Martha Gershun recently retired as Executive Director from Jackson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), serving 1,250 abused and neglected children each year in their quest for a safe, permanent home. Her first novel, Care & Custody, tells the story of three of these children and their harrowing journey through a terribly broken child welfare system. Gershun earned an A.B. cum laude from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the New Yorker, Kveller, The Kansas City Star, and The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, and she reads her original poetry at The Writers Place and other arts venues. Gershun is co-founder of Music + Poetry + Art, along with Maryfrances Wagner and the late Rick Malsick, producing 33 arts events at the Downtown Neon Gallery in partnership with The Writers Place from 2009 through 2017.
Linda Rodriguez's Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, based on her popular workshop, and The World Is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East, an anthology she co-edited, are her newest books. Dark Sister: Poems will be published in May, 2018, and Every Family Doubt, her fourth mystery novel featuring Cherokee campus police chief, Skeet Bannion, will appear in August, 2018. Her three earlier Skeet novels—Every Hidden Fear, Every Broken Trust, and Every Last Secret—and her books of poetry—Skin Hunger and Heart's Migration—have received critical recognition and awards, such as St. Martin's Press/Malice Domestic Best First Novel, International Latino Book Award, Latina Book Club Best Book of 2014, Midwest Voices & Visions, Elvira Cordero Cisneros Award, Thorpe Menn Award, and Ragdale and Macondo fellowships. Her short story, “The Good Neighbor,” published in the anthology, Kansas City Noir, has been optioned for film.
Robert F. Sommer is the author of Losing Francis: Essays on the Wars at Home (Fomite 2018). His essays and stories have appeared in many literary and scholarly journals. He is a lecturer at the University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, and works for the Sierra Club’s Kansas Chapter in support of its mission to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet.