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Kwei Quartey was born in Ghana and raised by a Black American mother and a Ghanaian father. A retired physician, he lives in Pasadena. He is the author of five critically acclaimed novels in the Darko Dawson series, as well as two other books in the Emma Djan series, including The Missing American, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel.

SJ Sindu is the author of the novel Marriage of a Thousand Lies, which won the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and was an ALA Stonewall Honor Book; as well as the hybrid chapbooks I Once Met You But You Were Dead and Dominant Genes. Sindu holds an MA in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Florida State University. Sindu is an Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ramona Emerson is a Diné writer and filmmaker originally from Tohatchi, New Mexico. She has a bachelor’s in Media Arts from the University of New Mexico and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. After starting in forensic videography, she embarked upon a career as a photographer, writer and editor. She is an Emmy nominee, a Sundance Native Lab Fellow, a Time-Warner Storyteller Fellow, a Tribeca All-Access Grantee and a WGBH Producer Fellow. In 2020, Emerson was appointed to the Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries for the State of New Mexico. She currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Marcie Rendon is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, a Pinckley Prize-winning author, playwright, poet, freelance writer and a community arts activist. Rendon was awarded the McKnight Distinguished Artist Award for 2020. She is a speaker on Native issues, leadership and writing. Her second novel in her Cash Blackbear Mystery series, Girl Gone Missing, was nominated for the Sue Grafton Memorial Award. Rendon was recognized as a 50 over 50 Change-maker by Minneapolis AARP and Pollen in 2018. She lives in Minneapolis.

Ilaria Tuti lives in Gemona del Friuli, in the province of Udine. She has a degree in economics, has always had a passion for painting, and freelances for a small independent publisher in her spare time. She won the Gran Giallo Città di Cattolica literary prize for her short story The Pagan Child. Flowers over the Inferno was her debut novel.

Ilaria Tuti’s Festival appearance is generously supported by Istituto Italiano di Cultura.