Keweenaw Writers Workshop was founded in the summer of 2012 and is dedicated to supporting and enlarging the literary arts on the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Laura Smyth, MFA, Columbia University
Laura was awarded a Fellowship to attend Columbia University's Creative Writing Program and while living in New York City had the opportunity to work with a broad array of poets including Diane Ackerman, Quincy Troupe, Anne Lauterbach, Jane Copper, Molly Peacock, and Derek Walcott. She worked as an editorial assistant at the renowned Parnassus: Poetry In Review, and participated in a Master's Class in poetry conducted by the poet Amy Clampitt at New York's 92nd Street Y Poetry Center. Laura's poetry has been included in several anthologies, literary magazines, online journals, and recent work has been nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize. A collection of her poems is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her teaching experience includes adjunct work at Finlandia University's Suomi School of Arts and Science, International School of Art and Design, and Gogebic Community College. She is also the Creative Director for two small publishing companies located on the Keweenaw Peninsula: Thimbleberry Press and Mudminnow Press.
Suzanne Van Dam, MFA, University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast Writing Program
Suzanne Van Dam is an Associate Professor of Language & Literature at Finlandia University where she teaches English and creative writing. She earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.F.A. from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Creative Writing Program. Van Dam has lived abroad in Tanzania, Malaysia, and Mexico, and has traveled widely. She’s recently completed a novel and received an Honorable Mention for an essay in the New Millennium Writings competition. Her work has appeared in Traverse Magazine, Further North, Mothering, Ceramics Monthly, Running Times, The U.P. Environment, and elsewhere.
Darlene Basto discovered the joys of Tai Chi Ch'uan more than 30 years ago, and added Tai Chi's "grandmother," Qigong, to her world six years ago. She is now a certified Qigong and Tai Chi teacher who loves to help people reconnect with themselves, finding their internal natural healer of body-mind-spirit through gentle movements, breathing and relaxation/meditation techniques. North Star Qigong & Tai Chi web site.
Lesley DuTemple is an award winning author of more than 2 dozen children's books, and a regular contributor to Lake Superior Magazine. She is also a certified RYT200 yoga instructor, registered with Yoga Alliance, and has more than 100 hours of meditation training through the Chopra Center, including a 50 hour residential training with Deepak Chopra.
Justin Plichta is a native Yooper born and raised in Houghton, MI. He has performed with, written songs for, and recorded 4 albums in local groups, including Vanilla Thunder, Algoma, and The Blackflies. Besides music, Justin works as a videographer for Michigan Technological University, and frequently enjoys the outdoors.