CBA Authors Speakers Bureau

2019 Colorado Poet Laureate Finalist. Aaron A. Abeyta is M.F.A. poetry director at Western Colorado University, professor of English, and the mayor of Antonito, Colorado, his hometown. He is the author of four collections of poetry and one novel. For his book colcha, Abeyta received an American Book Award and the Colorado Book Award. His novel, Rise, Do Not be Afraid, was a finalist for the 2007 Colorado Book Award and El Premio Aztlan. Abeyta is the former poet laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope and a recipient of a Governor’s Creative Leadership Award in 2017.

2019 CBA Finalist in Creative Nonfiction. Alex Acks is a writer, geologist, and sharp-dressed sir. Their biker gang space witch novels, Hunger Makes the Wolf (winner of a 2017 Kitchie Award) and Blood Binds the Pack, were published by Angry Robot Books under the pen name Alex Wells. They’ve had short fiction in Strange Horizons, Crossed Genres, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed Magazine, and more, and written movie reviews for Strange Horizons and Mothership Zeta.

2006 and 2019 CBA Winner in Literary Fiction. Nick Arvin’s first novel, Articles of War (Anchor, 2006), was named one of the best books of the year by Esquire, Detroit Free Press, Rocky Mountain News, and The Independent. It won the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Boyd Award, and was selected for the One Book, One Denver reading program. His second novel, The Reconstructionist (Harper Perennial, 2012), was described as “thrilling and soulful” by David Wroblewski and was selected by Amazon as a Best Book of the Month. Arvin’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and numerous other periodicals. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop.

2019 CBA Finalist in Creative Nonfiction. A former Artist-in-Residence for the State of Colorado, Karen Auvinen has won two Academy of American Poets awards and has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes in fiction. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and numerous literary journals. She earned her M.A. in poetry from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and went on to earn her Ph.D. in fiction writing from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She currently teaches film and popular culture at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

2018 and 2019 CBA Winner in Science Fiction/Fantasy. Writing contemporary fantasy novels as L. D. Colter and epic fantasy as L. Deni Colter, L. D. Colter is also an active SFWA member with multiple short story publications. Her debut novel A Borrowed Hell was also the winner of the 2018 Colorado Book Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy.

2019 CBA Finalist in Young Adult Literature. Donna Cooner is the acclaimed author of Skinny, Can’t Look Away, and Worthy. A Texas native and graduate of Texas A&M University, Cooner currently lives in Fort Collins with her husband.

2019 CBA Finalist in Young Adult Literature. Susan Cunningham lives in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys science nearly as much as writing: She’s traveled to the bottom of the ocean via submarine to observe life at hydrothermal vents, camped out on an island of birds to study tern behavior, and now spends time in an office analyzing data on wool apparel.

2019 CBA Winner in Children’s Literature. Kimberlee Gard spent most of her childhood running from books instead of reading them. A learning disorder held her back until she was taught the tools to overcome the disorder. From this came Gard’s aspiration to write books for children that would bring about the same love for reading she eventually found. She lives on a small farm in Colorado with her husband and sons.

2019 CBA Finalist in General Nonfiction. L.S. Gardiner creates educational experiences about our planet for websites, museums, and classrooms at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and UCAR Center for Science Education in Boulder. In addition to writing creative nonfiction, she tells stories through comics and illustrations. She holds an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction writing and a Ph.D. in geology.

2019 CBA Winner in History. Andrew Gulliford is professor of history and environmental studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango. He has twice won the Colorado Book Award and the Arizona–New Mexico Book Award. He also received the National Individual Volunteer Award from the U.S. Forest Service for wilderness education and a certificate of recognition from the Secretary of Agriculture for “outstanding contributions to America’s natural and cultural resources.” He is the author of America’s Country Schools, Sacred Objects and Sacred Places, and Boomtown Blues, and editor of Preserving Western History and Outdoors in the Southwest: An Adventure Anthology.

2019 CBA Finalist in Creative Nonfiction. Susan Devan Harness, of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, is a writer, lecturer, and oral historian, and has been a research associate for the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research at Colorado State University. She is also the author of Mixing Cultural Identities Through Transracial Adoption: Outcomes of the Indian Adoption Project (1958–1967).

2019 CBA Finalist in General Nonfiction. David G. Havlick is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He is the author of No Place Distant: Roads and Motorized Recreation on America’s Public Lands and coeditor of Restoring Layered Landscapes: History, Ecology, and Culture.

2019 CBA Finalist in Anthology and General Nonfiction. Jason Heller is a Hugo Award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, The Atlantic, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and others. His latest novel is Taft 2012. He plays in the internationally touring post-punk band Weathered Statues and is a resident DJ at various events. He lives in Denver.

2019 CBA Finalist in General Fiction. Diana Holguin-Balogh spent childhood Fourth of Julys at Billy the Kid Days in Lincoln, New Mexico. After a cousin’s funeral at the Mescalero Apache Reservation, her brother showed her Shotgun Roberts’s and Dick Brewer’s graves. She knew the señoritas loved the bilingual Kid and found the historical fiction possibilities fascinating — thus the catalyst for Rosary without Beads. Shadowboxing Lupe’s Ghost, her first manuscript, was named Top of the Mountain Book Award finalist for Northern Colorado Writers. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Anthology Found, a Colorado Book Award recipient, featured her story, “Telling Bones.”

