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Ralph James Savarese is the author of the recently released Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption, a chapter of which was selected as a “notable essay” in the Best American Essays series of 2004. His poetry, translations, and creative non-fiction have appeared in ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cream City Review, Edge City Review, Flyway, Graham House Review, The Guardian, Modern Poetry In Translation, New England Review, New York Times, Poet Lore, Poetry Motel, Poets Against the War, The Poker, Seneca Review, Sewanee Review, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Southwest Review. He teaches American literature and creative writing at Grinnell College.
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Laurie Robertson-Lorant A graduate of Radcliffe College/Harvard University with an M.A. and Ph. D. from New York University, Laurie Robertson-Lorant is the author of Melville: A Biography (1996) and The Man Who Lived Among the Cannibals: Poems in the Voice of Herman Melville (2005) plus other poetry and a play about Elizabeth Freeman, aka Mumbet, the “slave who ended slavery in Massachusetts.” She has taught English at Berkshire Community College, St. Mark’s School and MIT and currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dr. Lorant has lectured and delivered papers in the US, Mexico, France, Germany and Italy and has published articles in journals and books. She teaches workshops for teachers and has received NEH grants for teacher workshops on “Melville and Multiculturalism” and “Visions of Slavery and Freedom in the Writings of Lydia Maria Child, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville and Harriet Jacobs.” For the Melville’s Society’s Melville-Douglass conference in New Bedford, she chaired the Poetry Reading and the Panel on Teaching and served as “dramaturge” for Culture*Park’s dramatic musical production of Benito Cereno.

Steve Andrews teaches American Literature at Grinnell College, where he is currently working on a book-length manuscript on the poetics of landscape in which Emerson, William James, W.E.B. Du Bois and concepts of home and homelessness play prominent roles. His scholarly work, published or forthcoming, is on Du Bois and James; the interconnection between wilderness and civil rights; baseball, romance, realism, and race; and poems appear in Platte Valley Review, Cold Mountain Review, and Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature. He is very grateful to Pawel Jedrzejko for the opportunity to read a few poems tonight.