Mikel JollettKathleen Waller
Mikel Jollet is an American musician and author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Hollywood Park. He was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. He eventually lived with his father and stepmother in Los Angeles, attended Stanford University, graduating with honors in 1996, spent a few years as a magazine journalist, and became the lead singer of The Airborne Toxic Event, a wildly popular indie-rock band that regularly sells out venues across the country. His is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer. People Magazine calls it “[A] fascinating memoir…it’s an exquisitely deep and moving tale of transformation and the search for love.” Newsweek lists Hollywood Park on its’ list of “40 Must-Read Fiction and Nonfiction Books to Savor this Spring”.
2015 Author & 2022 Moderator
Dr. Kate Gale is a leading light in the literary world recognized for her creative work, critical insights and leadership ability. She is the cofounder and Managing Editor of Red Hen Press, Editor of the Los Angeles Review, an award-winning poet, a fiction writer and a blogger for the Huffington Post. She also served as President of the American Composers Forum, Los Angeles, from 2006-2014. Dr. Gale teaches in Low Residency MFA programs around the country and is on the boards of A Room of Her Own Foundation and Poetry Society of America. Her six librettos include Rio de Sangre, with composer Don Davis, which premiered at the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee. Her latest poetry collection is The Loneliest Girl, a testament to resilience, including its limits, a testament to the will to rise above a childhood where a girl has to sit on a seat of shame, and made to believe it is her own creation.