Thursday, September 21, 2017

Catherine Napper of Improv Bus



This episode of The Lisa D Show takes a deep dive into the childhood of Catherine Napper, growing up in Evanston, to look at how environment plays a role in fostering a creative life. Frank, honest, smart and funny, Catherine shares her journey through life all the way to the stage with her current role as an actor with Improv Bus. 

Upcoming Improv Bus performance dates; Theater WIP on September 27 and October 11.

Below is an edited version of Catherine's bio and Improv Bus background. 

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I am an artist and teacher raised and nurtured in South Evanston and a proud class of ‘81 Wildikit. I  am very proud to be living here, in my hometown, once again after many years living in McHenry County, Milwaukee and New York.

Evanston is  the place where I developed my artistic spirit. It surrounded me, a most awkward child, with people and places that inspired and nurtured me. As an introspective and introverted child, I was often by myself or with my sisters. I found it difficult to find friends, or to find a place where I fit in, and I was left to my own devices. I used my imagination to create these places for myself. This translated easily into art of all sorts, writing, painting, and most often, acting and pretending. My sisters and I spent hours and hours creating and producing plays and puppet shows in our basement (amidst the drying laundry) often inviting all the neighbors, and occasionally neglecting to tell my mother.

I found solace, strength and the ability to use my voice through the fine and performing arts and opportunities were everywhere when I began to look for them!  My greatest role models were the artists I was fortunate enough to have as my teachers, Gloria Bond Clunie, being the most prominent. I learned through her, how to use theater as a form of self-expression (and life skill!) Through the performing arts, I felt I had found acceptance from my peers and more importantly, myself. And I had found my tribe.

After High School I studied photography and theater at Columbia College in Chicago I developed and ran a theater program and arts camp for kids through the Ridgeville Park District and taught improv at various locations throughout the Chicagoland Area.  As a young adult I studied at the Second City in Chicago and performed sketch comedy for several years with an improv group named, “The Illegitimate” players directed by the infamous Second City writer and performer, Don DePollo.

I received my Master’s Degree in Teaching from National Louis University and spent many years teaching, raising my kids, taking improv classes with Jimmy Carrane and seeking opportunities to teach and direct youth theater. I directed and co-directed productions of Peter Pan and Our Town through Shakespeare’s Child Theater Company in the Northern suburbs.

After moving back to Evanston two and half years ago with my husband, Tom, I heightened my participation in the improv community by making a stronger commitment to learning new skills, taking classes and performing when I could find the opportunity. I continue to do so!

ImprovBus!

ImprovBus is a flexible improv group made up of 8-12 individuals who trained together with local writer, author, performer and director, Jimmy Carrane, the creator of “The Art of Slow Comedy,” and “Improv Nerd.”  Our performance goal as a team is to bring authentic improv to different types of venues around the city, making it accessible to everyone.

Through our ongoing training, we developed a strong sense of ensemble, growing and learning together with the intent of bringing the “real” back to comedy. This is the philosophy and pedagogy of our mentor/teacher/coach, Jimmy Carrane, and one which really resonated with us as performers.  Our members, who are of myriad ages and backgrounds, bring a wealth of real life talent and experiences to our work. Most of us have enjoyed meaningful careers outside of theater adding  valuable real world experience and variety to our scene work and on-stage relationships.  Our hope is to always let our humanity drive our scene work. We are less game-focused and less silly than many groups out there and rely instead on developing meaningful relationships in our stage work. We vary the show forms we present based on the available performers, the venue, the time and the audience. The result is a group of highly versatile, very, very funny people working together to make comedy relatable and fun. We focus on staying grounded in our work because real life is funny enough!

The name ImprovBus came to me in a strange, albeit well-timed dream, earlier this year.  I dreamed that our entire troupe, along with pets, costumes and musical instruments was tooling around Chicago neighborhoods in a decked out Winnebago-like Bus. Occasionally the side door would pop open and we’d roll out performing hilarious improv right on the spot. When pressed for a name for our troupe in early June, the name just popped out, and it stuck!

ImprovBus! has been very fortunate so far with finding performance opportunities around town (and in fact, they tend to find us!)  We have spent the summer performing very regularly as part of Caffeinated Improv hosted by Osmium Coffee House and Star Lounge. Additional Upcoming dates include a performance with Jamwich (opening for Part Dog) at the Crowd Theater in Chicago on September 9 and 3 performances at Theater WIP on September 13, September 27 and October 11.

We continue to play and learn together, experimenting with new ideas and forms each week and look forward to expanding our performances to include festivals, galleries, industrial work and wherever else the “bus” takes us!

