2016 Featured Authors & Artists
String theorist and author of The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene is one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and a brilliant, entertaining communicator of cutting-edge scientific concepts. The Washington Post described him as “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.”
Greene’s national bestseller, The Elegant Universe, which recounts the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics, transformed our understanding of the universe and introduced string theory, a concept that might be the key to a unified theory of the universe. The book sold over a million copies and became an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning NOVA special that Greene hosted.
His second book, The Fabric of the Cosmos, spent six months on The New York Times Best Sellers list and was adapted into a NOVA miniseries on PBS. Greene's latest bestseller, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, was published in January 2011.
His illustrated novella, Icarus at the Edge of Time, retells the Greek myth in a futuristic light. Greene and David Henry Hwang adapted the story to be a film and symphonic performance in collaboration with composer Philip Glass; the world debut was in the spring of 2010.
Brian Greene co-founded The World Science Festival in 2008. As the WSF Chairman, Green made it the Festival’s mission to take science out of the laboratory, making the esoteric understandable and the familiar fascinating to the general public. In 2014 Greene and the World Science Festival launched World Science U, a series of free online courses led by Greene.
A Harvard graduate and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Greene is a professor in Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University. His work has been published in Wired Magazine and The New York Times. Greene appeared as himself in a 2011 episode of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. He has been a guest on Charlie Rose, Nightline, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Colbert Report.
Kim Stanley Robinson was born in Waukegan, Illinois, but moved to Orange County, California, when he was two. As a child he loved to play in the orange groves stretching out for miles around his home, so when suburban sprawl began to encroach and the groves were torn out and paved over, the rapid change of modern life hit him close to home. It was not until college that he would stumble on new wave science fiction and find in it an expression of that very sense of rapid change that had made such an impression on him growing up. At that point he became committed to science fiction as the best realism for our time.
Robinson has since become one of the most well-known and respected science fiction writers in the world, with a reality-based approach in the spirit of Isaac Asimov that has made him a social thinker speaking “for the future and from the future”. His work has received 11 major awards from the science fiction field, and has been translated into 23 languages. His Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars) was an international bestseller, and continues to be one of the most widely read works of science fiction, a benchmark in discussions of humanity in space. His environmentalist work closer to home was the basis for him being named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment” in 2008. He has worked with the U.S. National Science Foundation, and was part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers program in 1995, when he spent two months in Antarctica courtesy of NSF. He was part of the Sequoia Parks Foundations’ artist program in 2008. His articles and stories have been published in Nature, The New York Times, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, The New Scientist, and Wired. He was the guest of Honor at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, in Melbourne, 2010. His most recent novel, 2312, was a New York Times bestseller.
Robinson has lectured at over a hundred institutions over the last 25 years, in North America, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica, on a wide variety of subjects. He has advisory board or guest lecturing affiliations with the University of California at Davis’s Science and Technology Studies program; the University of California at San Diego’s Muir College, Sixth College, Environmental and Sustainability Institute, and Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Imagination; Georgia Institute of Technology’s Science, Culture and Technology program; the Planetary Society; the Mars Institute; the Clarion Science Fiction Workshop Foundation; and the Sequoia Parks Foundation. He has given commencement addresses at University of California, San Diego’s Sixth College, and the University of California, Berkeley’s English Department. Because of the intensively researched nature of Robinson’s fiction, and the integrated nature of his various interests, ranging from the physical and human sciences to sustainability issues, political economy, urban design, utopia, space, and future history, he has over time built the capacity to speak on a wide variety of subjects, with the emphasis often on what the future may hold for these subjects. He does not repeat talks, and crafts them to match the invitations he accepts. Topics he can speak about include: California, its history and future, especially the Sierra Nevada; Antarctica, its history and future; Mars and the solar system, especially their human potential; Galileo and the scientific revolution; utopia, in both real-world urban design and in literature; climate change and sustainability issues; science and society; post-capitalism; and literary talks on fiction, nature writing, writing techniques, and writers such as George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, John Muir, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, and Ursula K. Le Guin.
Robinson has a B.A. and a Ph.D. in literature from University of California, San Diego, and an M.A. in English from Boston University. He taught literature at the University of California, Davis, before becoming a full-time writer and parent.
Katharine Coles’ sixth collection of poems, Flight, will be published by Red Hen Press in spring 2016. Her fifth, The Earth Is Not Flat (Red Hen 2013), was written under the auspices of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Her poems have been or are being translated into Italian, German, Spanish, and Chinese. Her scholarly work is focused on close reading and the development of digital close reading tools. Recent poems and prose have appeared in Western Humanities Review, Seneca Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Image, Crazyhorse, and Poetry. A Professor at the University of Utah, in 2009-10 she served as the inaugural director of the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. She has received grants and awards from the NEH, the NEA, and, in 2012, the Guggenheim Foundation.
Frank Huyler (http://www.frankhuyler.com/) is the author of The Blood of Strangers: Stories from Emergency Medicine (UC press/Holt/Picador), the novels The Laws of Invisible Things (Holt/Picador) and Right of Thirst (HarperCollins), as well as a novella, The Castaway (Byliner). His essays, poems, and opinion pieces have appeared in a wide variety of publications including The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The American Scholar, The Georgia Review, and The New York Daily News among many others. His work has been anthologized, optioned for film, and translated widely. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs including Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Voice of America, C-SPAN Book TV, and the BBC World Service.
He has taught at both the Taos Summer Writer’s Conference and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, as well as in the MFA program at the University of New Mexico.
For the past twenty years Dr. Huyler has practiced medicine full time in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he is a Tenured Professor of Emergency Medicine at The University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
Allison Leigh Holt
Allison Leigh Holt (www.oillyoowen.com) is a cross-disciplinary artist living in Oakland, CA. Using hybrids of sculpture, video, installation, and performance she pursues a dialogue between divergent ways of experiencing, comprehending, and describing time and reality.
Holt has received numerous awards from institutions including the U. S. Department of State (Fulbright Fellowship, Indonesia), Djerassi Artist Residency Program, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the David Bermant Foundation, Cemeti Art House (Indonesia), the Experimental Television Center, Kala Art Institute, and the North Dakota Museum of Art. She is also a 2015 finalist for a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. Her work has exhibited internationally, notably at SFMOMA, Stanford University, Anthology Film Archives (NY), Cemeti Art House (Indonesia), Axiom Gallery for New and Experimental Media (Boston), San Francisco Cinematheque, the Boston Cyberarts Festival, the Urban Screens Conference (Melbourne), and the Yogyakarta International New Media Festival. She has presented at cellsBUTTON(s) and Video Vortex conferences in Indonesia, the Cultural Studies Association Conference, the 20th Annual Science of Consciousness Conference, and Imagining the Universe: Cosmology in Art and Science at Stanford Arts Institute.
Holt is a member of San Francisco Cinematheque's Board of Directors (VP), and studied at The Evergreen State College (BA) and Massachusetts College of Art (MFA).
Tania James (taniajames.com)is the author of the novels The Tusk That Did the Damage and Atlas of Unknowns, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an Indie Next Notable, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a Best Book of 2009 for The San Francisco Chronicle and NPR. Her story collection Aerogrammes, was a Best Book of 2012 for Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Her stories have appeared in Boston Review, Granta, Kenyon Review, One Story, and A Public Space. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. From 2011-2012, she was a Fulbright fellow to India living in New Delhi. She lives in Washington DC with her husband and son and teaches creative writing at the University of Maryland.