2019 CBA Winner in General Fiction. Elisabeth Hyde is the author of five other critically acclaimed novels, most recently In The Heart of The Canyon, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and a People Magazine Great Read. Her fourth novel, The Abortionist’s Daughter, became a best seller in Great Britain after being selected as a Summer Read by The Richard and Judy Book Club. Trained as a lawyer, she worked for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., before she started writing full time. She lives in Boulder with her husband.

2019 CBA Winner in Juvenile Literature. Darby Karchut is an award-winning novelist, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms when not busy wrangling words.

2019 CBA Winner in General Nonfiction. Rory Kress is a journalist and a national Emmy Award–winning television producer who has covered stories around the world. She holds a B.A. in creative writing from Princeton University and graduated at the top of her class from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Denver.

2019 CBA Finalist in History. Jeffrey B. Miller has been a writer, magazine editor, and book author for more than 40 years. He also wrote Stapleton International Airport: The First Fifty Years (Pruett Publishing, 1983); coauthored Facing Your Fifties: Every Man’s Reference to Mid-Life Health (M. Evans & Co., 2002), which was a Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2002; and authored Behind the Lines (Milbrown Press, 2014), which was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014. WWI Crusaders has been named a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2018.

2019 CBA Finalist in Thriller. J.M. Mitchell’s novels of mystery and political intrigue borrow from his experiences in Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Zion National Parks, and as Chief of the National Park Service’s Biology Division.

2019 CBA Finalist in Mystery. Margaret Mizushima’s first novel, Killing Trail, was named Debut Mystery of the Month by Library Journal and was a Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee in Mystery. She balances writing with assisting her husband with their veterinary clinic and Angus cattle herd. This is her fourth mystery.

2019 CBA Finalist in Children’s Literature. Dow Phumiruk was born in Bangkok, Thailand and came to live in the United States when she was about three years old. She has been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators since 2011, and Mela and the Elephant was made possible in part by a grant from this society. She is a pediatrician who lives with her husband and children in Lone Tree.

2019 CBA Finalist in Literary Fiction. Nancy Stohlman’s other books include The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, The Monster Opera, Searching for Suzi: a flash novel, and Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, a finalist for a 2011 Colorado Book Award in Literary Fiction. Her work was recently anthologized in the WW Norton anthology New Micro: Very Short Stories. She teaches at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

2019 Colorado Poet Laureate Finalist. Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer “never fails to bring sensual joy and rich music,” says Utah’s Poet Laureate Emeritus David Lee. She was Colorado’s Western Slope poet laureate (2015–17) and served two terms as San Miguel County’s first poet laureate (2006–2010). She has authored and edited 13 books, including Naked for Tea, Even Now: Poems & Drawings, and Holding Three Things at Once, finalist for the Colorado Book Award. She’s widely anthologized, including in An Elevated View: Colorado Writers on Writing, Poems of Awakening, and Poetry of Presence. Her work has appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion,” in O Magazine, on back alley fences, on rocks she leaves around town, and in dozens of literary journals including Rattle, Clover, and Spectrum. She has been the recipient of numerous prizes.

2019 Finalist in Literary Fiction. Tiffany Quay Tyson’s writing has been compared to Southern fiction titan Flannery O’Connor and her first novel, Three Rivers (Thomas Dunne, 2015), was a finalist in the Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters award for Fiction and also the Colorado Book Award in Literary Fiction. Though she grew up in Mississippi, she now resides in Denver, where she teaches at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

2019 Colorado Poet Laureate Finalist. Wendy Videlock is the author of What’s That Supposed to Mean (EXOT Books, 2010), The Dark Gnu and Other Poems (2012), Slingshots & Love Plums (2013), and Nevertheless (2011), all from Able Muse Press. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, American Life in Poetry, The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, and Hudson Review, among others. Her work has been reviewed widely in national journals. Known for poems that evoke myth, fairy tale, and the natural world, Videlock has also received praise for her deft command of meter. In an interview with the Colorado Poets Center, Videlock noted that “the iamb is really just another of the many natural pulsings of the earth.” Videlock is also a visual artist, whose paintings can be found in galleries throughout Western Colorado. She lives with her husband and various four-legged critters in Palisade.

2019 CBA Finalist in Science Fiction/Fantasy. Joshua Viola is a Colorado Book Award finalist and the author of The Bane of Yoto and Blackstar. He edited The Denver Post best-selling anthologies, Blood Business and Nightmares Unhinged, and coedited Cyber World, named one of the best science fiction anthologies of 2016 by Barnes & Noble.

2019 Finalist in Mystery. A Colorado-based criminal defense attorney for 35 years, Jeanne Winer uses her experience representing hundreds of defendants accused of kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, and more as a novelist and weaves in LGBTQ and feminist themes. She received the Dan Bradley Award from the National LGBT Bar Association for her trial work in Romer v. Evans, a landmark civil rights case that paved the way for the Obergefell decision in 2015, which legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States.


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