P.S. Having an actual bus is just a long-term goal!



***





"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Clare Tallon Ruen founder of LakeDance



On this episode of The Lisa D Show podcast we talk with Clare Tallon Ruen, a dancer and Great Lakes enthusiast. Clare uses dance, performance art and peer-based learning to create a sense of awareness, respect and enthusiasm for the Great Lakes in Evanston. Working with District 65, area experts/scientists and youth, ClareTallon Ruen, founder of LakeDance, is cultivating a community of lake enthusiasts in Evanston.

Upcoming Events
Sept. 16  the public is invited to LakeFest at Greenwood Beach to celebrate and appreciate the lake, 9a.m. - 1 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, event details;
*Take action with an Adopt-a-Beach clean up with the Alliance for the Great Lakes at at 9:00am at Greenwood Beach
*At 10:00am enjoy a short program: Learn about pressing Great Lakes issues and listen to some performances
*Participate in a Freshwater Stories workshop at 11:30am hosted by University of Illinois Chicago. evite.me/sngaTtduqY



Bio: Clare, founder of LakeDance, is a dancer and Great Lakes enthusiast. Finding ways for movement to express processes and phenomena in our world is her passion. Partnering with engineers, researchers, artists and classroom teachers, Tallon Ruen seeks to create relevant and engaging educational experiences for all involved. Recently she launched Watershed Collective, an adult learning community, to gather knowledge and encourage passion for our watershed.
Evanston’s location on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes in the Great Lakes Watershed, means that we are some of the major beneficiaries and caretakers of the largest system of freshwater on the surface of Earth.


http://www.lakedance.org/

Learn more about LakeDance at lakedance.org

***


 "The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com


Clare Tallon Ruen founder of LakeDance
On this episode of The Lisa D Show podcast we talk with Clare Tallon Ruen, a dancer and Great Lakes enthusiast. Clare uses dance, performance art and peer-based learning events to create a sense of awareness, respect and enthusiasm for the Great Lakes in Evanston. If she could turn this passion into a full-time job, her dreams would come true.
Bio: Clare, founder of LakeDance, is a dancer and Great Lakes enthusiast. Finding ways for movement to express processes and phenomena in our world is her passion. Partnering with engineers, researchers, artists and classroom teachers, Tallon Ruen seeks to create relevant and engaging educational experiences for all involved. Recently she launched Watershed Collective, an adult learning community, to gather knowledge and encourage passion for our watershed.
Evanston’s location on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes in the Great Lakes Watershed, means that we are some of the major beneficiaries and caretakers of the largest system of freshwater on the surface of Earth.
This weekend the public is invited to an event at Greenwood Beach to celebrate and appreciate the lake at Lakefest, Sept. 16 , 9a.m. - 1 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, event details;
*Take action with an Adopt-a-Beach clean up with the Alliance for the Great Lakes at at 9:00am at Greenwood St Beach
*At 10:00am enjpy a short program: Learn about pressing Great Lakes issues and listen to some performances
*Participate in a Freshwater Stories workshop at 11:30am hosted by University of Illionis Chicago. evite.me/sngaTtduqY
"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com
Clare Tallon Ruen founder of LakeDance
On this episode of The Lisa D Show podcast we talk with Clare Tallon Ruen, a dancer and Great Lakes enthusiast. Clare uses dance, performance art and peer-based learning events to create a sense of awareness, respect and enthusiasm for the Great Lakes in Evanston. If she could turn this passion into a full-time job, her dreams would come true.
Bio: Clare, founder of LakeDance, is a dancer and Great Lakes enthusiast. Finding ways for movement to express processes and phenomena in our world is her passion. Partnering with engineers, researchers, artists and classroom teachers, Tallon Ruen seeks to create relevant and engaging educational experiences for all involved. Recently she launched Watershed Collective, an adult learning community, to gather knowledge and encourage passion for our watershed.
Evanston’s location on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes in the Great Lakes Watershed, means that we are some of the major beneficiaries and caretakers of the largest system of freshwater on the surface of Earth.
This weekend the public is invited to an event at Greenwood Beach to celebrate and appreciate the lake at Lakefest, Sept. 16 , 9a.m. - 1 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, event details;
*Take action with an Adopt-a-Beach clean up with the Alliance for the Great Lakes at at 9:00am at Greenwood St Beach
*At 10:00am enjpy a short program: Learn about pressing Great Lakes issues and listen to some performances
*Participate in a Freshwater Stories workshop at 11:30am hosted by University of Illionis Chicago. evite.me/sngaTtduqY
"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dorit Jordan Dotan's Curatorial Debut at Evanston Art Center



Today we talk to visual artist Dorit Jordan Dotan about her curatorial debut at the Evanston Art Center with the show, Far from the Front Lines / Artistic Dialogue Beyond Borders. The show opens Friday, September 8, 6-8 p.m. and features twenty-two North American contemporary artists selected who responded to the call to create art about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Dorit Jordan Dotan, multi-media artist, was born in Israel in 1961. Jordan Dotan combines photography with innovative digital art and mixed media. Through her art, she expresses her views about political, social and cultural topics.  

