Zinta Aistars

Host of 'Between The Lines'/Freelancer

Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.

Aistars is creative director, writer, and editor at Z Word, LLC. She's also the published author of three books in her native Latvian language. Aistars regularly contributes to many print and online publications in addition to freelancing for WMUK.

AP Photo

Writing certain words can trigger memories. Words like helmet, boots, and shrapnel. Military veterans gather at the Portage District Library on the second and fourth Tuesday every month at 6:30 p.m. for the Combat Veterans Writing Group. They write down memories for ten minutes and then sharing them. The process bonds and heals.

Zinta Aistars

Ladislav Hanka of Kalamazoo is no ordinary bird watcher. His ventures through former Soviet military zones in Eastern Europe pursuing birds sometimes led to his arrest. Some of his bird watching tales are sobering, others are hilarious. Those stories, and Hanka's visual art, are collected in his newest book: In Pursuit of Birds: A Foray with Field Glasses and Sketchbook.

Alyssa Jewell

Iliana Rocha has had a remarkable year. Her work was chosen for the Best New Poets 2014 anthology. While that was big, the drum then rolled on: her first poetry collection, Karankawa, won the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, one of the most prestigious prizes a poet can receive. That was really big. Karankawa was published by University of Pittsburgh Press and Rocha is now lining up readings to introduce her work to the public.

Rogelio V. Solis / AP Photo

Four university students in Berkeley, California, friends who call themselves the "Four Indians," decide to protest a Civil War reenactment in one of their hometowns. Something goes terribly wrong when a student pretends to get lynched and acting turns into reality. T.. Geronimo Johnson’s newest novel Welcome to Braggsville (William Morrow, 2015) takes on issues of class, race, politics, and even social media.

Jim Donahue

She writes a column for the Battle Creek Enquirer. She's a journalist, a playwright, and a novelist. To be that prolific, Nicole Mullis has learned to write on the run, grabbing moments wherever she can. While she was writing her novel A Teacher Named Faith (Cairn Press 2015), her children soon understood that Mom had adopted another kid into the family: a laptop called "Little Brother."