Category: Poetry

Weems, Mary E.

Cleveland Born: August 22, 1954 Ohio connection: Birth The eldest daughter of four children, Mary Elise Weems was born August 22, 1954, in Cleveland where her mother, Elaine B. Lacy, a lifelong resident, raised her. Weems started writing poems at the age of thirteen and found her vocation. Her creative spirit-eye has turned more and more outward …

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Wagoner, David Russell

Massillon Born: June 5, 1926 Ohio connection: Birth A native of Massillon, David Russell Wagoner was born on June 5, 1926. At the age of seven, his family relocated to Whiting, a city outside Gary, Indiana. Enlisting at age eighteen in the United States Navy, he served from 1944 to 1946. Educated at Pennsylvania State University, he …

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Torrence, Frederic Ridgely

Xenia Born: November 27, 1874 Ohio connection: Birth Frederick Ridgely Torrence, son of Findley David and Mary (Ridgely) Torrence, was born in 1874 in Xenia, Ohio. He attended Miami University of Ohio, 1893-95, and Princeton University, 1895-96. He worked as a librarian at the Astor Library and the Lenox Library, both in New York City, 1897-1903. He …

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Thompson, Daniel

Cleveland Born: April 21, 1935 Ohio connection: Resident Daniel Thompson was born April 21, 1935, in Washington, D.C. The Thompson family moved to the west side of Cleveland, Ohio, shortly after Daniel’s birth. He spent much of his boyhood in Cleveland, but attended high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and spent a short time at a seminary …

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Starbuck, George Edwin

Columbus Born: June 15, 1931 Died: August 15, 1996 Ohio connection: Birth George Edwin Starbuck, son of George W. and Margaret Beiswanger, was born in 1931 in Columbus, Ohio. His name was legally changed from Beiswanger to Starbuck. He attended the California Institute of Technology, 1947-49; the University of California, 1950-51; the University of Chicago, 1954-57; and …

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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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