Category: Poetry

Spires, Elizabeth

Lancaster Born: May 28, 1952 Ohio connection: Birth Elizabeth Spires, daughter of Richard C. and Sue (Wagner) Spires, was born in 1952 in Lancaster, Ohio. She received a B.A. in English from Vassar College in 1974, and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University in 1979. She married novelist Madison Smartt Bell in 1985, and they have a …

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Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky

Dayton Born: May 2, 1950 Died: April 12, 2009 Ohio connection: Birth Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was born May 2, 1950, in Dayton, Ohio, to Leon Kosofsky (an engineer) and Rita Goldstein Kosofsky (high school teacher). She had two siblings, a brother and a sister. During her childhood the family moved to Bethesda, Maryland when her father accepted a …

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Budbill, David

Born: June 13, 1940 Died: September 25, 2016 Ohio connection: Birth Cleveland David Budbill was born in Cleveland in 1940 to a streetcar driver and a minister’s daughter. He is the author of seven books of poems, eight plays, a novel, a collection of short stories, a picture book for children, dozens of essays, introductions, …

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Salinger, Michael

Mentor Born: March 2, 1962 Ohio connection: Birth & Resident Michael G. Salinger was born March 2, 1962, near Cleveland. A poet, performer, and educator, he is one of the earliest participants in the National Poetry Slam, former board member of Poetry Slam Inc., and current director of the organization’s summer writing and performance conference. Salinger is …

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Rylant, Cynthia

Rootstown Born: June 6, 1954 Ohio connection: Resident It took Cynthia Rylant only one hour to write her first book, When I Was Young in the Mountains (1982), a collection of vignettes describing the years she spent with her grandparents in Appalachia. Born in Hopewell, Virginia, on June 6, 1954, Rylant spent her first four years in Illinois. When …

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Rosen, Michael J.

Columbus Born: September 20, 1954 Ohio connection: Birth Michael Rosen was born September 20, 1954, in Columbus, Ohio, the eldest son of Marvin and Nona Rosen. His childhood home was in a new development situated amid a former pasture. It was there he explored construction sites and fields, collected cocoons, milkweed pods and chrysalises, gathered buckeyes, fed roadside horses, and …

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Ransom, John Crowe

Gambier Born: April 30, 1888 Died: July 3, 1974 Ohio connection: Former Resident John Crowe Ransom was the son of Methodist minister John James Ransom, and Ella (Crowe) Ransom. He was born in 1888 in Pulaski, Tennessee. He was educated at home until he was ten years old, entering public schools in 1898. He graduated from high …

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Patchen, Kenneth

Niles Born: December 13, 1911 Died: January 8, 1972 Ohio connection: Birth Kenneth Patchen, son of Wayne and Eva Patchen, was born in 1911 in Niles, Ohio. He was active in sports and writing during his school years. After graduation, he worked in a steel mill and then attended the University of Wisconsin, 1928-29. From 1930 until …

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Oliver, Mary

Cleveland Born: September 10, 1935 Ohio connection: Birth Mary Oliver, daughter of Edward William and Helen M. (Vlasak) Oliver, was born in 1935 in Cleveland, Ohio. She says that at the age of thirteen, she had a great desire to be a writer. In 1950, when she was fifteen, she visited Steepletop, the upstate New York home …

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Nelson, Marilyn

Cleveland Born: April 26, 1946 Ohio connection: Birth Dr. Marilyn Nelson, daughter of Melvin M. Nelson, (U.S.A.F. airman) and Johnnie Mitchell Nelson (teacher) was born in Cleveland.  Nelson began writing in childhood.  She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Davis, and holds postgraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., 1970) and the University of …

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