Authors & Illustrators

Maya Abu-Alhayyat (c) Salim Abu Jabal (1).jpg The Blue Pool of Questions


Maya is an award-winning Palestinian novelist, poet, and children’s book writer. She has published three collections of poetry, three novels, and several children’s books. Her writing has been featured in international journals and magazines and has been translated into English, French, German, Swedish, and Korean. Since 2013 Maya has worked as the director of the Palestinian Writing Workshop in Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and children. Maya is the author of The Blue Pool of Questions.

photo by Salim Abu Jamal

David Bizzaro, The Not In Here Story


David is a Puppeteer, Illustrator, and Funny Video maker living in NYC. He believes you can do anything you set your mind to as long as you have a positive outlook. When David is not making puppets or silly videos he is spending time with his wife Cassie and his cat Rita. Or he is making more puppets. He might have too many. David illustrated The Not In Here Story.

photo by Brandon Bales

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Morgan was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She always loved to draw as a child but didn’t consider it to be a serious career option until high school when she attended a college preview program at the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from high school, Morgan went on to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation at the Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia. Through SCAD she was able to expand her skills and even got the opportunity to study abroad at SCAD’s Hong Kong campus, studying both painting and illustration. She works as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator and loves to work on comic books and other forms of sequential art. Morgan illustrated A Card for My Father.

Find her at

Quraysh Ali Lansana, A Gift from Greensboro


Q has taught in elementary schools, high schools, and universities in Chicago, where he lives, and across the country. He teaches poetry and hip-hop at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, across the street from the famous museum with the lions out front. Q is the author of eight poetry books, three textbooks, three children's books, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is the author of A Gift from Greensboro.

photo by Alan Tarin

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Jose D. Medina

Jose is an illustrator from Venezuela who now resides in San Fransisco. After beginning his art education in Caracas, he finished his illustration degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2017. His art addresses complex ideas in a way that is simple and engaging, focusing on social and political activism while incorporating humor and lightheartedness. Thank You, Crow is Jose’s first book, and he was thrilled to work on it with his husband, Michael.

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Tony is a two-time winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People (DeShawn Days and I and I, Bob Marley) and the author/
editor of nineteen books for adults and young readers. A Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University, Medina has received the Langston Hughes Society Award, the first African Voices Literary Award, and has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes for his poems. Jacar Press recently published his anthology Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky, on police violence and brutalities perpetrated on people of color. Tu Books published Medina’s debut graphic novel I Am Alfonso Jones in 2017. Tony is the author of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy.

Tony’s photo by Aldon Lynn Nielsen

Barbara Nye, Somewhere a Bell is Ringing


Originally from Cyclone, Texas, Barbara has been influenced in her artwork by her travels in many countries and her experiences living in South America and Canada. She has a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies and is fluent in Spanish. Barbara has lived in Australia for over 25 years, has been an Australian citizen since 1992, and raised her three children there. Barbara is the author and illustrator of Somewhere A Bell Is Ringing.

photo by Christopher Irons

Margaux Othats, The Hunt


Margaux is a French author-illustrator born in 1989. The Hunt, as La chasse (Éditions Magnani), was shortlisted for The Picture Book Prize at the Montreuil Children’s Book Fair in 2014. Her second book, Un jour dehors, was published in April 2016. Margaux's illustrations have appeared in various magazines and journals, including The New York Times.

photo by Elodie Daguin

Tracey Zeeck, The Not In Here Story


Tracey was born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma City, where she owns a boutique public relations firm specializing in clients with good business practices and better stories to tell. She and her husband were lucky enough to become parents through adoption in November 2007 and have been on a mission to tell the world their family’s love story ever since. She is the author of The Not In Here Story, the ever-evolving origin tale of her little family.

photo by Shevaun Williams

Hanan Awad, The Blue Pool of Questions


Hanan, known to most as Debwania, is a Palestinian-American living in Edmond, Oklahoma. Debwania is an established street photographer. She received her undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Rutgers University, a filmmaking certificate from New York Film Academy, where she also studied photography, and is completing her Masters in History at University of Central Oklahoma with a focus on Latin America and the Middle East. Hanan is the translator of The Blue Pool of Questions.

photo by Hamzah Saadah

Sawsan Chalabi


Sawsan is a Lebanese-American illustrator and designer. She earned her MFA in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work is mostly digital and also incorporates traditional techniques. She loves applying subtle wit and humor in her pieces. Her work has been published in several magazines and publishing houses such as Cricket Magazine, Bust Magazine, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Applied Arts Magazine, Penguin and Lee & Low Books among others. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. where she continues to explore the power in the silent communication of art. Sawsan illustrated and lettered H is for Haiku.

