Contributor Bios

MaryLei Barclay is Acquisitions and Processing Clerk in the Arrowhead Library System. MaryLei recently completed her Master’s degree in Creative Writing with induction into two honor societies. She has written over 30 novels, short stories, plays, scripts, and children’s books since the age of 14. She helped to rework the Arrowhead Library System weekly newsletter “Weekly Weeder.”  She is active in ghostwriting to increase her skills and genre capabilities.

Mary Bischoff is a high school media specialist for the Orono district.  Mary taught writing in her English teacher past, and is a freelance copywriter and editor, and unapologetic scribbler.  She has plenty other stories where this one came from.

Tammy Bobrowsky is the Acquisitions and Serials Librarian at Bemidji State University. Tammy is a photography hobbyist who enjoys trying to capture inspiring moments in nature. This series of lake photographs explores the textures and components of sky and water and ice.

Juliana Boner is the faculty librarian at the Cambridge campus of Anoka-Ramsey Community College. She earned an AFA in Creative Writing at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. She also dabbles in art classes, and she reads, writes, journals, paints, and crafts in her spare time. She is currently working on a family history project.

Lee Burkhalter

Harris, Cameron, nee Burkhalter, is an intermittent librarian in the Hennepin County Library system, attending the reference desk at branches throughout the county, but especially at Minneapolis Central. After attaining an MLIS and a Masters in History, he spent some years as a cataloger in a vareity of academic libraries in Minnesota, but is now happy working with the community.

When he is not tracking down reference questions, he is dabbing in writing, historical research, collecting postcards, and going on adventures with his wife and new puppy.

David Colwell is a Library Technician at Inver Hills Community College. Born in North Dakota, raised in South Dakota and living in Minnesota, David is truly one with Midwestern sensibilities and values. This has been borne out in his photography, musical compositions and poetry. David has been taking pictures since he was given his first Kodak Instamatic camera in elementary school. Photography classes at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and North House Folk School have enhanced his “creative eye”. The twinkle in her eye, sunbeams through the leaves, icicles dripping off the roof, galloping horses—every photograph tells a tale. Shape, Colour, Line, Contrast are what David’s story is all about. This is David’s first submission—the beginning of a Creative Adventure.

Travis Dolence is a librarian at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he composes poetry when he’s not answering reference questions. Travis has an MFA in creative writing and is currently the director of New Rivers Press. His work has appeared in The MacGuffin, Burningword, and Rock & Sling.

Ruth Dukelow is the Executive Director at CLIC – Cooperating Libraries in Consortium in St. Paul.  She has been quilting since 1980.

Julie Gilbert continues to write and publish even though her masterpiece, The Adventures of Kitty Bob: Alien Warlord Cat, has sadly been out of print since Julie last stapled it together in the fourth grade. Julie is the author of the Dark Waters series from Stone Arch Press, published in 2017. Her novels consider themes of identity and belonging, along with a healthy dose of fantasy and magic. Her short fiction, which has appeared in numerous publications including Black Heart Magazine and Foliate Oak, explores topics ranging from airport security lines to adoption to antique wreaths made of hair. She is especially committed to diversity in her writing. Julie is also an Academic Librarian & Associate Professor at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Tina Gross is an MFA candidate in creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her poems have appeared in publications including Poetry City, USA, The Laurel Review, Third Point Press, Emrys Journal, and Flyway. Some of her experimental and found poems are inspired by her job. She works as an academic librarian doing cataloging/metadata at St. Cloud State University, which accounts for most of the publications in her ORCID profile: She recently served as chair of the CaMMS Subject Analysis Committee Working Group on the LCSH “Illegal aliens.”

Duane Hawkinson is a school media specialist for Monticello High School, a position he’s held for the last eleven years. Prior to that, he was a technology specialist for the Buffalo school district, and in a different life, he taught technical and written communications to college students. He holds two masters and two bachelors degrees. Over the last nine months, he’s published four pieces, one nonfiction satirical commentary and three short stories. He strongly urges anyone interested in writing to seek group counseling or become an Uber driver. Hawkinson continues to write primarily because, as he admits, “I’m terrible at taking my own advice.”

Valerie Horton has a long history in library publishing. Valerie has co-written two books with ALA Editions including a bestseller, “Library Consortia: Models for Collaboration and Sustainability.”  Valerie was one of the founding editors for the open access journal, Collaborative Librarianship, and she served as co-general editor, news/social media editor, peer review coordinator, and finance administrator for eight years. Valerie has also published more than 25 articles and books chapters, written books reviews, and created the blog “Moving Mountain: Library Delivery”.  Other than submitting poetry to a high school publication, she has never submitted her poetry to anyone else, so submitting here was a real leap of faith.

Holly R. Jorgensen has enjoyed working at the Owatonna Public Library and getting to know all the wonderful people that utilize all the resources our library provides. She is married and has three amazing daughters that fill her life with love and smiles. She hopes you enjoy her reflection of the different types of people we come across in our daily lives.

