Lyricality Writers

Adam Hammer was voted “Best Original Music” in Central Minnesota and spent several weeks in the top 10 of CMJ charts at 88.1 FM KVSC with “Broken Like You.” His “Simple Songs” album is currently in production, and his newest single release, “The Love You Take” (Live) is available on Apple Music/iTunes. 

Brendan D. King brings his knowledge of poetic forms together with his understanding of history, culture, and several languages, to access the ancient power of incantatory language. He aims to bring the past and the future into the now, to amplify whatever, in the meaning of our times, is also present in the meaning of all of history’s important moments. He affiliates with the New Formalism school of poetry, and has been frequently published in the Saint Austin Review the premier international journal of Catholic culture, literature, and ideas. He lives in Stearns County, Minnesota.

Delores Dufner, OSB is a member of Saint Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minn., and is a nationally-renowned hymn writer. She has received 58 commissions to write hymn lyrics for special occasions or needs, and her lyrics are the basis of over 80 choral octavos. She has four published hymn collections: Sing a New Church, 48 hymns (Oregon Catholic Press, 1994); The Glimmer of Glory in Song, 79 hymns (GIA Publications, 2004); And Every Breath, a Song, 72 hymns (GIA Publications, 2011) and Criers of Splendor, 56 hymns (GIA Publications, 2016)

Mara Faulkner, OSB is retired Associate Professor of English at the College of St. Benedict and now teaches writing workshops at The Spirituality Center of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, where she lives. She is the author of the poetry collection Still Birth, and the academic books Protest and Possibility in the Writing of Tillie Olsen and Born of Common Hungers: Benedictine Women in Search of Connections. Her memoir Going Blind (Suny Press) was a 2010 Minnesota Book Award Finalist.

Mike Finley has been connecting to Minnesota audiences for 50 years. He was editor of the Worthington Daily Globe, and a columnist for St Paul Pioneer Press. He’s written nonfiction books and over 159 digital books of stories and poems. Currently he is retired and dealing with metastatic cancer.

Micki Blenkush lives in St. Cloud, MN and works as a social worker. She was selected as a 2017-2018 fellow in poetry for the Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series program and was a 2015 recipient of an Emerging Artist Grant awarded by the Central MN Arts Board. Her writing has recently appeared in: Josephine Quarterly, Gyroscope Review, Star 82 Review, West Texas Review, Postcard Poems and Prose, Metafore, The McNeese Review, Typishly, Cagibi, and Crab Creek Review. More can be found here:

Charles Wm Preble, in addition to writing poetry, is an artisan and a priest. He has lived in St. Joseph, Minnesota on a nineteenth-century farmstead surrounded by woods and fields since 1986. It is this place with its solitude, quiet and wildness which inspires the daily wonder of writing and reading poetry. He has published three collections of poems, The Ruffed Grouse, (2012) Portals, (2017) and Simple Attendance (2020), available for purchase at Minnesota Street Market, and at the bookstores of The College of St. Benedict and Saint John’s University.

Author and teacher Bill Meissner has won numerous awards for his writing, including PEN/NEA Syndicated Fiction Awards and The Midwest Book Award. He is the author of three books of fiction and five books of poetry, most recently The Mapmaker’s Dream. He has taught creative writing at St. Cloud State University, and, as a visiting writer he frequently presents workshops at local elementary schools, high schools and colleges. He lives in St. Cloud with his wife Christine.

Susan Sink is a poet and writer living on 80 acres in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She is the author of three books of poems, The Way of All the Earth, Habits, and H is for Harry. Her poems and stories have been published in national literary magazines, including Poetry, Chicago Review, Santa Monica Review, Spoon River Anthology and others.

Larry Schug is retired from a life of various kinds of physical labor, including 34 years as Groundskeeper and Recycling coordinator at the College of St. Benedict. He currently volunteers as a tutor in the CSB/SJU Writing Centers and in various ways at Outdoor U. at St. John’s. He’s published eight books of poems, the most recent being A Blanket of Raven Feathers with North Star Press. Larry has won two Central Minnesota Arts Board Individual Artist awards, a 2014 Central Minnesota Arts Board Established Artist award and a 2008 McKnight Fellowship for Writers award. He lives in St. Wendel Township, just outside of St. Joseph.

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Mary Willette Hughes is a two-time recipient (1998 and 2010) of Central Minnesota Arts Board Individual Artists Grant for Poetry. She was awarded a Public Service Award from the National Association of Poetry Therapy for her work in the St. Cloud Hospital’s Recovery Plus program for addiction/recovery and has published three collections of poems, Quilt Pieces, Flight on New Wings, and The Shadow Loom Poems. She lives in Waite Park, and is a member of Grand View Poets, a chapter of The League of Minnesota Poets.

