Michael Preston

Michael Preston lived for many years in New York and was a member of the Shaliko Company, founded by Leonardo Shapiro. He also worked with such artists as John Sayles, Richard Elovich, David Cale, Wynn Handman and Theodora Skipitares. From 1991 until 2000 he toured the world as one of the Flying Karamazov Brothers, which included three different runs on Broadway. With them he collaborated on and performed 9 different shows, ranging from the post-modern tragedy Le Petomane, to an update of Room Service (winner of an L.A. critic’s award in 1998). They were nominated for an Olivier award in London for best Comedy in 1994. He directed their latest show, Life: A Guide for the Perplexed. Preston is currently an Associate Professor of Theater and Dance at Trinity College and will be a special guest participant at the Little Box of Yes event on Friday night.

Matthew Dicks

Matthew Dicks is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing, Unexpectedly, Milo, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, and Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling. His novels have been translated into more than 25 languages worldwide. 

Matthew is a 35-time Moth StorySLAM champion and 5-time GrandSLAM champion whose stories have been featured on their nationally syndicated Moth Radio Hour and their weekly podcast. He has also told stories for The American Life, TED, The Colin McEnroe Show, The Story Collider, The Liar Show, Literary Death Match, The Mouth, and many others. He is a regular guest on several Slate podcasts, including The Gist, where he is teaching storytelling. 

Matthew is also the co-founder and creative director of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization that produces shows throughout New England. He lives in West Hartford with his wife Elysha and their two children. 

Alia Malek

Alia Malek is a journalist and former civil rights lawyer. She is the author of ACountry Called Amreeka: US History Re-Told Through Arab American Livesand editor of Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post 9/11 Injustices. With collaborators the Magnum Foundation and Al Liquidoi, Alia edited and co-conceived EUROPA أوروپا  : An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees, released in Europe and her latest book is The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria. Born in Baltimore to Syrian immigrant parents, she began her legal career as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. After working in the legal field in the U.S., Lebanon, and the West Bank, Malek, who has degrees from Johns Hopkins and Georgetown universities, earned her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. In April 2011, she moved to Damascus, Syria and wrote anonymously for several outlets from inside the country as it began to disintegrate. Her reporting from Syria earned her the Marie Colvin Award in November 2013. She returned to the U.S. in May 2013 for the launch of Al Jazeera America, where she was Senior Writer until October 2015. After her departure, she was a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute and in residence at the MacDowell Colony. In November 2016, she was honored with the 12th annual Hiett Prize in the Humanities.

Beowulf Sheehan

Beowulf Sheehan is a photographer of portraiture and performance in the arts.  His work has appeared internationally, including in Esquire, The New Yorker, Time, Vanity Fair, and Vogue and at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Dostoevsky Museum, and International Center of Photography.  AUTHOR: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan will be published by Black Dog & Leventhal on October 9.  http://www.beowulfsheehan.com/author. He lives in New York City.

Ryan H. Walsh

Ryan H. Walsh is a musician and journalist. His culture writing has appeared in the Boston Globe, Vice, and Boston Magazine. He was a finalist for the Missouri School of Journalism’s City and Regional Magazine Award for his feature on Van Morrison’s year in Boston, from which his new, critically acclaimed book, Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968, developed. His rock band Hallelujah the Hills has won praise from Spin magazine and Pitchfork; collaborated on a song with author Jonathan Lethem; and toured the U.S. extensively over their 10-year existence. The band won a Boston Music Award for Best Rock Artist, and Walsh has twice won the award for Best Video Direction. He lives in Boston with his wife, the acclaimed singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler.