Deborah Baker

The Last Englishmen: Love, War, and the End of Empire

Deborah Baker is the author of The Last Englishmen; Making a Farm; In Extremis, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography; A Blue Hand; and The Convert, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in India and New York.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Katie Baldwin

Katie Baldwin is a researcher at a prestigious university. By night, she writes tales of romance and mystery. When she is not pacing her home working out dialogue in her mind, she is spoiling her adopted dog, Marley.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Twitter Genre: Romance

Scott Barretta

Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by Bill Ferris

Scott Barretta, contributor to Voices of Mississippi, is a sociology instructor at the University of Mississippi, a writer and researcher for the Mississippi Blues Trail, a radio host, and the former editor of Living Blues. He is also an alumnus of UVa.

Genre: Non-Fiction

Cathy Barrow

Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies

Cathy Barrow, author of Pie Squared, is a freelance food writer, cooking teacher, and food preservation expert. She writes the “Bring It” column for the Washington Post. Her first cookbook, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry, won a prestigious IACP award in 2015 for Best Single Subject Cookbook.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Robbi Behr

The Real McCoys: Two's A Crowd

Robbi Behr, co-creator of The Real McCoys series, is one part of an author-illustrator duo with her husband, Matthew Swanson. Their picture books include Everywhere, Wonder and Babies Ruin Everything. They live with their four children in Maryland.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Twitter Genre: Children/Youth

Charles Belfoure

The Fallen Architect

Charles Belfoure’s most recent novel is The Fallen Architect, and he is the nationally bestselling author of The Paris Architect and House of Thieves. Belfoure has been a freelance writer for The Baltimore Sun and The New York Times, and lives in Maryland.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Twitter Genre: Crime Wave

Francesca Bell

Bright Stain

Francesca Bell, author of Bright Stain, is an accomplished poet and translator of Arabic and German. Her poems appear widely in magazines such as B O D Y, ELLE, North American Review, and Prairie Schooner.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Twitter Genre: Poetry

Wes Bellamy

Monumental: It Was Never About a Statue

Wes Bellamy, author of Monumental: It Was Never About a Statue, is the youngest individual ever elected to the Charlottesville City Council. Bellamy came into the national spotlight after co-leading the effort to remove statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from city parks.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Karen Bender

The New Order

Karen E. Bender is the author of the story collection The New Order. Her last collection, Refund, was a Finalist for the National Book award and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story prize. She is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Fiction

Marie Benedict

The Only Woman in the Room

Marie Benedict, author of The Only Woman in the Room, is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms. She is also the author of The Other Einstein and Carnegie’s Maid. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Genre: Fiction

Janet Benton

Lilli de Jong

Janet Benton, author of Lilli de Jong, has written for The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many other publications. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Twitter Genre: Fiction

Lindsay Bernal

What It Doesn’t Have to Do With

Lindsay Bernal, author of What It Doesn’t Have to Do With, won the 2017 National Poetry Series competition. She coordinates the Creative Writing Program and the Writers Here & Now reading series at the University of Maryland.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Genre: Poetry

Susan Berres

Susan Berres, founder and organizer of the Bus Lines Community Poetry contest, seeks to promote poetry and flash fiction in public spaces and provide opportunities for writers of all ages to share their work.

Genre: Poetry

Chaya Bhuvaneswar

White Dancing Elephants

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Chaya Bhuvaneswar has had to cancel her participation in the Festival.

Chaya Bhuvaneswar, author of White Dancing Elephants: Stories, is a physician and writer with work in Narrative Magazine, Tin House, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, The Millions, Joyland, Michigan Quarterly Review, and is a Sewanee Writers’ Conference scholar and MacDowell Colony fellow.

Speaker's: Website Twitter Genre: Fiction

Joelle Biele


Joelle Biele is the author of Tramp, Broom, and White Summer. She is the editor of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence.

Speaker's: Website Genre: Poetry

Remica Bingham-Risher

Starlight & Error

Remica Bingham-Risher, author of Starlight & Error, was winner of the Diode Editions Book Award for What We Ask of Flesh, shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Conversion, and winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. She is also a Cave Canem fellow and Affrilachian Poet.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Genre: Poetry

Tasha Birckhead

Tasha Birckhead is a young adult librarian who has worked with Jefferson-Madison Regional Library for ten years. She holds an MLIS degree along with a youth services certification. As a native Charlottesvillian, she shares her passion for reading with teens in the community through books and programs at the library.

