PLUS: Follow along with a literacy activity, courtesy of The DoSeum!
Diane Gonzales Bertrand
Diane Gonzales Bertrand is the author of more than 20 books for children and teens. Her books for intermediate readers include The Taco Magician and Other Poems for Kids / El mago de los tacos y otros poemas para niños; The Ruiz Street Kids / Los muchachos de la calle Ruiz; and Alicia’s Treasure. A lifelong resident of San Antonio, she teaches creative writing at St. Mary’s University, where she is the Writer in Residence.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” She has spent 40 years traveling the country and the world to lead writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages. She was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother and grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. Her books of poetry include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, a National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature. Nye is Professor of Creative Writing—Poetry at Texas State University. She is the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate, 2019-2021, the editor of the New York Times Sunday magazine poem, and in 2020 she receives the lifetime achievement award from the National Book Critics Circle. Her latest collection of poetry for children, Cast Away: Poems for Our Time, is out this year. She lives in San Antonio.
Steven Banks is a writer who received an Emmy nomination as head writer on SpongeBob SquarePants, wrote for The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron and CatDog, has appeared on TV shows like Penn & Teller’s Fool Us, attended Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College, wrote a book called King of the Creeps, co-created the international theater sensation Shadowland, and lives in California with his wife. He was once bitten by a donkey, but did not turn into a Donkey Man. Bank’s children’s book is titled Middle School Bites.