2017 Discussion Panels

Michael Lindenberger
Michael Lindenberger – 
Discussion Panels Moderator

Michael Lindenberger is a member of the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News, where he writes frequently about legal affairs, national politics, and Dallas’ working poor population. Lindenberger is a former Washington correspondent for the newspaper and was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University for the 2012-13 academic year. He was nominated by his editors for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize. Since 2006, he has been a contributing legal affairs writer to TIME and has written for many other national publications, including The New Republic and The New York Times. A former adjunct professor at the University of North Texas. Lindenberger is a graduate of Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. His partner, Phil Clore, lives in Louisville.

Literary Impact of Hunter S. Thompson Discussion Panel
4:30-5:30pm     Louisville Free Public Library Auditorium

Ron Whitehead
is the GonzoFest Louisville Co-Founder & Chief of Poetics as well as a poet, writer, editor, publisher, organizer, scholar, and professor. He has given readings world-wide from San Francisco to New York City to Brazil, Nicargua, Finland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, and beyond. Ron is the author of 29 books and 39 CDs consisting of his reading his own work and performing with musicians from around the world. He has produced music and poetry events and festivals throughout Europe and the USA. He has published hundreds of titles which include some of the great artists of our time. Ron’s work is in museums, library, and private collections around the world. The University of Louisville Rare Books & Archives is the permanent repository for Ron’s work.

Juan F. Thompson
was born outside of San Francisco, California where he spent the first two years while his father, Hunter S. Thompson, was writing his first book, The Hell’s Angels. In 1966 the family moved to Woody Creek, outside Aspen, Colorado, where he grew up on Hunter S. Thompson’s fortified compound, shooting, motorcycling, showing horses, raising sheep, launching model rockets, reading incessantly and tending the Mojo, the predecessor of the fax machine, for his father. He traveled extensively as a young man and lived in New York City, England, and Boston before settling in his home state of Colorado. He is the author of the intimate, close-up portrait of HST, his memoir, Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up With Hunter S Thompson.

William McKeen
is the author of Outlaw Journalist, a biography of Hunter S. Thompson. He’s written or edited 13 books, including Everybody Had an Ocean, Mile Marker Zero (which also features Hunter Thompson), Highway 61 and Rock and Roll is Here to Stay. His second book, a 1991 semi-scholarly study simply called Hunter S. Thompson, was the first book about the author’s writing. Hunter called it “vicious trash” and offered to gouge out McKeen’s eyes for writing it. “How fast can you learn Braille?” he asked McKeen. McKeen is associate dean of the College of Communication at Boston University and lives on the rocky shore of Cohasset, Massachusetts.


Margaret A. Harrell
is the author of the Keep This Quiet! memoir series—the title taken from those words of stern warning on an envelope Hunter sent her (there was contraband inside). The first volume, My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert, features Hunter’s ordeals while she was copy editing Hell’s Angels. As his copy editor/assistant editor/jack of all trades, Harrell was assigned by Jim Silberman at Random House to work with him night or day. This began a lifelong friendship; in different moods, Hunter called her a “leprechaun,” or wrote, “Dear Wiggy” or other epithets. In the 1990s Margaret authored the experimental Love in Transition series. Her studies, after an M.A in literature, include analytical psychology at the C. G. Jung Institute/Zurich. She is a free-lance editor, a meditation, and experiential consciousness teacher, and exhibits internationally as a cloud photographer.

Rory Feehan 
is currently undertaking a PhD on Hunter S. Thompson at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland. Since 2008 he has run totallygonzo.org – one of the first online communities dedicated to the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson. An avid book collector, he has a large collection of rare books and manuscripts relating to all things Gonzo. His primary research interest relates to the role of the Hunterfigure in Gonzo Journalism.




Freedom of Speech and Media Literacy Discussion Panel
5:45-6:45pm     Louisville Free Public Library Auditorium

James Higdon is a Kentucky native, a book author, and a freelance journalist who contributes to the Washington Post and POLITICO Magazine. While reporting his first book, The Cornbread Mafia, Higdon was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury and faced prison time for refusing to answer questions about his reporting. He’s a graduate of Marion County High School and holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; he lives in Louisville.



Deborah Yetter has worked at the Courier-Journal for more than 30 years, where she has been a reporter, editorial writer and reporter. She currently works as a reporter and covers human services, health policy and state government.  Debby is a graduate of the University of Louisville and Northwestern University, where she earned a master’s degree in journalism.




Kiera Parrott is the reviews director for Library Journal and School Library Journal, where she oversees a talented group of editors as well as several thousand volunteer librarian reviewers who read and evaluate over 12,000 titles every year. Before becoming an editor, Kiera was a librarian for the New York Public Library and then Darien (CT) Library. Her favorite books are those that make her laugh—or cry—on public transportation.



Brendan McCarthy
is the managing editor of Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, a new nonprofit newsroom from Louisville Public Media. McCarthy is a veteran investigative reporter, having worked in newspapers, television, and radio. He was a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist and has won a George Polk Award and an Emmy, among other honors. He previously wrote for The Times-Picayune and Chicago Tribune.




Politics: Decadent & Depraved, Lecture Discussion Panel
3:15-4:15pm     Louisville Free Public Library Auditorium

Dr. Lee Remington Williams
Dr. Lee Remington Williams
JD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and the Pre-Law Program Coordinator at Bellarmine University.