Category: Poetry

Johnson, Angela

Born: June 18, 1961 Ohio connection: Resident Kent Born in Tuskegee, Alabama and raised in Windham, Ohio, Angela Johnson, the award-winning author of more than 40 books for children and young adults, attended Kent State University before dropping out to pursue a career as a children’s author. Working as a nanny, she was employed by Newbery-Medal-winning …

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Kennedy, Adrienne

Born: September 13, 1931 Ohio connection: Former Resident Cleveland Adrienne Kennedy was born Adrienne Lita Hawkins, daughter of Cornell Wallace and Etta (Haugabrook) Hawkins, in 1931 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She received a B.A. from Ohio State University in 1953, and did graduate work in creative writing at Columbia University, 1954-56. She …

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Levy, D.A.

Born: October 29, 1942 Died: November 24, 1968 Ohio connection: Birth Cleveland Darryl Alfred Levy was born on October 29, 1942, on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. His father was a shoe salesman who had emigrated from England and his mother was a homemaker. The family would move around the greater Cleveland area throughout the years, settling …

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Lewis, J. Patrick

Born: May 5, 1942 Ohio connection: Resident Westerville J. Patrick Lewis was born in Gary, Indiana. The former Children’s Poet Laureate (2011-2013) received a B.A. degree from Saint Joseph’s College in 1964, an M.A. from Indiana University in 1965, and a PhD in economics from the Ohio State University in 1974. Lewis taught in the department of Business, …

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Libby, Anthony

Born: May 19, 1942 Ohio connection: Resident Columbus Anthony Libby was born May 19, 1942, in Jacksonville, Florida; the son of James Miller (an engineer) and Gertrude (a housewife, nee Wright) Libby.  He received a bachelor’s degree from College of the Holy Cross (1963) and was awarded a yearlong Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Two years later, he was …

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Foster, Leonard Gurley

Born: September 10, 1840 Died: December 13, 1937 Ohio connection: Birth Cleveland Leonard Gurley Foster, a Civil War veteran whose avocation brought him the epithet, “the Buckeye poet” was the son of Ebenezer and Elmyra (Williams) Foster.  He was born on the family homestead in the Cuyahoga Valley near Denison Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland. He …

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Dunbar, Paul Laurence

Born: June 27, 1872 Died: February 9, 1906 Ohio connection: Birth Dayton The first important Black poet in American literature, Paul Laurence Dunbar was born to former slaves in Dayton on June 27, 1872. He showed literary promise in high school where, the only Black in his class, he became class president, editor in chief of the High …

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