RUDY FRANCISCO – born, raised, and residing in San Diego, California – is one of the most recognizable names in spoken-word poetry. As an artist, he is an amalgamation of social critique, introspection, honesty, and humor. Using personal narratives to discuss the politics of race, class, gender, and religion, he simultaneously pinpoints and reinforces the interconnected nature of human existence. Seeking to create work that promotes healthy dialogue, discourse, and social change, he has made conscious efforts to cultivate young poets and expose them to the spoke-word genre via coaching, workshops, and performances at schools and community centers. He has additionally conducted guest lectures and performances at countless colleges and universities across the nation. Francisco has shared stages with prominent artists that include Gladys Knight, Jordin Sparks, Musiq Soul Child, and Jill Scott, and he is also the co-host of the largest poetry venue in San Diego. He competes in domestic and international poetry slam competitions, had the honor of being nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and appeared on TV One’s “Verses and Flow." He is the 2009 National Underground Poetry Slam Champion and 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion.
MERYL FRANK is president of Makeda Global Network, an international consulting firm that works with thousands of women worldwide. Frank has been an activist, mayor, ambassador, and champion for women's leadership and political participation worldwide. In May of 2022, she was appointed to a seat on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. In Unearthed: A Lost Actress, a Forbidden Book, and a Search for Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust (Hachette Books), Frank offers a mystery woven into a family memory as she unfolds the tale of her cousin, Franya Winter, a leading light of Vilna's Yiddish theater.
RU FREEMAN is a Sri Lankan and American writer, poet, and activist whose work appears internationally. Her recent full-length works include Bon Courage: Essays on Inheritance, Citizenship, and a Creative Life, and Sleeping Alone: Stories. Her previous works include On Sal Mal Lane: A Novel and A Disobedient Girl: A Novel, and the anthologies Extraordinary Rendition: (American) Writers on Palestine and Indivisible: Global Leaders on Shared Security, for which she served as editor. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere.
JOHN FREEMAN is an executive editor at Knopf. He was the editor of Granta until 2013. His books include Dictionary of the Undoing, How to Read a Novelist, Tales of Two Americas, and Tales of Two Planets. His poetry includes the collections Maps, The Park, and Wind, Trees. In 2021, he edited the anthologies There's a Revolution Outside, My Love with Tracy K. Smith, and The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Paris Review and has been translated into 22 languages.
CARLOS FRÍAS is a radio host, bilingual writer, and a journalist of more than 25 years. He's a two-time James Beard Award winner and author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster, Take Me With You: A Secret Search for Family in a Forbidden Cuba. He hosts Sundial, the daily arts-and-culture show on WLRN, South Florida's NPR station. Miami is his hometown.
GABRIEL FRYE-BEHAR is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer. He has a BFA in film and television production from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA in creative writing from The New School. He currently teaches in the Drama Department at NYU/Tisch. Pepita Meets Bebita (Knopf Books for Young Readers) is his first picture book.
OSCAR FUENTES, also known as "The Biscayne Poet," is a multidisciplinary artist based in Miami. He is the author of eight books of poetry and prose including Beautiful Women Will Never Know, 4 Nights With Betsy, Vagabond: Selected Poems, Short Stories, and Plays, Welcome Home: Poems inspired by 1Hotel South Beach, My Heart Points Back, and For the Love of Leotards. Illustrated zine publications include Body Furnace, The Cock Fight, and Oscar The Clown. Fuentes was most recently honored with the inaugural Miami-Dade Mayoral Poetry Commendation in recognition of outstanding contributions to the county's literary art community.
