2018 April Local Author Bios

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Legendary Hip-Hop Artist, Entrepreneur, MA

Multiple Gold and Platinum Recording Artist, Legendary Suga-T will read BOSS UP BAYB, her insightful entrepreneurship empowerment book…. The “First Lady” of her successful family record label SWI and group “The Click”: brothers E40, D-Shot, cousin B-Legit, coached as an executive; and a thirty year pioneer influencer who paved the way for females in Hip Hop–Suga-T was recently VH1 Honored by Queen Latifah; best business commencement by Nate Miley; multi-conglomerate Entertainment Veteran who sacrificed her career to go back to school to gain up to a Masters Degree inspiring women and communities to win.

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Poetess Kalamu Chaché

Poet Laureate of the City of East Palo Alto

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Poetess Kalamu Chaché has been living in the East Palo Alto community since the mid-1960s. She has served in numerous professional, executive, administrative, advocacy, and artistic endeavors in the East Palo Alto community and greater San Francisco Bay Area. Chaché is the Author of three volumes of poetry, appears in several book anthologies, and is the Poet Laureate of the City of East Palo Alto. She is also an accomplished Recording Artist with the Sons and Daughters of Lite and as a Solo Artist. She is the mother of one daughter.

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Minu Dave

Award Winning Journalist

My first love was poetry, then photography and finally, writing stories. I obtained journalism and English degrees in order to work as a reporter for mainly the newspaper industry in Chicago, Miami, New Jersey, and New York. I ended up pursuing a second career in teaching and have worked as a high school teacher for 13 years. My poems and short stories are featured in The Second Book of Truth, published by FastPencil.

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Tina Gibson

FOPAL Event Organizer and Author

Author and Poet Tina Gibson started her literary journey in 2010 and hasn’t stopped since. In her spare time, she volunteers for Friends of the Palo Alto Library and helps out at the San Mateo County Fair. She is a member of the California Writers Club and served as Fiction Editor for the Sand Hill Review. Tina is the author of the books One Page at a Time and Misfit Island.

You can find more of her published work on Fault Zone and Quaci Press. Some of her guilty pleasures include: Antiquing, Paranormal Investigating, vintage vinyl shopping, and singing 80’s karaoke songs.

Please visit Facebook Page: Dreamers Corner. Her book Misfit Island is available on Amazon.

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Venus Jones

Prized Poet, Actress, Author and Educator

Venus Jones is more than an author, actress, educator, and poet. She’s a social change agent waging peace through poetry. She writes and speaks about empowerment, diversity, and being true to yourself. As a writing coach and performer, she inspires individuals to rise to their highest potential. She has been compared to Maya Angelou and praised by Whoopi Goldberg and poet Nikki Giovanni. The Langston Hughes Family Museum even referred to Venus as, “Langston Hughes in the form of a black girl.”

With an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, she’s a MALI Fellow and serves as a board member for Poetry Center San Jose. This former MTV intern and accomplished actress also opened for Def Poetry on Broadway. Her play Race and War: An Awkward Conversation was featured at the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival, and “Poetic Soldier” was awarded “Most Inspiring Solo Performance” at the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival. She is the author of four spoken word albums and two books: She Rose and Lyrics for Langston. Her favorite quote is by Alice Walker: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

Visit: venusjones.com.

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Emmy Z. Madrigal

Award Winning Podcaster

Emmy Z. Madrigal is the author of the Regency novella, Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe, and the Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series. She’s been praised for her realistic portrayal of female characters and their will to survive in a world of adversity, prejudice, and economic hardship. Find out more at: emmyzmadrigal.com.

She also writes Horror under the name Emerian Rich, is a podcast host, and Editorial Director for SEARCH Magazine.

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Lisa Meltzer Penn

President of the California Writers Club, SF Peninsula Branch

Lisa Meltzer Penn has a novel in progress, stories in Best of Sand Hill Review, Travelers Tales: Spain, Fault Zone anthologies, and more. A literary prizewinner at the Fair, Lisa is President of the SF-Peninsula branch of the California Writers Club, Fault Zone founding editor, and freelance editor extraordinaire. Find her at: www.LisaMeltzerPenn.com.

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Patty Somlo

Award Winning Writer

Patty Somlo’s recent books include The First to Disappear (Spuyten Duyvil), Finalist in the International, Best Book, and National Indie Excellence Awards; Even When Trapped Behind Clouds: A Memoir of Quiet Grace (WiDo Publishing), Honorable Mention in the Reader Views Literary Awards; and Hairway to Heaven Stories (Cherry Castle Publishing).

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Doug Sovern

Award Winning ‘Hall of Fame’ Journalist

Douglas Sovern wrote the first-of-its-kind Twitter novel TweetHeart in 2011. His short stories have appeared in Narrative, Sand Hill Review, The Madison Review and many other magazines, and have won four Pushcart Prize nominations. A graduate of Brown University, he is the political reporter at KCBS Radio and has won more than 200 journalism awards, including the duPont-Columbia and Edward R. Murrow awards. In 2017, he was elected to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.

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Dave M. Strom

Audio Fiction Prize Winner

Author Dave M. Strom writes Superheroine slapstick about Super Holly Hansson and her friends and foes. His short stories are printed in Fault Zone Transform, Fault Zone Uplift, the latest Carry the Light, and Scripting Change. He published Super Holly Hansson in Super Bad Hair Day on Kindle. Two of his audio stories won first prize at the San Mateo Country Fair Literary Contest. Dave performs at open mics and he loves doing supervillain evil laughs.