About Tess

Tess Banion, is an author, a producer and activist. She received her Master’s degree in Film and Media Studies from the University of Kansas in Spring 2011. Before graduate school she worked for several decades in political campaigns in Kansas and Minnesota.

Tess’ inaugural novel, A Parting Glass, was described by James A. Cox, of the Midwest Book Review as "A deftly crafted and engaging story of hope and transformations, A Parting Glass showcases author Tess Banion’s genuine flair for narrative driven storytelling. One of those rare novels that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf, A Parting Glass is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

She is currently in post production on a documentary film about the pluralistic society that features foreign workers, asylum seekers and refugees working in the Kansas agriculture and meat packing industry in Southwest Kansas. A foiled bomb attack, planned by white supremacists in 2016, by the FBI, which targeted Somali refugees, show the strength, courage, and legacy of the people of Garden City - the descendants of the earliest inhabitants and new arrivals. This film provides a connection to the heated national discussion of immigration.

Tess is in pre-production I Too, Sing America: Langston Hughes Unfurled through the Dream Documentary Collective with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She produced a trailer Kids Who Die for the Hughes project and a short film, Langston’s Lawrence, funded by the Kansas Humanities Council of Kansas and sponsored by the Douglas County Historical Society.