2014 CAST

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Cami Applequist

Cami Applequist is not a mom, but she kind of plays one at work.  She spends her days as a nanny, playing with children and looking at the world through the eyes of wonder. On evenings and weekends she takes that wonder and adds art supplies and words and plays at her home studio in the Lowertown Lofts Artists Cooperative (LLC) in St. Paul.  She has written several short essays that she has read in worship services at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis and her visual work can currently be found on display at LLC during the St. Paul Art Crawl.  This summer everyone will have a chance to play with her art as the Walker Art Center has selected a design Cami co-created to be a part of their Summer 2014 mini-golf course. She is continuously amazed at the power words and art have on the world and the human family that resides here!

By the way, Cami is also not a kid, she’s a grown-up, but don’t tell the children that… and she doesn’t golf, but don’t tell anyone the Walker.

Watch Cami read, "She's Beautiful And So Am I" >>

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Prinna Boudreau

Prinna Boudreau is a freelance technical writer, teacher, and storyteller. A native of Minnesota, she earned her MBA in English from Minnesota State University where she now teaches writing courses. After the loss of her 10-month-old daughter to SIDS, she began focusing on writing about motherhood, loss, and grief. She had the unique opportunity to tell her first story for “The Moth” in 2012 to an audience of over 1,000. She lives in Shakopee, Minnesota with her husband and three children. She blogs at Prinna Writes and is working on a memoir.

Watch Pinna read, "Day 292" >>

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Claire DeBerg

If Claire isn’t writing her novel she is running a lake in the city, playing a Chopin prelude, writing letters, or baking a dessert sweetened with honey (and love). After graduating with an MA in Creative Writing, Claire was a Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. When she moved back to her home state of Minnesota, she launched a successful freelance writing business and has been writing tasty text ever since. Claire finds inspiring insights from her two favorite little humans, Gloria and Harold, and considers her beautiful husband, Darren, her personal muse. She prefers wearing red shoes and her favorite punctuation is a colon: Giddy-up!

Watch Claire read, "Choosing Gloria" >>

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Nan Farnsworth

As mom to three active, smart and fearless boys, Nan’s life is never boring — and that’s just the way she likes it. Nan enjoys a fulfilling job in communications for an iconic Minnesota company, her bustling suburban neighborhood, and great relationships with loving and supportive family members, a kind and creative boyfriend, and good friends from all walks of life. As a lifelong swimmer and waterpark aficionado, Nan is happiest near the water — especially the frozen kind on which her favorite boys play hockey.

Watch Nan read, "Lessons Learned From Boys" >>

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Anne Greenwood Brown

Anne and her husband Greg live in Stillwater with their three children: Samantha (18); Matthew (15); and Sophie (13). She  is an attorney by day and an author by night. She writes Young Adult fiction and most recently the paranormal trilogy LIES BENEATH (published by Delacorte/Random House), featuring predatory mermaids on Lake Superior.

Watch Anne read, "Insights" >>

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Nina Hamza

Nina Hamza lives in Shorewood, MN with her three kids and husband. She discovered the healing power of writing when she tried and utterly failed to fill a backyard ice skating rink. Ask her about it if you get a chance. A physician by day, she spends her evenings reading, chauffeuring kids and trying to squeeze in one more episode of Breaking Bad. This is challenging because she is in bed by 8.  This will be her first time performing on a stage since the 2nd grade.

Watch Nina read, "My Hulk is White" >>

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Leslie Lagerstrom

Leslie Lagerstrom is a proud mom of two children, who, after retiring from a 21-year corporate marketing career, is focusing her passion on being a writer and advocate. In 2011 she created the blog Transparenthood™, which chronicles her experience raising a transgender child. Leslie is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and MORE Magazine Online and The Good Men Project have also featured her essays. Committed to spreading awareness on the subject of gender variant children, Leslie and her family, appeared on The Jeff Probst Show in November of 2012.  In January of 2013, PFLAG, a national organization made up of parents, families and friends who work together to support the well being of GLBT people, honored her family with the Robert and Joyce Curoe award for their advocacy work.  A speaker for Welcoming Schools — an initiative by the Human Rights Campaign to foster safe classroom environments — Leslie frequently shares her family’s story with K-12 teachers nationwide.

