Author Info

Norm Rice was Mayor of Seattle for two terms, 1990-1998. He is a graduate of the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and the recipient of the University of Washington's highest honor, Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus. He is the first Seattle mayor to ever become President of the United States Conference of Mayors.

Lawrence Matsuda was born in the Minidoka, Idaho, Idaho War Relocation Camp (concentration camp) during World War II. Matsuda has written two books of poetry, a third in collaboration with Tess Gallagher, and a graphic novel about the WWII Japanese American 442 Regimental Combat Team. Animated sections of the novel won regional Emmys in 2015 and 2016. Matsuda has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Washington.

Catherine Johnson lives, writes and farms with her wife of over 30 years on Vashon Island. Her essays and poems have appeared in various anthologies and magazines. Her memoir Finding Mercy In This World received the 2018 Sarton Women's Book Award.

Laurie Stewart has worked as an environmental paralegal and science writer and is currently manager of Vashon Bookshop. She has lived on Vashon since 1994 with her husband, two sons, and several generations of sheep, chickens, cats and dogs.

Linda Broten Straley, 1942-2019. Linda grew up in Bellingham Washington and graduated from Smith College in 1964. After college she taught school for several years in Guatemala and later lived in Panama from 1970 to 1973. In Seattle, for over 20 years she was on the faculty of Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences where she taught Spanish and provided college counseling.

Lonny Kaneko (1939—2017) has received both national and local awards for his poetry, fiction, and play––including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for poetry. Stories, poems and essays appear in anthologies such as An Ear to the Ground, Daily Fare, The Big AIIIEEEEE, Asian American Literature, and The Seattle Review.  He lived on Vashon Island in Washington state.

Ann Combs, a former columnist for the Seattle P-I, is the author of a number of titles for adults including Smith College Never Taught Me How to Salute; We’ll Laugh About This, Someday; and the beloved children’s book How Old is Old. She lives on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, Washington.

Artis Palmer, a former freelance writer for Seattle Magazine, in this charming memoir humorously and tenderly chronicles the challenges faced by her family during the Great Depression. Eccentric characters and unexpected adventures are entertainingly bound by the force of place and community. From bootlegging in Seattle to gold mining in Nome, Alaska, There’s No Place Like Nome reveals the courage and resilience of the human spirit in tough times. 

Jean Davies Okimoto is an author and playwright whose books and short stories have been translated into Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Danish, Korean, German, French and Hebrew. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Smithsonian Notable Book, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the International Reading Association Reader’s Choice Award, the Parent’s Choice Award, and the Green Earth Book Award. Her picture book Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat was adapted by Shelley Duvall for the HBO and Showtime television series Bedtime Stories. Her short stories have appeared in Dell’s anthologies Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults and she has had plays produced in Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, New York and Vashon Island, Washington. She has appeared on the Today Show, the CBS Morning Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN. She is the co-founder of the Seattle Reading Awards for Highest Reading Improvement and served as its co-chair since from 1986 until 2016. (Complete Bio)