Hot Weapon / New Media / 2017 / נשק חם
— with Dorit Jordan Dotan Photography.



Visit doritjordan.com to see her works.   

Jordan Dotan lives and works in Evanston, IL. She is a Fellow with the Jewish Art Salon - New York, and participates with the Artist’s Lab at Spertus, Chicago.  Her work has been exhibited throughout the US and internationally, in Chicago, New York, Berlin, Toronto and Israel.

Curatorial debut: Far from the Front Lines / Artistic Dialogue Beyond Borders

September 7 - October 1, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, September 8, 6-8 p.m.
Evanston Art Center

This exhibition brings together a community of artists who strongly feel that art is personal, that the personal is political, and the political is very personal. The twenty-two North American contemporary artists selected for this exhibition were among those who responded to the call to create art about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As in many mediums, perspective derives from distance; being far away opens up a natural space for new viewpoints. Artists who are Far From the Front Lines have created an opportunity for artful dialog beyond borders. It allows both the audience and the artists themselves to actively promote meaningful change in our minds, where all borders ultimately reside.   

This exhibition is about coexistence, hope, and showing fine art. Social change has often been brought about by artists who dare to say what few want to hear. The vision from this exhibit is a starting point from which to inspire new ways of thinking. The context of an exhibition expands the space of the artist to encompass not only the individual onlooker, but a community as a whole: diverse, tolerant, contentious, questing after justice at home, and personally - sometimes viscerally - invested in events far away. Artists far from mapped borders may be among the first to finally, tentatively, step over into new territory.

The exhibition includes paintings, photography, calligraphy, installation, video, mixed media and new media. Featured artists include Adriana Poterash, Beth Krensky, Dorit Jordan Dotan, Ellen Holtzblatt, Gabriella Boros, Jake Mezrahi, James Holloway, Judith Joseph, Kanaan Kanaan, Katarzyna Kozera and Yona Verwer, Lenore Mizrachi-Cohen, Leona Strassberg, Liam Ze'ev O’Connor, LNM, Margaret Olin, Munir Alawi, Nancy Current, Naomi Safran-Hon, Shay Arick, Susan C. Dessel and Susan Dickman.

"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com

Friday, September 1, 2017

Alice George on Making a Creative Life



Alice George is a poet, visual artist, teacher, entrepreneur and more. Today we talk about her upcoming art show at the Evanston Art Center, her new interest in animation and the Monday is for Making workshops she is hosting in her West Evanston artist studio. 



9/8: Exhibit Opening, 6-8 p.m.: Amy Chan, Alice George and Amy O. Woodbury at the Evanston Art Center. Alice George shows 16 small prints, featuring last words spoken by celebrities, authors, heroes. Visit alicegeorge.org




9/28 Artist talk and public screening of Alice George animations. 7-8:30 p.m. at the Evanston Art Center. Ranging from poetic to bleak to surreal, short-shorts mix hand-drawn animation with photography. George’s husband Shawn Decker is creating scores for some of the pieces. There’ll be some Sketchbook beer on hand too. Click here for vimeo channel 


9/11: Monday is for Making Workshop Sessions 9/11, 9/18 and 9/25, 7-9 p.m.: These small sessions are held in Alice George’s 1125 Florence Ave. Evanston studio and gather a small cadre of interdiscipinary folks interested in discussion, hands-on exercises and critique. George’s expertise lies in creative writing, visual art, text/image explorations and entrepreneurship. The September sessions will ask “What can we learn from transformation?” by looking at Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Chinese artist and activist Ai Wei Wei, and Picasso’s sculptures. Click here for Info and online registration here.

 "The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Katherine Gotsick with Main Dempster Mile



I often ask the question ... can a neighborhood have a personality? Yes it can! Here's how...

I have watched with interest the Main Demspter Mile SSA in Evanston come to life in the last several years. (SSA = special services area). Last November MDM hired Executive Director Katherine Gotsick and she has brought a certain kind of energy and creativity to her job. It's an exciting time for the MDM SSA!


