Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello | How Failure Drives Creativity

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), which won the 2015 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and the 2016 Florida Book Awards bronze medal, and the chapbook Last Train to the Midnight Market (Finishing Line Press, 2013). She serves as cofounding editor for Print-Oriented Bastards, assistant editor for Jai-Alai Magazine, and producer for The Working Poet Radio Show. By day, she serves as a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair. Cancio-Bello is the recipient of a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship, a John S. and James L. Knight Fellowship, and two Academy of American Poets Prizes. She holds degrees from Florida International University (MFA, Creative Writing) and Carnegie Mellon University (BA, English and Creative Writing). Her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2015, december, The Georgia Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and more.

Max Emerson | Crowdsourcing as the Starting Point 

Max Emerson
is an actor, producer, writer, director, and social media personality.  A graduate of the University of Miami, where he received his BFA in Performance and Directing, Max has gone on to appear on several television shows including GleeThe Real O'Neals, Hit the Floor.  He has over 600,000 followers on Instagram.  His first feature-length film Hooked, which he wrote, directed, and produced through crowdfunding, debuted at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in Toronto, Canada in May 2017.  Max also has vast stage experience.  He will star in The Little Dog Laughed at Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse, NY in September 2017.  

Michele Graglia | Embarking on an Ultra Journey

Michele Graglia is an ultra marathon runner, specializing in trail and extreme races through some of the most demanding terrain on Earth.  To date, Michele has run 20 ultras, including several 100 miles or longer, a "sub-24" finish at the grueling Leadville100 in Colorado (2013), a win at the UltraMilano-Sanremo in Italy (2014), a breakthrough 2nd place overall finish at the highly competitive Angeles Crest100 in California (2014), a win at the Cro-Trail in France/Italy (2015), and a more recent win in the frozen Arctic regions of northern Canada at the Yukon Arctic Ultra (2016).  A native Italian and former international model who lived in Miami, New York City, and Milan as part of his modeling career,  he now resides in Los Angeles where he balances his life between ultra running, endurance coaching, nutritional planning, and being a dedicated husband to his beautiful wife Lauren... and "dad" to a white fluffy pup named Charles.  He is also the author of the recently published book Ultra (Sperling & Kupfer 2017).  

Kristian Kabuay | How Reviving an Ancient Script Shapes a Modern Identity

Kristian Kabuay is a self-taught artist influenced by calligraphy, graffiti, abstract art, indigenous culture, technology and Asian writing systems. A leading authority for the propagation and instruction of the Ancient Philippine script, Baybayin, he developed a modern performance style of the writing system called Tulang Kalis (Poetry of the Sword) and introduced it as Filipino Calligraphy with a series of live demonstrations and lectures at the Asian Art Museum in October 2012. He has spoken at numerous institutions such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, SFSU, University of the Philippines, National Anthropology Museum of Madrid, and Tokyo University.  Currently based in San Francisco, Kristian has been tirelessly advocating a reawakening of the indigenous spirit through decolonization and Baybayin.


Susan Taylor | How to Start Over After a Stroke

Susan Taylor is a Registered Nurse and the school nurse at Pine Crest School.  Two years ago, she suffered a stroke that would change her life.