Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian, grew up on the Spokane Reservation in Washington. His first collection of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, received the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction. A short story from that collection was the basis for Smoke Signals, an award winning film. His second short story collection, The Toughest Indian in the World, earned him the PEN/Malamud Award for short fiction. He has published seventeen books to date, including his most recent collection, Ten Little Indians, which was a 2003 Publishers Weekly Book of the Year. His short stories have been selected for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories 2004 and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2005.

Ron Carlson is the author of eight books of fiction, including A Kind of Flying, The Speed of Light and At the Jim Bridger. His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Harper’s, and The New Yorker, among other publications. They have also been included in The Best American Short Stories, The O’Henry Prize Series,The Pushcart Prize Anthology and dozens of other collections. Among his awards are a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, The Cohen Prize at Ploughshares, and a National Society of Arts and Letters Literature Award. He is currently Foundation Professor and Regents’ Professor of English at Arizona State University.

Tess Gallagher is a poet, short story writer and essayist. Her short story collections are The Lover of Horses and Other Stories and At The Owl Woman Saloon. Her newest collection of poems, Dear Ghosts, will be published in May 2006 by Graywolf Press. Other books include essays—Soul Barnacles: Ten More Years With Ray—and more poems Moon Crossing Bridge, Amplitude and Portable Kisses. She is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington State Poets Association. Other honors include honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from University of Hartford and from Whitman College, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and two National Endowment of the Arts Awards. Gallagher acted as a consultant to Robert Altman on the film Short Cuts, based on the short stories of her late husband, Raymond Carver. She currently lives in Port Angeles, Washington. She is presently at work on a collaboration with Irish story teller, Josie Gray, entitled Surrounded by Weasels, Stories from the West of Ireland.