Speaker's: Twitter Genre: Children/Youth

Mary Bishop

Don't You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son

Mary Carter Bishop, author of Don’t You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son, is a prize-winning investigative reporter, who worked at the Roanoke Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Charlotte Observer, and other newspapers over thirty-five years.

Speaker's: Facebook Genre: Non-Fiction

Sherwin Bitsui


Sherwin Bitsui is the author of three collections of poetry, Dissolve, Flood Song, and Shapeshift. He is Diné of the Todí­ch’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tlizí­laaní­ (Many Goats Clan) and holds an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program.

Genre: Poetry

David Blight

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

David W. Blight, author of Frederick Douglass, is Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author or editor of a dozen books, and has been awarded the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among others.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Genre: Non-Fiction

Sara Bon-Harper

Sara Bon-Harper, executive director of James Monroe’s Highland, is an archaeologist whose questions about the past have led her throughout the Roman world and to research at Highland. Most recent findings there have transformed the understanding of Monroe’s home.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a columnist for the New York Times Opinion pages and a political analyst for CBS News. He previously wrote for SlateThe Nation, and The American Prospect. He is based in Charlottesville, Va.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Sarah Bowen

Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won't Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It

Sarah Bowen, co-author of Pressure Cooker, is associate professor of sociology at North Carolina State University. Her work focuses on food systems, local and global institutions, and inequality.

Speaker's: Website Genre: Non-Fiction

Herbert Tico Braun

La nación sentida. Colombia 1949. El país se busca en sus palabras

Tico Braun teaches Latin American History at UVa. He is a citizen of Colombia and of the United States, and writes in both English and Spanish.

Joslyn Brenton

Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won't Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It

Joslyn Brenton, co-author of Pressure Cooker, is an assistant professor of sociology at Ithaca College. She teaches and conducts research about families, food, health, and inequality. Her research has been published in Social Problems, Sociology of Health & Illness, and Contexts. ​

Speaker's: Website Genre: Non-Fiction

Douglas Brinkley

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

Douglas Brinkley, author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race, is a professor of history at Rice University, the CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Audubon. Seven of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Cronkite won the Sperber Prize for Best Book in Journalism, and The Great Deluge won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.


Speaker's: Website Genre: Non-Fiction

Charita Brown

Defying The Verdict: My Bipolar Life

Charita Cole Brown, author of Defying the Verdict, earned a BA in English from Wesleyan University and an MAT in early childhood education from Towson University in Maryland. A retired educator, she is committed to helping others create strategies to defy their personally challenging verdicts.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Genre: Non-Fiction

Victoria Bruce

Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society: America's Original Gangsters and the U.S. Postal Detective who Brought Them to Justice

Victoria Bruce, co-author of Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society, is the author of No Apparent Danger, Hostage Nation, and Sellout. She is the recipient of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for her film, The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt. She lives in Anne Arundel County, Md.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Facebook Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Hilda Eunice Burgos

Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle

Hilda Eunice Burgos, author of Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle, is the daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. She grew up in New York City and now lives near Philadelphia with her husband.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Twitter Genre: Children/Youth

Tayla Burney

Tayla Burney is a writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Independent Review of Books and the Washington Post. A longtime public radio producer, Tayla is behind the weekly literary event newsletter, Get Lit, D.C.

Speaker's: Twitter Genre: Fiction

V. M. Burns

The Novel Art of Murder

V. M. Burns, author of The Novel Art of Murder, was born and raised in northwestern Indiana. Her debut novel in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series, The Plot is Murder, was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She writes in two other series, and has published six novels. Burns lives in eastern Tennessee.

Speaker's: Website Facebook Twitter Genre: Crime Wave

Libby Burton

Soft Volcano

Libby Burton, author of Soft Volcano, is a senior editor at Henry Holt. She earned a BA from the University of Virginia and MFA from Columbia University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlas Review, Brooklyn Poets Anthology, Field, Guernica, Juked, Poetry, Tin House, and others.

Speaker's: Website Instagram Genre: Poetry

Prudence Bushnell

Terrorism, Betrayal, and Resilience: My Story of the 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings

Prudence Bushnell, author of Terrorism, Betrayal, and Resilience, is an American diplomat who has held a series of leadership positions with the U.S. Department of State, including ambassador to the republics of Kenya and Guatemala. She has earned numerous awards for her leadership and diplomacy.

Speaker's: Website Genre: Non-Fiction