Watch Leslie read, "The Dance" >>

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Laurie Lethert Kocanda

Laurie Lethert Kocanda considers herself a perpetual part-timer. She currently works part-time as a school wellness coordinator, promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity in the schools. She is a part-time fitness instructor, recently did a short stint as a part-time retail worker, and for years worked as the part-time editor of two local sports publications. Laurie co-authored the book Hot Sweaty Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom, and continues to write about her passion for long-distance running and fitness, in which she participates on a part-time basis. Amidst her frenetic part-time schedule, she is a full-time wife and mother of two school-aged daughters. After the death of her mom last summer, Laurie began writing about grief and loss. She is honored to be included in Listen To Your Mother because, well, she misses her mom… full time.

Watch Laurie read, "Unless" >>

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Katja Linfield

Katja Linfield moved to Minneapolis 1n 1990 to join the Minnesota Orchestra.  Outside of her professional musical life, Katja appreciates creative endeavors, be they art projects with her kids, foreign travel, home renovations, gardening or playing with words.  This past year Katja spent a great deal of time writing long overdue autobiographical material.  Her secret wish, after witnessing the establishment of the “Teen Paranormal” section in bookstores, is to see a section entitled “Paranormal Parenting”!

Watch Katja read, "Spontaneous Musings" >>

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Tami Mohamed Brown

Tami Mohamed Brown received her MFA in creative writing from Hamline University.  She has been the recipient of a MN Emerging Writer Grant, a Loft Mentor Series Award, a Blacklock Nature Sanctuary Fellowship, and an artist residency through the National Park Service at Devil’s Tower. Tami writes regularly for the Minnesota Women’s Press, and her work has recently appeared in literary journals including Brevity and Mizna, and in the anthology, The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home. She is finishing work on her memoir, The First American Wife:  Barefoot and Pregnant in the Nile Delta. She lives in Bloomington with her husband and teenage daughter, and finds inspiration on her daily bus commute to her 9-5 office job in downtown Minneapolis. She writes about all of these things.

Watch Tami read, "What We Expect" >>

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Tracy Morrison

Tracy Morrison is a work-at-home mom to three daughters. After spending 15 years in the corporate marketing and sales world while traveling the world, her children now fill her days with love, challenges, laughter, laundry, humility and unlimited shopping possibilities. Tracy started her personal blog Sellabit Mum in 2008 to document the lighter side of her parenting journey. She also works in the fashion industry, shops way too much, and is a contributing fashion and lifestyle writer at Savvy Sassy Moms. She is also a parenting writer for EverydayFamily and a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post. Her writing has also been featured on Mamalode, In The Powder Room, Mamapedia, All Things Chic,, The Mouthy Housewives, and BlogHer.

Watch Tracy read, "The Mommy Wars" >>

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Kristin Nilsen

Kristin has one husband and one son and she is the primary caregiver for both; without her, they would be, to quote her own writing, starving and smelly. She is an erstwhile librarian who thrives on categorization in all areas of her life and her writing appears on, Huffington Post, Thirty Two Magazine and her now-concluded but still-functioning blog, “Clam Chowder for Lunch” (because she still likes to visit it).

Watch Kristin read, "Mary Poppins Comes To Town" >>

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Shaun Strohmer

Shaun lives with a rock and roll drummer near a lake in Minneapolis, so she has pretty much already achieved her lifetime goals. She also has a PhD in English from the University of Michigan and has taught teens and adults about making words mean something. She burst onto the publishing scene as a teenager, with a photocopied punk rock ‘zine circa 1985 and an editorial on sodomy laws, and since then she has edited publications about business, bicycling, snowmobiling, psychology, and playing the harp. In her happiest moments, she writes about literature, history, and philosophy, though she’s often found sneaking up on her homeschooling daughters, aged 11 and 15, to see what they’re really looking at on their laptops. So far it has never been her essays on the German enlightenment, but there’s still time.

Watch Shaun read, "One Smart Mother" >>

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Lorna has written eight novels including Angry Housewives Eating Bon BonsThe View From Mt JoyOh My Stars and Patty Jane’s House of Curl.

Lorna is a Minneapolis native that spent several years in California. After returning to Minneapolis years ago with her husband and first-born daughter, she had her second daughter and became a cast member of Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop, a comedy and improvisational theater. She has written and starred in several plays, including On the Lam with Do and Re, The Smelt Princess and Glamour Queen.  She continues to work as an actor and playwright, most currently in a one-woman, all-improvised show called, Party in the RecRoom.  She is also a co-host of Reading Goddess Radio, an on-air book club which should soon have a radio home.

Watch Lorna read, "What A Bitch Taught Me About Mothering" >>