Nicole Borg is an English teacher and poet. All Roads Lead Home, Nicole’s first collection of poetry, was published in 2018 by Up on Big Rock Poetry Series an imprint of Shipwreckt Books. For five years, she was editor of Green Blade, Magazine of the Rural America Writers’ Center. She lives in Sartell along the lovely Mississippi River with her husband and sons, Lyzander and Lynx.

Mark Conway is the author of three poetry collections: rivers of the driftless region, forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2019, Dreaming Man, Face Down (Dream Horse Press, 2010), and Any Holy City (Silverfish Review Press, 2005) and a chapbook, First Body, (Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, 2004). He is the former executive director of the College of Saint Benedict Literary Arts Institute and was awarded the prestigious 2012 McKnight Foundation Artists’ Fellowship for Poetry. Presently, he teaches at the Loft in Minneapolis and lives outside Avon, Minnesota.

Juliana Howard is longtime resident of St. Cloud now living in St. Joseph. In 1987, she founded the CRAYONS, a group of children from area Catholic schools who performed and recorded her music. In the olden days, she wrote radio jingles, poetry, parody, lesson plans, and letters to the editor. She uses words to help process her life, exercise her brain, and delight herself.

Mardi Knudson has been writing poetry for 38 years. Each of her sons has a binder with an annual birthday poem in it! She has always enjoyed playing with words. As a retired educator she felt privileged to mentor young poets. She continues that passion at YAYA (Young Author/Young Artist conference) each May. She is a member of the Grand View Poets and loves sharing poems with the group.

Tracy Rittmueller is founder and Director of Lyricality. Her chapbook Relearning the Lullabies, was published by Heywood Press in 1994. In 2017, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily nominated her for a Pushcart award. She blogs about poetry and spirituality at

Susan Thurston is a writer, educator, and professional communicator whose work has been published frequently including in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Los Angeles Review, Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, Minnesota Monthly, Fox Cry Review, Rag Mag; several anthologies including Open to Interpretation: At Water’s Edge (Taylor & O’Neill, 2012), Low Down and Coming On (Red Dragonfly Press, 2010), Tremors Vibrations Enough to Rearrange the World (Heywood Press, 1995); and the chapbook Wild Bone Season (Heywood Press, 1996). Her novel Sister of Grendel was published by The Black Hat Press in 2016. She coauthored Cooking-Up the Good Life (University of Minnesota Press, 2012) with local-food movement leader Chef Jenny Breen. As part of earning her master’s degree from Hamline University, she spent time exploring the influence of gender on the creative process with the game-changing writers Carol Bly, Patricia Hampl, and Meridel Le Sueur. Read her San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival winning poem here.

Karl Johnson expresses creatively on mental health, race and racial identity, growth and change, and relationships. As a Korean Adoptee, these have been common themes and often intersect with duality, ambiguity, and writing his own narrative. Karl brings experience as a community organizer, youth developer, nonprofit enthusiast, foodie, and strategic thinker to share poetry and encourage others to write and challenge how they think about themselves and those around them. His relationships with friends and family have guided him in his journey of self-awareness and growth.

Sandy Bot-Miller is an artist-poet with a desire to address a personal and planetary search for peace, beauty and meaning. Her love of working with fibers, oil pastels and words give her a way to express what she sees unfolding in her inner landscape as well as the outer world. Residing in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, she strives to use imagery that expresses our human longing for connection and healing. Her reflective attention to archetypal images help inform her creations.  

“A dude with some tunes and his head in the clouds, TJ Larum is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from St. Cloud, MN. More commonly known for his work with Kick-It Contigo & Soapbox Sonata, he combines elements of his many musical influences to form what he likes to call “a percussive take on an acoustic twang.” Drawing inspiration from artists such as Thomas Kalnoky and Chadwick Stokes, TJ layers flowing vocal melodies atop driving string rhythms in his own unique style. Catch him performing at nightclubs, cafes, weddings, parties, and festivals across Minnesota. Stay tuned for his first full-length, studio album entitled “Every Dark Place You Roam” to be released in 2020.”

Katherine Wallin was born on the tall grass prairie in North Dakota. She has resided for most of her life in Minnesota and now lives in Saint Cloud. She received a BS and an MA along the way, studying education and literacy. She made her living in the world by teaching in the public schools, work in corporate communications and training and small business management. The habit of daily journaling, a love of poetry and literature, and something like a calling led to writing poetry. She began studying craft independently, learning from great poems and poets, local and online classes, and creative writing workshops. For her, writing poetry supports the creation of a mindful, contemplative life.