In this interview we talk about how MDM is making positive changes to the commercial strip of Chicago Ave. in Evanston from South Blvd. to Greenwood, east/west on Dempster and east/west on Main. The MDM Vision: To be a creative urban environment with an iconic small town personality. These changes include creative place making projects (a mural by Ruben Aguirre thanks to Evanston Mural Arts Program outdoor seating, donation stations, etc.), fundraisers (Charity Wine Walk), Small Business Saturday and more.

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"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com

Friday, August 18, 2017

Terry Gant, Part 2, on the Black Panther and Diversity in Comics



In part two of our conversation with Terry Gant of Third Coast Comics in Chicago, we talk about the Black Panther comic series and Terry's top picks. 



The Black Panther comic character (around since the 1960s) has recently jumped into the mainstream comics chatter thanks to an upcoming movie (Feb. 2018), a hip young artist singing the theme song (Kweku Collins, ETHS alum) and an intro by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Check out the trailer for Marvel's Black Panther movie here.
 

Listen to Terry wax poetic on Black Panther and how comics embrace and dismiss diversity trends in the last 20 years.

Terry’s Bio

Terry Gant of the South Side Gants, is the owner of Third Coast Comics in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. In the summer of 2008 Third Coast Comics became a “Brick and Mortar” operation and has been a thorn in the side of boredom and complacency ever since.

The original business model of local delivery of comics to you at your home, workplace or favorite bar resembled the business model of an industrious drug dealer and proved to be just as sustainable.

Terry earned his BA in Marketing (focusing on geeks) from DePaul University and would consider a MA in Marketing (again to geeks) if he ever planned to get another day job, which he hopes he never has to do.

Terry is 50% of all of the African American comic book retailers in the Midwest and has been paid to play Dungeons & Dragons. He has also parlayed all of his nerd cred into about 30 minutes and 20 seconds on both NPR and Good Morning America in the past year.

Terry is also co-host of Stakes is High: THE Black Nerd Podcast, is obsessed with heavy metal, 80's new wave, pro wrestling and the video game, Skyrim.

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"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Nicholas Barron, Blues Singer and Visual Artist



Because this podcast is designed to be "low tech" on purpose and to sound like a live-radio interview/real conversation between two humans, I rarely, if ever, know where the conversations will go. My task is to find interesting and creative humans working on interesting and creative projects and record a 20 minute conversation with them, in the hopes that I will create an interesting and creative podcast. Hopefully you enjoy listening to this style of interview and if you do, share it with a friend. -Lisa

Nicholas Barron has been making a living as a blues singer for 32 years, singing blues, emulating the voices of the great jazz and blues singers he heard from his mother's record collection. In today's conversation we talk about sounding "black" intentionally (and successfully) as a white blues/jazz singer and connecting with your audience, even when they are surprised to see a white performer at a Blues Club.

Candid and funny and incredibly open, this conversation shows how deeply Nicholas cares for his craft and the art of blues. We barely get to the topic of Nicholas' painting career, which started less than 10 years ago with his dad helping hang his first show in Chicago, which sold more than 80% of his works on display. A strong first showing.



You can hear Nicholas sing on YouTube or live Thursday, Aug. 10, The Strapping Owls are a New Orleans/Chicago Tuba Bassed power trio playing at 210 Live, at 210 Greenbay Road in Highwood next to Highland park 8-11 p.m.

Bio: Chicago-based singer-songwriter-guitarist Nicholas Barron was called "undeniable" by the great James Taylor who introduced him as the launch artist for the New York Times emerging artists series at Joe's pub in New York City, "Amazing" by Jay Leno, and "the real deal" by Wayne Jackson of the legendary Memphis horns who recorded on his CD "Love Soldier".

He recorded that CD in Los Angeles with famed producer/mixer Dave Way, who got the Memphis Horns on the record which got him to the folks who made him the launch artist for The New York Times emerging artists series at Joe’s pub in New York City.



Nicholas started as a street performer in London and then Chicago, where he founded CASA (coalition for the advancement of street art) to fight the city of chicago who were trying to ban it, and won!

He is one of the most unique guitarists around, mixing mouth percussion with funky baselines and chords and sounding like a whole band by himself.

His last CD "Two of one Mind" was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign in November 2014. It's 10 songs of blues infused acoustic songs in the classic world of Clapton, Hiatt, Raitt, etc.

