Minnesota State Write Like Us

Minnesota State Write Like Us logo


Minnesota State Write Like Us is an equity-based creative writing program at five Twin Cities metro-area community colleges: Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Century College, Minneapolis College, Normandale Community College, and North Hennepin Community College. Minnesota State Write Like Us centers and celebrates the work of BIPOC writers and writing students, fostering literary mentorship and leadership as it builds a platform for shared stories, voices, and lived experiences. 

Write Like Us will host four author-mentors in residence during the 2022-2023 academic year.  The residencies will feature local BIPOC author-mentors who will work throughout the year with BIPOC mentees—students at each of our campuses. Write Like Us hopes to increase BIPOC recruitment, retention, and representation in our Associate of Fine Arts and creative writing certificate programs—programs with high rates of persistence, graduation, and transfer.

Minnesota State Equity 2030

The inaugural year of the Minnesota State Write Like Us program was funded by a $150,000 Minnesota State Multi-Campus Collaboration grant in support of Minnesota State’s Equity 2030 goals. Minnesota State is a consortium of thirty state colleges and seven universities in Minnesota. Equity 2030 aims to close the educational equity gaps across race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location by the end of the decade at every Minnesota State college and university. 

Write Like Us author-mentors will visit creative writing classrooms at each of the five participating colleges during fall and spring semesters of 2021-2022 and will work individually with eight scholarship mentees from each of the five campuses (forty total) throughout the academic year. Each mentor will interview one of the nationally prominent authors in the public on-stage events. 

Lisa Marie Brimmer head shot
LM (Lisa Marie) Brimmer is an artist & educator living on Dakota land in Minneapolis, MN. Co-editor of the anthology Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose and Pride (MNHS Press 2019), their essays and poetry have appeared in The Alliance of Adoption Studies and Culture Journal, The Public Art Review, La Raza Comíca, Impossible Archetype, Gasher Journal, The B'K', Quarterly West, Voicemail Poems   elsewhere. They attend the low-residency MFA program at Randolph College.  https://lisamariebrimmer.com/ 






Michael Kleber-Diggs head shot

Michael Kleber-Diggs
(KLEE-burr digs) is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things, won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. His essay, “On the Complex Flavors of Black Joy,” is included in the anthology Theres a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis, edited by Tracy K. Smith and John Freeman. Among other places, Michael’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Great River Review, Water~Stone Review, Poem-a-Day, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, Potomac Review, Hunger Mountain, Memorious, and a few anthologies. Michael is a past Fellow with the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, a past-winner of the Loft Mentor Series in Poetry, and the former Poet Laureate of Anoka County libraries. Since 2016, Michael has been an instructor with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. He also teaches Creative Writing in Augsburg University’s low-res MFA program and at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and has been supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Michael is married to Karen Kleber-Diggs, a tropical horticulturist and orchid specialist. Karen and Michael have a daughter who is pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance at SUNY Purchase. 

Nicola Koh head shot
Nicola Koh
 is a Malaysian Eurasian 15 years in the American Midwest, a Protestant Seminary trained atheist, and a minor god in Tetris. They are a Twin Cities based freelance editor and teacher, most recently as a Loft Teaching Artist and an instructor at Hamline University. They received their MFA from Hamline and were a fellow for the 2018 VONA/Voices Workshop and the 2019-2020 Loft Mentor Series. Their stories, essays, and poetry have appeared in places like Southwest Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Brown Orient, and is forthcoming in Margins. In their free time they undertake a menagerie of projects, take too many pictures of their animals, and craft puns. nicolakoh.com 




 Taiwana Shambley head shot
Taiwana Shambley (she/her)
 is a freelance fiction writer, editor, teaching artist, & abolitionist from Saint Paul, living in South Minneapolis. She works to imagine and practice liberation for BIPOC youth in Minnesota. Currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from Warren Wilson College, Taiwana is a 2021 graduate of Augsburg University in English and African American Studies. She was awarded a 2022 grant from the University of Minnesota’s Center of Urban & Regional Affairs to lead the editing of a collection of stories by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth in Minneapolis. Her fiction has won a 2020 Next Step Fund grant by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and she has prose poems published by the Academy of American Poets and Belt Publishing. She is currently entering year five of a first novel.