Carolyn Holbrook

Founder / Director

Carolyn Holbrook is a writer, educator, and longtime advocate for the healing power of the arts. Her memoir in essays, Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (U of M Press, 2020) won the 2021 Minnesota Book Award for memoir and nonfiction, and was an honoree for the 2021 Society of Midland Authors Literary Award in Biography & Memoir. She is a co-author with Arleta Little of MN civil rights icon, Dr. Josie R. Johnson’s memoir, Hope In the Struggle. She is co-editor with David Mura of an anthology, We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World (U of M Press, forthcoming this November). Her personal essays have been published widely, most recently in A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota and Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (both from MNHS Press). Her work is supported by the MN State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. She was a 50 over 50 honoree (AARP/Pollen Midwest). She was the first person of color to serve in a leadership capacity at the Loft Literary Center, and the first person of color to win the Minnesota Book Awards Kay Sexton Award for significant contributions to and leadership in Minnesota’s literary community. She teaches at the Loft Literary Center and other community venues, and at Hamline University, where she won the Exemplary Teacher award in 2014. She is the Director of More Than a Single Story, which she founded in 2015. She is the mother of 5, grandmother of 8, and the great grandmother of two.

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