ERNESTO FUNDORA. Director de cine con 3 Cortometrajes: Úlcera, Oblivion y Apócrifo, premiados en festivales internacionales, 20 documentales etnográficos y más de 90 Music Videos para importantes artista de la música hispana: Celia Cruz, Olga Tañón, Francisco Céspedes, Alejandra Guzmán, Willy Chirino, Compay Segundo, Diego Verdaguer, Oscar D´León, Amaury Pérez, Pandora, Carlos Varela, David Torrens, La India, Albita Rodríguez, Iskander y Santiago Feliú, entre otros, Ha obtenido premios Billboard, EMI Latino, Grammy Latino, MTV Latino, Mi gente, Ases de New York, Pantalla de Cristal, entre otros. Ha dirigido varias campañas publicitarias para marcas de prestigio internacional. Ha producido y dirigido las series documentales: Cuba Transition (5 capítulos) y Cuba suena (17 capítulos). Ha publicado el libro de cuentos El perpetuo envés, los poemarios Amago (Premio Provincia de León, 2002) y La acrobacia del salmón (2020), y el libro de ensayo que presenta este año en la Feria Instinto de Barricada. Manual para post revolucionario frente al nuevo orden mundial (Primigenios, 2023). Es considerado por la crítica hispanoamericana entre los artistas e intelectuales más sobresalientes de su generación.
ERNESTO G. nació en La Habana en 1967. Es narrador y poeta, licenciado en Lengua y Literatura Inglesas por la Universidad de La Habana. Primera Mención de Poesía en el Concurso “13 de Marzo” (1987). En Miami, donde vive desde 1995, ha publicado dos libros de relatos breves. Actualmente reside, rodeado de plantas, en La Pequeña Habana con su esposa. Este año presenta en la Feria su nueva obra Crónicas de la Pequeña Habana (Ediciones Furtivas, 2023), un volumen de crónicas y relatos breves sobre personajes cuyas historias resaltan la particularidad y la esencia de un barrio histórico de Miami.
M. Evelina Galang
M. EVELINA GALANG is the author of When the Hibiscus Falls: Stories (Coffee House Press), 17 tales capturing the lives of Filipino and Filipino American women and their ancestors. She has previously written Her Wild American Self: Short Stories, One Tribe: A Novel and Angel De La Luna and the Fifth Glorious Mystery, and the nonfiction book Lola's House: Filipino Women Living with War. She also edited the anthology Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images. Galang directed the creative writing program at the University of Miami from 2009-2019.
CRISTINA GARCÍA is the author of eight novels, including Dreaming in Cuban: A Novel, The Agüero Sisters: A Novel, Monkey Hunting: A Novel, A Handbook to Luck, The Lady Matador's Hotel: A Novel, King of Cuba: A Novel, and Here in Berlin: A Novel. García's work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into 15 languages. She's currently a resident playwright at Central Works Theater in Berkeley, California. Her latest book, Vanishing Maps: A Novel (Knopf) is the much-anticipated follow-up to Dreaming in Cuban.
SOLEIL GARNEAU is Miami Book Fair’s Emerging Writer Fellow in poetry. She is a writer and educator with roots in the Mid-Atlantic, the Gulf South, and Southern California. She is a Community of Writers alum and holds an MFA from University of California, Riverside. You can find her work in The Spectacle, Salt Hill Journal, Thin Air Magazine, and elsewhere.
ROSS GAY is the author of Inciting Joy: Essays, The Book of Delights: Essays, and four books of poetry: Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, Be Holding, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens, in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg Jr., of the chapbook River. Gay has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is also a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a nonprofit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project.
Mayor Dan Gelber
MAYOR DAN GELBER is the 38th individual to serve in that role for the city of Miami Beach. A U.S. Truman Scholar in college and law school, Gelber served as a decorated federal prosecutor in South Florida, and former Sen. Sam Nunn appointed him to direct the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. There he led investigations into fraud, waste, and abuse in government and counterterrorism. Gelber returned to South Florida and served a decade in the state legislature – in both the House and Senate – where he was unanimously selected as the Democratic leader. Gelber practices law with the firm Gelber Schachter Greenberg LLP, which is listed in Best Lawyers of America. He is active in the Big Brothers program and has been matched to the same "little" brother for decades.
