2011 Conference



  • Panel discussions
  • Individual author & artist presentations
  • U.S. premiere of the film Sir Lanval
  • Book signings with the presenters
  • Lunch with the presenters
  • Harp Concert
  • Month-long exhibition in Park Library Baber Room

Media Stories

CM Life - April 5, 2011


Professor Ari Berk, Dean Pamela Gates and The College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Department of English Language and Literature, and Central Michigan University Libraries


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Elizabeth Jane BaldryElizabeth Jane Baldry


Elizabeth-Jane Baldry was born in Hampshire. She read music at Exeter University, travelling to the Royal College of Music in London for her harp studies. She now gives around one hundred performances a year from formal recitals in historic houses or on specialist arts cruises to weddings and funerals. Her compositions have been used by ITV, the BBC and by Irish, Japanese and Canadian film, radio and television.

In 2006 she was the only British performer to be shortlisted for Best Classical Event Award in the combined Brighton Festivals, England's largest Arts Festival. In October 2007 she performed in the US to sold-out audiences. Elizabeth-Jane's unique research into Victorian Fairy Harp Music has led to many quaint adventures - a CD with worldwide distribution; radio and TV broadcasts including a half-hour Radio 4 documentary; a West End stage show with actor Simon Callow for which she also wrote the songs; appearances at the Royal Academy of Art exhibition of Victorian fairy paintings and at Prince Charles' unveiling of the restored Elfin Oak Tree in Kensington Gardens; involvement in the major French exhibition Dragons, Elfes et Fées, and an appearance in the award-winning Canadian television documentary The Fairy Faith: all this and more besides making her England's unofficial Fairy Harpist!.

Her uniquely rich tone on the harp has graced several film/TV soundtracks including more than fifty episodes of ITV's magical children's series Bernard's Watch which has been shown in over 30 countries including America, Canada, Iceland, Kenya, Iran, South Africa, Poland and Cyprus. Most recently, Ms. Baldry has directed and co-written (with Ari Berk) the film Sir Lanval, filmed on location in England and Brittany, and produced in conjunction with the with the Centre de l'Imaginaire Arthurien.

The film, Sir Lanval, will be premiered in the United States here at CMU . 

Ari Berk Ari Berk


Ari Berk is an award-winning writer, folklorist, artist, and scholar of literature, iconography, and comparative myth.  Deeply dedicated to interdisciplinary writing, teaching, and research, Berk holds degrees in Ancient History (B.A.), American Indian Studies (M.A.), and Comparative Literature and Culture (Ph.D.). The former student of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer N. Scott Momaday, he has studied at Oxford and traveled widely, making friends in many parts of the world. As Professor of English at Central Michigan University, he teaches courses in mythology, folklore, American Indian studies, and medieval literature, and is the former editor of the Realms of Fantasy magazine's Folkroots section. He also sits on the board of directors of the Mythic Imagination Institute.

Berk is the author of numerous books for children and adults. His latest books are The Life and Times of William Shakespeare (with Kristen McDermott), The Secret History of GiantsThe Secret History of Mermaids, How to Be a Viking, and  Coyote Speaks -- Wonders of the Native American World (with Carolyn Dunn). He is also the author of  The Runes of Elfland, Goblins! and Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Letters (all three with internationally known artist Brian Froud).  His work has been translated into numerous languages.

Born and raised in California, he now lives in Michigan with his wife and son.

Tony DiTerlizzi

Tony DiTerlizzi


Co-creator and illustrator of the bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles, the author and illustrator of Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World MoonPie Adventure, as well as the Zena Sutherland Award winning Ted. His brilliantly cinematic version of Mary Howitt's classic The Spider and The Fly earned Tony his second Zena Sutherland Award, and received a Caldecott Honor.

DiTerlizzi's art has graced the covers of such well-known fantasy writers as Peter S. Beagle, J. R. R. Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, and Greg Bear. He has also made significant contributions to Dungeons and Dragons and Wizards of the Coast's Magic; The Gathering. His first chapter book, Kenny & the Dragon debuted as a New York Times Best Seller. DiTerlizzi celebrated his ten-years in children's publishing by returning to aliens and spaceships with his futuristic fairy tale, The Search for WondLa.

