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2011 Michigan Notable Book Author Biographies

Martha Aladjem Bloomfield was curator at the Michigan Historical Museum 2005 exhibit Movers and Seekers: Michigan Immigrants and Migrants.

Michael Erlewine was a key figure in the Southeastern Michigan rock and blues scene in the late '60s. Michael was the leader of the Prime Moversp Before founding the Prime Movers in 1965, Erlewine was active in the Michigan folk scene in the late '50s and early '60s. Twenty years after the group's disbandment, he founded the All Music Guide, which became the world's largest database of musical information.

Today Erlewine lives in Big Rapids, Michigan, with his wife. They have four children. Erlewine oversees the Heart Center Library, probably the largest astrological library in the U.S. (or world) that is open to the public. Erlewine has an active recording studio and the Heart Center Studios, a film and video center.

Mike Federspiel experience includes eighteen years as a middle and high school history teacher and sixteen years as a K-12 social studies administrator and curriculum specialist. He serves on numerous Michigan Department of Education social studies committees including those related to the MEAP test. Currently he also is a steering committee member for the new Social Studies Michigan Merit Exam. From 1997-2002 he worked for the Library of Congress as a trainer helping teachers design lessons using electronic primary documents. Additionally he participated in a NEH grant that developed “Picturing Modern America,” a website teaching teachers how to use documents with students. In 2003 he was recognized as a Transatlantic Fellow by Germany’s Goethe Institute and in 1999 he received the Michigan Council for the Social Studies “Outstanding Social Studies Educator Award.”

John Gallagher is a veteran journalist who writes about urban and economic development for the Detroit Free Press. He joined the newspaper in 1987. John’s other books include Great Architecture of Michigan and, as co-author of AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture.

Lawrence M. Glazer has served as an assistant Michigan Attorney General, as chief legal adviser to Michigan Governor James Blanchard, and as a State Circuit Judge.

Raymond Goodwin went back to college after his stint in lumbering. As a manager of human resources at Central Michigan University, he now helps a new generation of young people find work.

Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule was the 2010 National Book Award winner for fiction. Her third novel, Bogeywoman was on the Los Angeles Times list of Best Books for 2000. Her second novel, She Drove Without Stopping, brought her an Academy-Institute Award for her fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Gordon's short story, "A Night's Work," which shares a number of characters with Lord of Misrule, appeared in Best American Short Stories 1995. She is also the author of a novella, Circumspections from an Equestrian Statue, and the fantasy classic novel Shamp of the City-Solo. Gordon teaches at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and in the Prague Summer Program for Writers.

Bryan Gruley is the Chicago bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal. An award winning journalist, Gruley shared in the Pulitzer Prize given to the Wall Street Journal in 2002 for coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks. A graduate of Notre Dame, Gruley was raised in Michigan and spent the beginnings of his journalism career working at newspapers in Kalamazoo and Detroit. An avid hockey player and amateur musician, he currently lives with his family in Chicago.

Alison K. (Kim) Hoagland is professor emerita at Michigan Technological University, where she taught history and historic preservation for fifteen years.  Before that, she was senior historian at the Historic American Buildings Survey of the National Park Service.  She has been a member of the Michigan State Historic Preservation Review Board and president of the Vernacular Architecture Forum.  Her most recent book is Mine Towns: Buildings for Workers in Michigan’s Copper Country (University of Minnesota Press).  She has also written Buildings of Alaska (Oxford University Press) and Army Architecture in the West (University of Oklahoma Press).  She chairs the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission.

D.E. (Dan) Johnson, a graduate of Central Michigan University, is a history buff who has been writing fiction since childhood. His first novel, a historical mystery entitled The Detroit Electric Scheme, was published in September 2010 by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books. The Detroit Electric Scheme has garnered excellent reviews (including a starred review in Booklist) and also won a 2011 Michigan Notable Book Award.

Dan is married, has three daughters, and lives near Kalamazoo, Michigan. He’s currently working on the first sequel to The Detroit Electric Scheme, titled Motor City Shakedown, to be published by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books in fall 2011.

Laura Kasischke teaches in the University of Michigan MFA program and the Residential College. She has published seven collections of poetry and seven novels. Kasischke was the 2009 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellow­ship for poetry. She lives with her family in Chelsea, Michigan.

