The primary mission of the Payson Book Festival is to promote literacy. This principle meshes nicely with those of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, which is dedicated, in part, to providing literary events and programs for the university, the Phoenix metropolitan area, and the state of Arizona as a whole.

The Piper Center is sending two staff members — associate director Angie Dell and the supervising editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review Katie Berta — to speak at the Payson Book Festival.

As featured authors they will present their talks in the Fireside Room, on the west end of the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino ballroom area.

Angie Dell is a writer and book artist, as well as the associate director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. With the Piper Center, Dell enjoys developing new literary programs, connecting the arts with other fields and disciplines, and supporting writers with professional strategies and opportunities. She has worked at the Piper Center in different capacities since 2010.

Dell is also a letterpress printer and the proprietor of Shut Eye Press, with work featured in journals, collections, libraries, and galleries across the United States and abroad. She makes artists’ books, prints, and other literary objects, typically on a Sigwalt 23 platen press in her home studio, but also uses the Vandercook cylinder press and a variety of other printing methods in her book and print work. She enjoys printing her own prose and poetry through Shut Eye Press.

Dell earned a bachelor of arts degree at Hampshire College in writing and material culture, and both a master of fine arts degree in creative writing and a graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership and management from Arizona State University, where she also worked as prose editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review, and as president of ABBA (A-Buncha-Book-Artists).

Coming from Wisconsin, Dell is now based in Mesa.

Katie Berta is the supervising editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review, the literary magazine curated by the master of fine arts students at Arizona State University. Previously, she has served as a visiting assistant professor and post-doctoral fellow at Ohio University, as the assistant editor of New Ohio Review, and as an associate editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review.

Berta’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review Online, Washington Square Review, Blackbird, Salt Hill, Hobart, The Laurel Review, BOAAT, and Forklift, Ohio, among other journals.

Berta has her doctorate in poetry from Ohio University’s creative writing program and her master of fine arts degree from Arizona State University. She makes her home in Phoenix.

Founded in 2003 with a gift from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the Piper Creative Writing Center is a non-academic university center that is designed to enrich the intellectual and artistic life of ASU and beyond. While the Piper Center works closely with the creative writing program at ASU and specifically supports the program’s literary journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, it is a separate unit at ASU. All classes and workshops sponsored by the Center are open to the public and are not for credit.

The free Payson Book Festival is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, July 20 at the Mazatzal Casino.

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