Alena Dillon is the author of Mercy House, a Library Journal Best Book of 2020 which has been optioned as a television series produced by Amy Schumer, The Happiest Girl in the World, a Good Morning America pick, My Body Is A Big Fat Temple, a memoir of pregnancy and early parenting, and Eyes Turned Skyward, a forthcoming novel. Alena’s work has appeared in publications including The Daily Beast, Parents Magazine, LitHub, River Teeth, Slice Magazine, The Rumpus, and Bustle. She teaches creative writing and lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, son, and black lab.
Wil Haygood is the author of Tigerland, which was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; Showdown, a finalist for an NAACP Image Award; In Black and White; and The Butler, which was made into a film directed by Lee Daniels. He has been a correspondent for The Washington Post and The Boston Globe, where he was a Pulitzer finalist. Haygood is a Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and is currently Boadway Visiting Distinguished Scholar at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Ann Hood is the author of the best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most, The Red Thread, The Knitting Circle, and the memoir Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food. Her new book is Fly Girl which will be published by W.W. Norton in May 2022. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Paris Review, O Magazine, and Real Simple. The recipient of a Best American Travel Writing Award, among other honors, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan.
Azar Nafisi is the author of the multi-award-winning New York Times bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, as well as Things I’ve Been Silent About, The Republic of Imagination, and That Other World. Formerly a Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Foreign Policy Institute, she has taught at Oxford and several universities in Tehran. She lives in Washington, D.C.
James Charles Roy
James Charles Roy has been a peripatetic “independent scholar” since 1969, when he left his job in New York City, bought a 500 cc BSA “Royal Star” in London, and took off for Ireland (“it was the cheapest place to go and hang out, as well as being the most interesting place on earth”). His fascination with Ireland has been lifelong, beginning when his parents visited the island in 1955 for two months, bringing their family of three children in tow, and stretching through his purchase and renovation of Moyode Castle in County Galway. He has written innumerable articles on Irish history and seven distinguished books, including The Fields of Athenry and Islands of Storm, a Book-of-the-Month and History Book Club selection. His latest book is The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland. He lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts with his wife, the artist Jan V. Roy.
Mayukh Sen is the author of Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America. He has won a James Beard Award for his food writing, and he teaches food writing at Columbia University’s undergraduate creative writing program. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Photo Credit: Christopher Gregory-Rivera.
Aileen Weintraub is an award-winning author, journalist, and editor. She has written for the Washington Post, Glamour, NBC, and AARP, among others. She has also published several children’s books, including Never Too Young! 50 Unstoppable Kids Who Made a Difference and We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World.
Dyke Hendrickson, an author-journalist living in Newburyport, has written six books. His most recent is, Merrimack: The Resilient River, An Illustrated Narrative of the Most Historic River in New England. Hendrickson calls it “part history and part call to action.” The 117-mile river is sometimes getting dirtier, not cleaner. The author provides insight on its remarkable past, including the fact it was the birthplace of the Coast Guard. Along the Merrimack were built the first major textile mills in the country. It was also the site of a scientific breakthrough in clean drinking water and of one of the first successful labor strikes. Hendrickson interviewed more than 50 North Shore residents for the well-researched text, and he has included more than 75 color photos of the majestic waterway. He is currently a historian with the Merrimack River Watershed Council. In that role, he speaks on Zoom to clubs, associations, and historical gatherings on the history of the Coast Guard and of the Merrimack River.
His maritime writing began several years ago when he produced a multi-part series for The Daily News, the local newspaper in Newburyport, on the 250th anniversary of that city. Hendrickson then researched and wrote “Nautical Newburyport: A History of Captains, Clipper Ships and the Coast Guard,” published by The History Press in 2017. His next book, “New England Coast Guard Stories: Remarkable Mariners,” was published in March 2020, also by the History Press. The book on the Merrimack River, from Fonthill Media, was released this month (April 2021).
The author graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a degree in history, and he did graduate work at the University of Maine, Orono. He is a former writer and/or editor with the Portland Press Herald, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Boston Herald and The Daily News in Newburyport. Other publications he has written for include USA Today, the Boston Globe and Tennis magazine.
Ghlee E. Woodworth
Ghlee E. Woodworth is a 12th-generation Newburyport native. Ghlee’s first publication Tiptoe Through the Tombstones, Oak Hill Cemetery, won awards from the New England (2009) and New York (2010) Book Festivals. She is the creator and author of Newburyport’s Clipper Heritage Trail, a series of self-guided history tours accessed via a website and smart phones: www.clipperheritagetrail.com. The Clipper Heritage Trail was an American Association for State and Local History Merit Award winner in 2014. Clipper Heritage Trail, Volume I was published in 2020 and Volume II is scheduled to come out in the summer of 2021. Ghlee was honored with the Distinguished Citizen Award for beneficence to the Newburyport community in 2016 presented by Mayor Donna Holaday and the Spirit of Adventure Council of the Boy Scouts of America and was the recipient of the Pioneer in Partnership Award from the Essex National Heritage Commission in 2017 for her contributions to Newburyport’s local history. Trained in gravestone restoration Ghlee has restored over 1,200 gravestones in Oak Hill Cemetery and other burying grounds.