Minnesota Writers

Kathleen West's debut novel is a story of the modern high school: overworked teachers, micro-managing parents, social media, and the students caught in between. It’s called Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes.

“A tree in rural Iowa bears witness to generations of human experience and deadly secrets.” This same tree seemingly holds a curse--unexplainable things happen to people who try to remove the tree.  Amy Pendino’s debut novel is The Witness Tree --it’s the story of two women, generations apart, and the mystery behind how each are connected to this tree and its curse. Amy is a Minnesota writer, she’s been published in several regional magazines, she taught middle school English for many years, but now she’s traded the classroom for horses and pastures, and writing full time.

Jenney Egertson

"The advice she gave me was so soothing and so beautiful...she said you really have to trust yourself and you have to remember that you know your children better than anyone else. And so you have to believe in what you decide to do. ...you need to do whatever you think is best and not be worried about what other people tell you they think you should do.  That was a problem.  She knew I was trying to raise a child within an alcoholic marriage and at times I was really insecure about that.

“I owe a lot to jazz…I was really shut down emotionally and I couldn’t really express myself or feel anything hardly.  A cousin of mine came from Laguna Beach, California…when he opened up his suitcase, he said, here’s a present for ya…he handed me two Louis Armstrong albums.  Those records changed my life.  I felt so excited and for the first time in my life I could emote and really let my feelings out and from then on, I just kept following jazz…it opened a door to a whole world for me.” –Anthony Swann  

Penumbra Theatre

Abby Swafford and Devery Fairbanks both live in Bemidji and both answered the call to submit their unique perspectives on American life to the Penumbra Theatre's My America writing contest.  They stopped by the KBXE studio to talk about the experience of becoming a finalist in the statewide competition.  Click on the link to hear the conversation!