ANNELYSE GELMAN is the author of a previous poetry collection, Everyone I Love Is a Stranger to Someone, the artist’s book POOL, and the EP About Repulsion. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Bomb, PEN Poetry Series, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She also directs Midst, an experimental platform for capturing and sharing the writing processes of contemporary poets. Her lates collection, Vexations, is longlisted for a 2023 National Book Award for Poetry.
CECILIA GENTILI is a storyteller and actress. Originally from Argentina, Gentili came to the United States to pursue a safer life as a transgender woman. She lived undocumented for 10 years, hustling and doing sex work, which came with drug use. After surviving arrests and an immigration detention, she accessed recovery services and won asylum. She subsequently served as director of policy at GMHC and founded Transgender Equity Consulting, which works to ensure all people living on the margins receive dignity and respect. Gentili has appeared in FX's Pose and in her own one-woman show, The Knife Cuts Both Ways. Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn't My Rapist (LittlePuss Press) is her first book.
AMIEE GIBBS has worked for Penguin Random House for 13 years as a sales manager for independent bookstores across New England, New York, and the West Coast. Prior to that, she was an assistant sales manager at Waldenbooks and Borders. She holds an MLA degree with a focus on world literature and creative writing and is currently teaching herself Gaeilge.
HOLLY GLEASON is a music critic, academic, and artist development consultant. She enjoyed a longstanding relationship with singer-songwriter John Prine and his longtime co-manager. Gleason's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Miami Herald, Musician, CREEM, the Oxford American, and NPR Music. She created and contributed to the book Woman Walk The Line: How the Women of Country Music Changed Our Lives, which won the 2018 Belmont Book Award. She is also the co-author of Miranda Lambert's Y'all Eat Yet?
NEIL GOLDBERG is a Broadway director, theater producer, and author who has been working with contemporary circus arts, theatrical and immersive experiences for more than three decades. He is CEO and artistic director of Variety Arts Management, Dream Studios, and founder of Cirque Productions and the Cirque Dreams entertainment brand. He has designed and produced shows and innovative spectacles for two Super Bowls and the NBA; Disney, Busch Gardens, and Six Flags; Miss Universe, NBC, ABC, and CBS; Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Lines; and Armed Forces Entertainment.
GUISELL GÓMEZ is the editor-in-chief for BELatina News. She is a Colombian immigrant based in Miami. She writes about politics and current affairs, culture, and issues affecting underrepresented communities. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling, reading, or expanding her foodie knowledge.
JOHANNA GOMEZ is an Emmy-winning journalist, television personality, and voice-over talent. Currently the host of ReachTV’s Business Traveler, from 2014-2023 she was the co-host and reporter for 6 in the Mix, a live daily lifestyle show on NBC6 South Florida. Prior to that she spent more than five years as an anchor and reporter for WPLG Local 10, South Florida's ABC affiliate. Besides her reporting duties, Gomez produced and created content through the Local 10 Weekender segment, which updated the South Florida community on all activities and current events. A native of New York City born to Dominican parents, she is a graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communication in the school of journalism. She has three children.
FRANCISCO GONZALEZ is the founder and CEO of Fearless Journeys, a community that aims to help others build an entrepreneurial mindset through group coaching sessions with more than 50 featured innovators, a book club, and exciting group trips. He is also the author of The American Dream is a Terrible Thing to Waste: 100 Agents of Innovation Share Their Fearless Journeys in Today's Economy. As host of the Agents of Innovation podcast since 2015, he has had engaging conversations with more than 130 entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and artists. He is passionate about connecting people with role models, mentors, and sharing stories of entrepreneurial journeys. Born and raised in South Florida, Francisco has visited 28 countries and 48 U.S. states, and has learned that travel helps us get out of our comfort zone and allows us to see the world from a fresh perspective. A student of history with degrees from Florida Atlantic University and the University of Maryland, he has served in leadership roles for three nonprofit educational organizations: the National Review Institute, James Madison Institute, and Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He is a visiting professor at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City, Mexico, where he teaches courses on entrepreneurship and innovation. When he is back in South Florida, he teaches economics courses to inmates at South Bay and Moore Haven correctional facilities. Since January 2023, he has served as executive director of the Economic Club of Miami.
