Essayist and novelist Louis Bayard is the author of several books including Mr. Timothy (2003), a New York Times notable book, and The Black Tower (2008). His historical thriller The Pale Blue Eye (2006), a national bestseller, features a young Edgar Allan Poe at West Point helping a detective solve a string of mysterious murder cases.
Dana Gioia, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (2003-2009), is an acclaimed poet, critic, and literary anthologist. His third collection of poetry, Interrogations at Noon (2001), won the American Book Award. He has also written collections of essays, including, Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture (1992; 2002) and Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture (2004).
Under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket, Daniel Handler has written one of the most popular children's serials ever, A Series of Unfortunate Events, which chronicle the travails of the Baudelaire orphans. Handler also writes novels under his own name.
A former Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1973 to 1974, the position now known as U.S. Poet Laureate, Daniel Hoffman (1923-2013) published more than 11 books of poetry and seven volumes of essays and criticism. His biography of Edgar Allan Poe, titled Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe (1971), was nominated for the National Book Award.
Emmy award-winning actor and member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Charles Keating (1941-2014) worked in television, theater, and film for over three decades. He starred in a one-man show that grappled with aging, I and I: The Sense of Self.
Writer Laura Lippman is best known for her series of crime novels featuring detective Tess Monaghan. A master of the genre, she has won the Agatha, Edgar, Anthony, and Shamus awards.
Noted for her cultural criticism in books such as Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990), and commentaries appearing regularly in Salon and Interview, Camille Paglia is a public intellectual who serves as professor of humanities at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Former U.S. Poet Laureate (1987-1988) Richard Wilbur has won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for Things of This World, in 1957, and the second for New and Collected Poems in 1989. He has taught at Harvard University, Wesleyan University, and Smith College.
Arthur Yorinks has written over two dozen books for children, including the Caldecott Medal winner, Hey, Al (1986). He also writes and directs for opera, theater, dance, film, and radio. He wrote the libretto and Phillip Glass the music for the opera The Fall of the House of Usher.
Irish poet Eavan Boland is professor of English at Stanford University, where she directs the creative writing program.
Actor Sam Elliott 's notable films include Lifeguard (1976), The Big Lebowski (1998), and Thank You for Smoking (2006).
Poet Stanley Plumly serves as a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland.
Actress Marian Seldes (1928-2014) had a career in stage, television, film, and radio productions spanning six decades. In 1996 she was elected to the Theater Hall of Fame.