Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s Too Much Water So Close to Home that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published four novels: The Motel Life (2007–NYT Editor’s choice and notable book, made into a major motion picture starring Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsh, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson), Northline (2008), Lean on Pete (2010-Winner of the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, short-listed for the IMPAC award), and The Free (2014-Winner of the Oregon People’s Choice Award).
Natalie Serber is the author of Shout Her Lovely Name, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, a summer reading selection from O, the Oprah Magazine, and an Oregonian Top 10 Book of the Pacific Northwest. Community Chest, (Two Sylvias Press), a memoir, was released in the fall of 2015. Her fiction has appeared in The Bellingham Review, Gulf Coast, Inkwell, and Hunger Mountain. Essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, the Oregonian, The Rumpus, Salon, and Fourth Genre. She lives in Portland with her family.
David Baker is author of eleven books of poetry, most recently Never-Ending Birds (Norton), which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize in 2011, and a forthcoming volume, Scavenger Loop. His five books of prose include Show Me Your Environment: Essays on Poetry, Poets, and Poems (Michigan, 2014) and, with Ann Townsend, Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry (Graywolf, 2007). Among his awards are prizes and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, and Society of Midland Authors. He holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and is Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review.