fairy-tale saga has sold more than 3 million copies, been translated into 29 languages, and will be a Netflix major motion picture. In Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales (HarperCollins), Chainani and illustrator Julia Iredale reimagine 12 well-known European fairy tales, folktales, and classic stories. Here, Snow White has dark skin. A brown-skinned prince is cursed to appear as a beast. After being left behind by their father and stepmother, south Asian siblings must find their way out of the forest. Each twist reveals truths full of warning and triumph, that free hearts long kept tame and explore life and death. Kirkus recommended it for "any lover of fairy tales who seeks alternative endings.”