Carol Spindel is a writer, potter, ACLU activist, and grandma living in Urbana, Illinois, who retired after teaching creative nonfiction for more than twenty years at the University of Illinois. Her most recent book is I Give You Half the Road, a nonfiction account of the lives of five people she has known since they were children in Ivory Coast, West Africa. Her essays have touched on many topics and been published in many places, including Guernica, The Washington Post, Oxford American, and aired on her local NPR station, where one of her commentaries won a PRNDI Award for "Best Writing." When her first memoir, a New York Times Notable Book, went out of print, she re-published it herself (see carolspindel.com). A longtime Festival teacher, she is delighted to see the Festival return to Iowa City.