He lives with his wife, Angela and their daughter in Western Massachusetts and Jupiter, FL.

Brian Froud

Brian Froud


Born in Winchester in 1947, Brian Froud graduated with Honours from Maidstone College of Art in 1971 with a degree in Graphic Design.  Soon afterwards, Froud began working in London on various projects ranging from book jackets, magazine covers to advertising as well as illustrating several children books.  A couple of years later Brian Froud moved to Devon and stayed with fellow artist Alan Lee and Lee's family.  Froud continued to illustrate children books as well as find time to create and publish his own artwork. His images can be found in  The Land of Froud and Once Upon a Time. In 1978 Brian Froud and Alan Lee put together an ensemble of drawings and paintings in which the world adored: Faeries was a great success, hitting the number four spot on the New York Times Best Seller List. 

Brian Froud's artistic techniques and wisdom of folklore caught the eyes of many, including Jim Henson (creator of the Muppets). In 1978 Jim Henson hired Froud to help create a unique otherworld, better known as The World of the Dark Crystal.  The film "The Dark Crystal" was a monumental collaberation of ideas, techniques, and creativity.  On the set of "The Dark Crystal"- released in 1982, Brian Froud met Wendy Midener, a puppet designer (creator of the "Gelflings" and Star Wars' "Yoda").   Their son Toby starred in the Henson film, "Labyrinth"- 1986, in which Brian Froud was once again hired as the Conceptual Designer.  Froud continued working with Henson on television programs such as "Jim Henson's Storyteller," as well as working on designs for other film/media projects. Froud also began to collaborate with the screenwriter of "Labyrinth," Terry Jones. 

He is the artist of the award-winning Lady Cottington series, as well as The Runes of Elfland and Goblins!, both collaborations with writer Ari Berk. Brian's newest book,  How To See Faeries, is a collaboration with celtic scholar John Matthews. 

Throughout the years, Brian Froud has created some of the most respected and highly acknowledged folklore/mythic artwork of our time.  He has won numerous awards, including the ASFA Best Interior Illustration and the Hugo award for Best Original Artwork in 1995.  Through Froud's unique style (by utilizing acrylics, colored pencil, pastels and ink), he has created some of the most well known fantasy images of the Twenty-first Century.  Froud continues to create visual, spiritual and poetic tales that will last many years to come.

Wendy Froud Wendy Froud


Wendy Froud has been a doll maker since the age of five.  As soon as she could bend a pipe cleaner and tape bits of fabric together she began to make the kind of dolls she couldn't buy.  Dolls of centaurs and satyrs, unicorns and faeries, all to populate the world she wanted to be a part of.  She continues to do so to this day.

Wendy worked as sculptor and puppet builder for Jim Henson for many years, primarily on the films The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and The Empire Strikes Back. She sculpted "Jen" and "Kira" for The Dark Crystal and "Yoda" for The Empire Strikes Back.  Other work for Jim Henson included The Muppet Show and The Muppet Movie.  In addition to her film work, Wendy has also made puppets for use in television commercials. Her dolls have illustrated the beloved Old Oak Wood series of children's book written by Terri Windling on which Brian Froud was the set designer. She and Brian last year collaborated on the  The Heart Of Faerie Oracle, using Brian's art and her writing. 

Wendy's dolls and figures are highly sought after and are in many prestigious collections around the world.  She now devotes most of her time to making dolls and figures for exhibition and sale throughout the US and England.

Eddie GamarraEddie Gamarra

A former college professor, Eddie Gamarra is a literary manager/producer at The Gotham Group, a management and production company that represents screenwriters, directors, animators, authors, illustrators, publishers, and animation studios around the world.  Mr. Gamarra specializes in children's & family entertainment, including animation, live action and literature ranging across picture books, novels, anthologies and graphic novels.  His client roster includes numerous New York Times best-selling authors and illustrators as well as Oscar, Emmy, Caldecott, Newbery, and Geisel award winners.  

Gamarra has helped his clients develop and sell projects for all platforms ranging from online shorts to live action feature films.  In addition to his work at The Gotham Group, he has consulted for Teen Magazine, National Geographic's TV series Hollywood Science, and MANswers on Spike.  He has lectured at Vassar, North Carolina School of the Arts, and University of Arkansas, Little Rock.  He received his BA in Psychology from Vassar College, a Masters in Cinema Studies from NYU and a PhD in Psychoanalysis & Film from Emory University.

Kris McDermottKristen McDermott

Kristen McDermott is the co-author, with her husband, Prof. Ari Berk, of The Life and Times of William Shakespeare (Templar Books 2010) and the  editor of Masques of Difference: Four Court Masques by Ben Jonson, a Revels Student Edition published by Manchester University Press in 2007.

As an Associate Professor of English at Central Michigan University, she teaches Shakespeare and other Early Modern English literature (particularly Drama and Theater History).  Prior to her appointment at CMU, she taught Renaissance Literature and Shakespeare at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She has published articles on Early Modern Drama in the G.K. Hall anthology Critical Essays on Ben Jonson, Early Theatre, Renaissance Papers, Shakespeare Magazine, and The Language Arts Journal of Michigan. She has also written a series of articles on drama and folk traditions for Realms of Fantasy Magazine. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.A. in English and Drama from Furman University in South Carolina.

Charles Vess Charles Vess


His award-winning work has graced the pages of numerous comic book, publishers such as Marvel, DC, Darkhorse and Epic. He has been featured in several gallery and museum exhibitions across the nation, including the first major exhibition of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art (New Britain Museum of American Art, 1980) and "Dreamweavers" (William King Regional Arts Center, 1994-95).

In 1991, Charles shared the prestigious World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story with Neil Gaiman for their collaboration on Sandman #19 (DC Comics) --- the first and only time a comic book has held this honor. In the summer of 1997, Charles won the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Penciler/Inker for his work on The Book of Ballads and Sagas (which he self-publishes through his own Green Man Press) as well as Sandman #75. Soon after Charles finished the last of 175 paintings for Stardust, a novel written by Neil Gaiman, for which he was given the 1999 World Fantasy Award as Best Artist.

In 2002 Charles won a second Will Eisner award, this time as Best Painter for his work on Rose, a 130-page epic fantasy saga written by Cartoon Books' Jeff Smith. The year continued to be busy for Charles with the publication of Seven Wild Sisters (Subterranean Press) and The Green Man, Tales from the Mythic Forest (Viking), both utilizing cover art and interior b/w illustrations by the artist, and both making the 2003 American Library Association's list for Best Books for Young Adults! By the end of the year he had completed 28 paintings for his first children's picture book, A Circle of Cats, done in collaboration with writer Charles de Lint (Viking). This cover art won the Gold Award for Best Book Art in the 10th annual "Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art" even before it was officially published.

A new edition of Peter Pan (Tor/Starscape) featuring a cover as well as over 30 b/w interior illustrations by Vess was released this past Fall. Another collaboration with de Lint, Medicine Road (Subterranean Press) and the YA anthology,The Faery Reel (Viking ) will be arriving this Spring and he is currently hard at work producing drawings for several new books, including, A Storm of Swords (MeishaMerlin), the 25th anniversary edition of Moonheart (Subterranean Press) and a graphic novel collection of his ballads material for Tor. Most recently, his work with Neil Gaiman Instructions  and  Blueberry Girl  have both been New York Times bestsellers.

Event Photos

Charles Vess and Kristen McDermott at Central Michigan University April 15, 2011. 

Charles Vess 

Charles Vess 

Tony DiTerlizzi 

Tony DiTerlizzi 

Ari Berk introduces Brian and Wendy Froud 

Wendy and Brian Froud 

Brian Froud 

Brian Froud and Wendy Froud 

Ari Berk 

Ari Berk 





















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