Steve Lehto is a writer and attorney, and teaches in an adjunct capacity at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in Detroit. He lives in southeastern Michigan with his two dogs. He has a B.A. in history from Oakland University and a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles. Lehto's family has roots in Upper Michigan and specifically at Suomi College.

M. L. Liebler is an internationally known & widely published Detroit poet, university professor, literary arts activist and arts organizer, and he is the author of 13 books including the Award winning Wide Awake in Someone Else's Dream (Wayne State University Press 2008) featuring poems written in and about Russia, Israel, Germany, Alaska and Detroit. Wide Awake won both The Paterson Poetry Prize for Literary Excellence  and The American Indie Book Award for 2009. In 2005, he was named St. Clair Shores (his hometown) first Poet Laureate. Liebler has read and performed his work in Israel, Russia, China, France, UK, Macao, Italy, Germany, Spain, Finland, Turkey and most of the 50 States. M.L. Liebler has taught English, American Studies, Labor Studies, Canadian Studies and World Literature at Wayne State University in Detroit since 1980, and he is the founding director of both The National Writer's Voice Project in Detroit and the Springfed Arts: Metro Detroit Writers Literary Arts Organization.  He was recently selected as Best Detroit Poet by The Detroit Free Press & Detroit's Metro Time, and in he is the nation’s first ever Artist in Residence for a Public Library at The Chelsea District Library for 2008-2009. In 2010, he received The Barnes & Noble Poets & Writers Writers for Writers Award with Maxine Hong Kingston & Junot Diaz.

Thomas Lynch's essays, poems and stories have appeared in The Atlantic and Granta, The New York Times and Times of London, The New Yorker and Paris Review and elsewhere. The Undertaking was a finalist for the National Book Award; he is also the author of Bodies in Motion and at Rest, Still Life in Milford, Booking Passage, and Apparition & Late Fictions. His work has been the subject of two film documentaries. PBS Frontline's Emmy Award winning "The Undertaking" and Cathal Black's film, "Learning Gravity.

Lynch lives in Milford, Michigan where he has been the funeral director since 1974, and in Moveen, Co. Clare, Ireland where he keeps an ancestral cottage.

Andrew Moore is best known for his thoughtful and vibrant images of Cuba, Russia, Times Square, and most recently, Detroit. Mr. Moore teaches a graduate seminar in the MFA Photography Video and Related Media program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Formerly, he was a lecturer on photography in the Visual Arts Program at Princeton University from 2001 to 2010.

Gordon Olson is City Historian Emeritus of Grand Rapids, Michigan and co-editor of Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Grand Rapids.

Stephen Garr Ostrander is a historian, exhibit designer, and writer for the Michigan Historical Museum. He designed the Movers and Seekers Exhibit.

Adam Schuitema’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous magazines, including Glimmer Train, North American Review, Indiana Review, TriQuarterly, Black Warrior Review, and Crazyhorse. Adam earned his MFA and Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. He is an assistant professor of English at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

Heather Sellers is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection Georgia Under Water, as well as several books on creative writing.  She speaks regularly around the country on both writing and face blindness.  Her work has appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine and numerous literary magazines.  Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, she has a Ph.D. in creative writing from Florida State University.  She teaches English at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. 

Alex Taylor III is Senior Editor at FORTUNE Magazine.  He joined FORTUNE in 1986. Taylor was selected one of 100 Notable Business Journalists Of The 20th Century and has won numerous awards for his automotive writing, including three first prizes from the Detroit Press Club Foundation. The Washington Automotive Press Association voted him journalist of the year and his articles have been nominated for the National Magazine Awards. Prior to joining FORTUNE, Taylor worked for TIME and The Detroit Free Press.

Taylor is on the jury for the North America Car and Truck of the Year Awards. He formerly served as a judge for the Oversees Press Club Awards and was an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Judge William C. Whitbeck writes for a living.  He was for years the legendary Chief Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals—one of the country’s largest and busiest appellate courts—and he still sits on that court, authoring opinions ranging from the simplest slip-and-fall cases to the murder conviction of Jack Kevorkian.  During his long legal and political career, he has been a counselor to three Michigan governors.  He and his wife Stephanie live in historic downtown Lansing in their twice-renovated 1878 home—just blocks from Michigan’s Capitol, a brooding presence in his riveting first novel. 


Updated 05/03/2011