He has opened for some of the greatest artists of our time including: BB King, Al Green, Buddy Guy, James Taylor, Shawn Colvin, Dave Mason, John Martyn, Johnny Cash, and on and on!

Learn more about Nicholas:

@nicholasbarron on Twitter and Instagram
***
 "The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Terry Gant, owner of Third Coast Comics in Chicago



Terry has been walking my house for months, always in shorts regardless of the weathers (hats, jackets, etc., but never pants). When we have the chance to talk as he walks by he often says “If I wanted to wear pants, I’d get a job!” For months I thought Terry was my neighbor who walked around in shorts and didn’t have a job.


Recently a listener of this podcast sent an email full of recommendations of Evanston creatives to interview, one was Terry, my neighbor. Turns out Terry is the owner of Third Coast Comics in Chicago, is the co-host of Stakes is High: The Black Nerd Podcast, and so much more than just a man in shorts.


Terry’s Bio


Terry Gant of the South Side Gants, is the owner of Third Coast Comics in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. In the summer of 2008 Third Coast Comics became a “Brick and Mortar” operation and has been a thorn in the side of boredom and complacency ever since.


The original business model of local delivery of comics to you at your home, workplace or favorite bar resembled the business model of an industrious drug dealer and proved to be just as sustainable.


Terry earned his BA in Marketing (focusing on geeks) from DePaul University and would consider a MA in Marketing (again to geeks) if he ever planned to get another day job, which he hopes he never has to do.


Terry is 50% of all of the African American comic book retailers in the Midwest and has been paid to play Dungeons & Dragons. He has also parlayed all of his nerd cred into about 30 minutes and 20 seconds on both NPR and Good Morning America in the past year.

Terry is also co-host of Stakes is High: THE Black Nerd Podcast, is obsessed with heavy metal, 80's new wave, pro wrestling and the video game, Skyrim.

***


"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lisa Solar, Visual Artist Celebrates Solo Show at The Saw Room Gallery



Visual artist Lisa Solar celebrates an upcoming solo show at the Saw Room in The Alley Gallery, July 15 - Aug. 16, opening receptions Saturday, July 22, 5-8 p.m., and August 5, 5-8 p.m.

In this interview we talk about the body of work on display in her show "The Game" which includes an installation of works in progress that involve Solar's color practice. The Saw Room Gallery offers an intimate space to view numerous new works by Solar, curated by Darren Oberto and Ross Martens of The Alley Gallery


From the Saw Room website: This current body of work by Lisa Solar reflects her interest in the game of Formal Painting.  Each piece represents a challenge to pinpoint the precise moment in which the relationship between dissonance and harmony becomes unstable, using the least number of moves.  The works can be considered a record of sequences, and rely on a formulaic set of opening moves.  As in chess, a few reliable restrictions or combinations have the potential to propagate into infinite diverging results. See more at  thesawroom.com




In the current body of work I am exploring color relationships via forms that hover between biomorphic and geometric. Within the stricture of a handful of of typical moves (gradient color, pulsing polygons and hallucinogenic face arrangements) I feel for the line between dissonance and harmony and push and pull colors back and forth over it.

My method of working is handed down from the Bauhaus school of color theory and leans heavily on making empirical choices and continually reacting to them. Through the duration of each work, I explore the link between emotive and logical response, and then advance or retreat accordingly.

Formal influences are many and always in flux. Jessica Stockholder’s work remains a constant bellwether as does Sonia Delaunay and of course, Albers (both Anni and Josef). 

***

"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]gmail.com
 


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Jessica Powers, the Author, Publisher and Superhero



Jessica (J.L.) Power's career follows an incredibly circuitous route from a PhD program in African History to launching her own publishing company to writing a YA novel with her brother Matt (M.A. Powers), Broken Circle, which will be published by Akashic Books October 2017.

This interview focuses on how Jessica (pen name J.L. Powers) weaves together her numerous talents and passions to become an award-winning author and publisher.






Below are Matt and Jessica at this year's ALA Conference in Chicago, dressed as superhero's in celebration of their debut YA Novel.

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From Akashic Books

J.L. POWERS is the award-winning author of three young adult novels, The Confessional, This Thing Called the Future, and Amina. She is also the editor of two collections of essays and author of a picture book, Colors of the Wind. She works as an editor/publicist for Cinco Puntos Press, and is founder and editor of the online blog, The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children’s Literature. She teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Skyline College in California’s Bay Area, served as a jurist for the 2014 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, and is launching Catalyst Press in 2017 to publish African writers. Broken Circle is her first novel written with her brother, M.A. Powers.

"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose.