The Homers: Tony Norris, Darcy Falk, Jean Rukkila, Laura Kelly and Shonto Begay. For roughly seven years this group of writers and good friends (along with special guest columnists) has graced page 4 of Flagstaff Live, bringing to readers a varied collection of essays that speaks to life in northern Arizona and beyond. They are artists, teachers, musicians, poets and even a fire lookout—but what they all have in common is a knack for storytelling, roots embedded deep in our mountain town, and a creative and thoughtful ability to pass along a shared, collective wisdom that resonates with and helps others navigate their own lives.

Aside from their work in Flag Live, they have been featured—both as a group and individually—in the “Stories to Life” series at the Coconino Center for the Arts, as well as the Northern Arizona Book Festival and Narrow Chimney Reading Series, the latter of which won the Viola for Excellence in Storytelling this past year in 2015.

Recently, Jean Rukkila summed up what the Homers have and continue to bring to the literary table:

“We are diverse in the best possible way, because though we have lived the complexities of darkness and troubles, we start with what’s true and intriguing right where we live. Then our individual experiences of rich and poor, young and old, near and far, narrow or not, lets us weave in the compelling details of our shared humanity. We don’t always get it “right” but we have fun trying to share truth.”