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.

Andy Robins / WMUK

Very few people would look at a lump of elephant dung and see art. But Maryellen Hains does. She sees beauty not only in elephant dung but in most everything. The multi-media artist is known for her work in jewelry, glass, and silk painting. And yes, she's made a brooch out of a mold of a piece of elephant dung.

Joshua Davids / Glass Art Kalamazoo

Joshua Davids says when he looked into the glass that seemed to be alive in the fire, he fell in love. Ekin Deniz Aytac says she was mesmerized by watching glass blowing and was also drawn into the community of glass artists.

In Unblinking (Wayne State University Press, 2019), her new collection of stories, Lisa Lenzo writes about her native Detroit as well as race, class, disability, aging, and family. Her earlier novel-in-stories, Strange Love, was a 2015 Michigan Notable Book Award winner. Unblinking is part of the Made in Michigan Writers Series.

Cate Barry

Oliver Baez Bendorf has written two books of poetry: The Spectral Wilderness and Advantages of Being Evergreen. The first won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The second will appear in September and won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Open Book Poetry Competition.


Emily Kastner is a cofounder of Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK), which promotes literacy for kids. Now, using the name Emmy Kastner, she’s a full-time children’s book author and illustrator. Her new series, called Nerdy Babies, introduces kids to the exciting world of science.