ONEYDA GONZÁLEZ, nacida en Camagüey, Cuba en 1961. Es máster en Cultura Latinoamericana. Ha publicado El camino de Bárbara, poesía (1998); Escrito sobre un rostro (2003), y Seres en el borde (2007) ensayos, Ed. Ácana. Las cinco y una noches, narrativa (2003) y Polvo de alas, entrevistas, Ed. Oriente (2009). Es co-realizadora de los documentales Todas iban a ser reinas (2006) y Severo secreto (2016); Premio Cinergia, Talent Campus, Guadalajara, (2012), y Beca de Investigación Amigos de la Biblioteca de Princeton (2015). El volumen Severo secreto. Una biografía coral sobre Severo Sarduy, Ediciones Rialta, 2022, reúne todas sus entrevistas, sobre el autor de Maitreya. El lazo infinito (Akashic Books, 2023), obtuvo el Premio Paz de Poesía, 2022, otorgado por la Feria del Libro de Miami junto al National Poetry Series.
ADAM GOODHEART is a historian, essayist, journalist, and the bestselling author of 1861: The Civil War Awakening. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, National Geographic, and The American Scholar. Goodheart is also the director of Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.
ALLEGRA GOODMAN’s novels include Sam: A Novel (The Dial Press); The Chalk Artist: A Novel, winner of the Massachusetts Book Award; Intuition; The Cookbook Collector: A Novel; Paradise Park: A Novel; and Kaaterskill Falls: A Novel, a National Book Award finalist. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Commentary, and Ploughshares, and has been anthologized in The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. She has written two story collections, The Family Markowitz: Fiction and Total Immersion: Stories, as well as a book for younger readers, The Other Side of the Island: A Novel. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and The American Scholar. Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Goodman studied English and philosophy at Harvard and received a Ph.D. in English literature from Stanford. She is the recipient of a Whiting Award, the Salon Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Deborah Goodrich Royce
DEBORAH GOODRICH ROYCE's thrillers examine puzzles of identity. Her latest book, Reef Road (Post Hill Press), based on a true crime, was on several bestselling lists. Previous books include Ruby Falls and Finding Mrs. Ford, which made Forbes, Book Riot, and Good Morning America's "best of" lists in 2019. Royce began as an actress on All My Children and various films before becoming a story editor at Miramax Films, developing Emma and early versions of Chicago and A Wrinkle in Time. Royce holds a bachelor's degree in modern foreign languages.
ADAM GOPNIK is a staff writer at The New Yorker and has written for the magazine since 1986. He has three National Magazine awards for essays and criticism and is also the author of numerous bestselling books, including Paris to the Moon, A Thousand Small Sanities, At The Strangers' Gate, and The Tables Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food.
Djenane S. Gourgue
DJENANE S. GOURGUE passionately advocates for Haitian culture, health, women, books, arts, and fashion. She is based in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she hosts a signature event called Pink Noire. In addition to her advocacy work, Gourgue is a breast cancer survivor who has turned her personal experience into a mission of supporting fellow survivors, particularly within the Caribbean community. Her dedication to her cause and community is evident in her work, as her efforts have raised awareness about important issues and provided much-needed support and resources for those in need. She plays a significant role in the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce as its vice president, contributing to the strategic management of Haitian interests locally and internationally for economic mobility and stability. Her work involves promoting and supporting commercial and cultural relations through learning, networking opportunities, and skilled workforce development while focusing on revenue growth. Gourgue's leadership has been instrumental in the success of various programs and activities conducted by the chamber.