Maria Padian, author of How to Build a Heart, has a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia. She is a freelance writer, essayist, and author of young adult novels. She lives with her family in Brunswick, Maine.
Abby Palko is director of the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at UVa, where she leads a team, works with students, and writes a monthly column about current issues, “The Palko POV.” She’s a voracious reader in two book clubs who needlepoints in her spare time.
Morgan Parker, author of Who Put This Song On? and Magical Negro, is a poet, essayist, and novelist. She is also the author of the poetry collections There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night.
As a selection for the 2020 Festival’s Pop-Up Book Club, this author’s book has a discussion guide available HERE.
Michael Parker, author of Prairie Fever, is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere, and has been anthologized by The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize. He lives in Austin.
Frank Pasciuti, author of Chrysalis Crisis: How Life’s Ordeals Can Lead to Personal & Spiritual Transformation, is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Charlottesville, Va. He is also founder and president of Associated Clinicians of Virginia, and chairman of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at The Monroe Institute.
Bobbi Patterson, author of Building Resilience Through Contemplative Practice, is a well-known speaker and presenter on burnout and resilience. She has helped create, direct, and reorganize a range of community-partnered service experiences, programs, and classes for fifty years. Patterson earned a BA at Smith, an MDiv at Harvard Divinity School, and a PhD at Emory, and is professor of pedagogy in the department of Religion and the graduate division of Religion at Emory University.
Pamela Paul is author of How to Raise a Reader, editor of The New York Times Book Review, and oversees books coverage at The New York Times, which she joined in 2011 as the children’s books editor. She is also the host of the weekly Book Review podcast for the Times.
Maggie Paxson, author of The Plateau, is a writer, anthropologist, and performer. She is the author of Solovyovo: The Story of Memory in a Russian Village, and her essays have appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, Wilson Quarterly, and Aeon. Fluent in Russian and French, she has worked in rural communities in Russia, the North Caucasus, and France.
Kiki Petrosino, author of White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia, is the recipient of a Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her earlier collections are Witch Wife: Poems and Hymn for the Black Terrific: Poems. She is Professor of Poetry at the University of Virginia.
Ali Pfautz, author of Let’s Count and Move!, is a children’s storyteller known as The Story Lady. Using stories, songs, and poems, she has entertained thousands of children, encouraging them to use their imaginations. She also teaches music and movement, dance, and storytelling classes.
Christine Platt, author of Ana & Andrew: Going To Ghana, believes that storytelling is a tool for social change. Her work centers on teaching diversity, equity, and inclusion.
James Polchin, author of Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall, has taught at the Princeton Writing Program, the Parsons School of Design, the New School for Public Engagement, and the Creative Nonfiction Foundation. A clinical professor at New York University, he lives in New York City with his husband, the photographer Greg Salvatori.
Lizzie Post, author of Higher Etiquette, is co-president of The Emily Post Institute and has worked as an etiquette author and spokesperson for the past twelve years. She has authored six Emily Post titles and co-hosts the Awesome Etiquette podcast, a weekly Q&A show now in its fifth year.
Martin M.W. Powell, author of Living at the Heart of the UVA Community: Alderman Library, Madison House, Theta Chi & Beyond, was born with cerebral palsy in Charlottesville, Va., in 1970. He attended Charlottesville City Schools and has a B.S. from Mary Baldwin University adult degree program.
Michael Powell, author of Canyon Dreams: A Basketball Season on the Navajo Nation, has been a writer at The New York Times since 2007, and a “Sports of The Times” columnist since 2014. Powell and his wife have two sons, and live in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
Axel Presas, author of Las veces que Azrael no se detuvo / The Times that Azrael Didn’t Stop, is from Cuba. He lives in Atlanta, Ga., where he works as a visiting assistant professor of Spanish Language and Afro-Latin American Cultures at Emory University. Presas is a short story writer, critic, translator, and poet, and he has published widely.
Caroline Preston, author of The War Bride’s Scrapbook, is the author of four prior novels, including The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt. She and her husband, writer Christopher Tilghman, live in Charlottesville, Va.
Deborah Prum has given writing workshops at WriterHouse, the University of Virginia, James Madison University, and elsewhere. Her fiction has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Across the Margin, The Sweetbay Review, and other outlets. Her essays air on NPR and have appeared in The Washington Post.
Sandy Pugh, author-illustrator of When I Grow Up, has also written five other children’s books in the We The Peepers series. She created her wacky and whimsical characters while teaching art in Fairfax County Public Schools.
Peg Alford Pursell is the author of A Girl Goes into the Forest. Her first collection, Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, featured by Poets & Writers magazine’s second annual “5 over 50” list, was the 2017 INDIES Book of the Year for Literary Fiction. The founder and publisher of WTAW Press, she lives in California.