photo by Sandy Major Photography

Skip Hill, A Gift from Greensboro


Skip's body of art is comprised of illustrations, murals, collage paintings, and drawings that weave a rich tapestry of styles, languages, and philosophies rooted in cultures around the world. He explores images and forms from cultural sources as diverse as comic books, Folk art, Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, Graffiti, and European Art History to produce an art that embraces the viewer in a visually engaging experience. Skip is the illustrator of A Gift from Greensboro.

photo by Doug Hill

Hassan Manasrah, The Blue Pool of Questions


Hassan is a visual artist, illustrator, and comic creator. From 2008 to 2010, he worked as assistant art director for the animated cartoon series Pink Panther & Pals. Since 2010, he has illustrated 25 children books. In 2016, he won an Etisalat Award for best illustration for the Palestinian edition of The Blue Pool of Questions.

photo by Momin Bannani

Tiffany McKnight, NUVEAU: The Future of Patterns


Tiffany was born in Miami, Florida, and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her patterns have been published on the labels of certain flavors of San Francisco’s Clearly Kombucha and on luxury wallpaper. Tiffany was recently named a 2016 Angel Award recipient. The Angel Award acknowledges unsung heroes who have effected positive change in the lives of others. Tiffany is the creator and illustrator of NUVEAU: The Future of Patterns.

photo by Carrie Strong

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Michael Minkovitz

Michael is a Georgia native who gained a unique perspective growing up in the only Jewish family in a tiny, rural community before ending up at New York University’s Tisch School, where he graduated with a degree in filmmaking. He later graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a Master’s degree in film, but he’s also had fun being a news photographer, an SAT tutor, and running his family’s business. He was overjoyed to create and publish his first book, Thank You, Crow, with his husband, Jose.

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Sydell Rosenberg

Syd (1929-1996) is the author of H is for Haiku. She lived, wrote, and taught in New York City. She was a charter member of the Haiku Society of America in 1968 and served as HSA’s Secretary in 1975. Her short poems—notably haiku and senryu—as well as other poetry, were published in various magazines and anthologies. One of Syd’s “city haiku” was included in the delightful urban public art project, “Haiku On 42nd Street” in 1994, in which the marquees of shuttered movie theaters in Times Square were transformed into showcases for micro-poetry.

Syd received her M.A. in English as a Second Language from Hunter College in 1972. She was married to Sam Rosenberg (d. 2003) for more than 40 years. They have two children, Amy Losak, married to Cliff; Nathan Rosenberg, married to Deborah; and two grown grandchildren, Zachary and Julia.

photo of Sydell and her daughter, Amy Losak, by Sam Rosenberg

Aniela Sobieski, The Day We Lost Pet


Aniela is an artist from Minnesota. She earned a BFA in painting from the University of Wisconsin--Madison and an MFA from Syracuse University. Her artwork has been exhibited and collected both nationally and internationally. She lives with her husband and two-year-old daughter in St. Paul. The Day We Lost Pet is her debut as a children's book illustrator.

photo by Derek Engelking

Samantha Thornhill


Samantha is a poet, educator, producer, and author of three children’s books, including A Card for My Father. Her work has been published in over two-dozen literary journals and anthologies, such as The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. A performer on stages across the United States and internationally, she holds an MFA from the University of Virginia. For ten years, Samantha lived in Brooklyn where she taught poetry to acting students at the Juilliard School. She also served as a writer-in-residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters; co-founded Poets in Unexpected Places, which was profiled in the New York Times for their surprising pop-up poetry experiments all over New York City; and facilitates workshops for the Dialogue Arts Project, which ventures into professional settings and uses creative writing as a tool to navigate uncomfortable discussions about social identity. Samantha is a native of the twin island nation of Trinidad & Tobago.

To learn more about Samantha and her works visit

photo by anelle Hamrick Photography

Chuck Young, The Day We Lost Pet


Chuck lives and dads in his hometown of Clinton, Massachusetts. He was in a touring emo band, Orange Island, in the early 2000s and, more recently, managing editor of theEEEL by tNY.Press (a former channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books). He has published short fiction and poetry in various journals online and in print. The Day We Lost Pet is his first book.

photo by Bruce David Millet