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.


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.

Melody Warner

Chances are good that you’ve seen Mary Brodbeck’s woodblock prints — maybe at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts gift shop, in a Saugatuck art gallery, or on an Art Hop in Kalamazoo. Brodbeck’s prints are the kind you don’t forget, especially if you love nature. Her landscapes capture the serenity of nature, even if it means a demanding hike to get a scene worth reproducing with the ancient process of Japanese woodblock printmaking.

Melody Allen

With a degree in advertising design, Melody Allen thought she would make her career in graphic art. She was right – almost. Art was in her future, just not in the way she originally thought. So Allen took up pastels instead, eventually showing her work and winning awards in juried shows.

Ron Rubens

Retired Western Michigan University professor Miriam Bat-Ami crosses many literary genres. She writes books for kids and young adults as well as memoirs, creative nonfiction, and fiction for adults. To choose her genre, she considers her audience and asks, "Who will be part of this conversation?" With her new poetry collection, Measuring the Marigolds (Caffeinated Press, 2018), Bat-Ami speaks to adults experiencing the ups, downs, and in-betweens of family relationships.

Kate Lord

What if, looking back on a night in the past, you remember only that you drank until you blacked out? Then you find a video that seems to indicate that you murdered a friend while you were out. That’s the crux of The Lost Night (Crown Publishing Group, 2019), a novel by Brooklyn-based journalist, Andrea Bartz.