Diane M Kauppi is a Technical Services & Systems Librarian at the Ruth A. Myers Library, Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College. Diane is a self-proclaimed dabbler in photography and graphics who enjoys creating via the medium of technology. During her career she has designed a variety of web graphics, websites/pages, logos, flyers, etc. Diane’s other avenues of creative expression include sewing, knitting, gardening, baking & cooking, decorating, and repurposing items—dabbling in each as time allows.

Kay Kirscht is an Administrator at Minitex, at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. She spent four years drawing cartoons on a live, weekly community cable TV show – PHILO – which also streamed online. Provided cartoon illustrations for “Get Thee Behind Me, Santa,” a book by Phillip Andrew Bennett Low (released last November).  Erstwhile sidewalk chalk artist. Local performer and storyteller.

Connie Kline is the Cataloging Assistant for the Anoka County Library. She has a BA in Journalism with a minor in Studio Art from the University of St. Thomas. She is a member of the White Bear Center for the Arts, and exhibits in local art shows whenever time allows.  Connie recently won a photo contest for the city of Blaine, and has won awards at the Maple Grove Art Center, Anoka County Fair, and the Hennepin County Fair for her colored pencil drawings. Connie hopes to start an Etsy shop in the future. You can follow her on Instagram @conniekline548.

Matt Lee is an Associate Director at Minitex. He is untrained in comics or meter or verse – as Every Moment Spent makes apparent. But he occasionally doodles during meetings, and existential dread comes naturally to us all.

Diana Lundell is a Library Technician at Saint Paul College. She has been published at various publications both nationally and internationally. She is the author of Awaking Indigo, and her full-length book of poetry, The Elephant’s Graveyard was a finalist for the Violet Reed Haas Prize. A novel in poems about Raggedy Ann and Andy as teenagers is forthcoming.

Angie Mason is the Interlibrary Loan Specialist at Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato where she was awarded the Nadine B. Andreas Graduate Fellowship in 2012.

Gail Nordstrom is the Public Library Consultant for Viking Library System, based in Fergus Falls. Her enthusiasm for sharing picture books with children was nurtured as a youth services librarian for Stillwater (Minnesota) Public Library. Following her work on the 2011 Randolph Caldecott Award Committee, Gail has remained passionate about picture books, co-authoring Reading the Art in Caldecott Award Books:A Guide to the Illustrations(Rowman and Littlefield, 2014). She and writing partner Heidi Hammond are working on a series of articles that takes a thematic approach to examine Caldecott books.

Danielle Ostendorf is the Electronic Resources & Serials Librarian at the University of Minnesota Duluth. While an admirer of art and creative writing, Danielle has no formal training and had not been published previously. She wrote this poem for a humanities class as an undergraduate.

Bridget Reistad is a Faculty Librarian at Lake Superior College in Duluth. Her great escapes are good fiction, creative writing and drawing. She has published several pieces of poetry, mostly for children.

Netanya Roden is the Access Services Coordinator at Concordia University St. Paul’s Library. She received her BA in Communication Studies and a minor in Integrated Marketing Communication and Design at St. Catherine University. Netanya loves all things graphic design, she has had worked published in Ariston a student art publication at St. Catherine University and was Design Coordinator for the 2016 issue of Ariston. She also has done some freelance graphic design work. These days, she enjoys making literary-inspired pin-back buttons to share with her friends and family.

Eli Scriver is a Library Aide at the Perpich Library, a state arts education library. He has received 9 Scholastic Writing Awards for his short stories, poetry, and poetic prose. He graduated from the Perpich Literary Arts program in 2018 and is enrolled as a Creative Writing student at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He also makes queer and trans oriented sex education zines, distributed through grassroots organizations in the Twin cities Metro area.

Unknown Poet The Unknown Poet was once an Immortal, but was thrown from the sky by an angry (and quite editorial) god. All for the crime of writing horrible poetry– haiku that doesn’t quite “hike.” He tries to win Redemption with every, awful poem. Are we blessed? He lives on the rooftop of yonder library, composing tiny, terrible poems with an Asus eeePC Surf 2G notebook computer. That’s all you can do with a Surf 2G…

Rachel Wexelbaum is Collection Management Librarian/Associate Professor at St. Cloud State University. As an undergraduate she won the Phi Beta Kappa Creativity Award for her unpublished novel To Walk Through the Forest. Since then, she has been an editor of literary magazines, newsletters, and other published works, including the book Queers Online: LGBT Digital Practices in Libraries, Archives, and Museums. Rachel has written multiple journal articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, book reviews, Wikipedia articles, and too many policies, procedures, and process documents to count. She is a disciple of Tom Spanbauer and attended his Dangerous Writing workshop at Esalen Institute. Rachel hopes to turn the short story Transactions into a novel, and has a non-fiction book about Jews and pork in the works.



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Potluck: Creative Works by Minnesota's Library Workers Copyright © 2018 by Bridget Reistad and Rachel Wexelbaum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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