Ohio Author Profiles
Ohio has a rich literary heritage as well as some wonderful contemporary authors. Learn more about them here! You can sort by various categories and see who has participated in our annual book festival by using the category search on the left, or search by keyword (including partial author names) by using the search field on the right.
If you would like to know which Ohio authors and illustrators are available for school and library visits or workshops, visit our School & Library Visits page here.
We continue to add authors, so check back soon!
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Dara Naraghi was born in Iran and educated in the United States. His graphic novel trilogy Persia Blues has been praised by Publishers Weekly and the Midwest Book Review, has been nominated for awards by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and won a S.P.A.C.E. Prize for best graphic novel. His other notable graphic novels include the Terminator Salvation official movie prequel, and Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland (both New York Times Bestsellers), as well as works for Image Comics, IDW Publishing, Dark Horse, and DC Comics. Dara is also a founding member of the comic book writers/artists collective known as PANEL, with whom he has produced 20 volumes of their comics anthology. Dara lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, daughter, and the world’s sweetest hound dog. Visit him online at http://www.daranaraghi.com/
Samuel Narh is a storyteller and a dreamer. He loves to paint stories with words. He aims at touching and moving people around the world with his stories.
Elizabeth Neal is a writer, editor, and digital strategist who lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband, daughter, and two rescue mutts.
Marilyn Nelson, a three-time finalist for the National Book Award, is one of America’s most celebrated poets. She is the author or translator of seventeen poetry books for adults and children, five chapbooks, and in 2014 she published a memoir, named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014, entitled How I Discovered Poetry—a series of 50 poems about growing up in the 1950’s in a military family, each poem stamped with a place and date from the many places they lived.
Image Journal writes, “American history as conceived by Marilyn Nelson is the inside-out, last-shall-be-first version. She inhabits the voices of the overlooked and disenfranchised and shines light into forgotten corners that reveal essential truths about the whole….But if she is a revisionist historian’s poet, she is also a child’s poet, a mother’s poet, a housekeeper’s poet, and scientist’s poet….It’s this breadth of perspective, from pole to pole, past to present, from spheres domestic to atmospheric, that make her so remarkable. Nelson is also an openhanded citizen of the nation of writers.”
Of her many collections, The Homeplace won the 1992 Annisfield-Wolf Award and was a finalist for the 1991 National Book Award. The Fields Of Praise: New And Selected Poems won the 1998 Poets’ Prize and was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Award, the PEN Winship Award, and the Lenore Marshall Prize. The poems in this collection embrace numerous themes, including the changing nature of love, racism, motherhood, marriage, and domesticity. Carver: A Life In Poems won the 2001 Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award, a Newbery Honor Book, and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Fortune’s Bones was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and won the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. Her young adult book, A Wreath For Emmett Till, won the 2005 Boston Globe Horn Book Award and was a 2006 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a 2006 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a 2006 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book. The Cachoiera Tales And Other Poems won the L.E. Phillabaum Award and was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award. In 2016, her poetry collection My Seneca Village won the LA Times Book Award in Young Adult Literature.
She has also published books for children and young adults including: American Ace, a historical novel that uncovers a richer understanding of race, identity, and each other (Penguin Random House, 2016); Snook Alone, a picture-book illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering (Candlewick Press, 2010); Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (Dial Books, 2009); The Freedom Business: Including A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa (Front Street, 2008); The Cat Walked through the Casserole and Other Poems for Children (with Pamela Espeland, 1984); and Halfdan Rasmussen’s Hundreds of Hens and Other Poems for Children (1982), which she translated from Danish with Pamela Espeland. In 2012, Faster Than Light: New and Selected Poems and Ostrich and Lark, a picture-book illustrated by San (Bushman) artists, were published.
Her honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 2019 Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, an A.C.L.S. Contemplative Practices Fellowship, the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Public Service, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Frost Medal-the Poetry Society of America’s most prestigious award, for a “distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.” Nelson is a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut; was (2004-2010) founder/director and host of Soul Mountain Retreat, a small non-profit writers’ colony; and held the office of Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001-2006.
Nelson’s book American Ace was included in the 2019 and 2020 Choose to Read Ohio list. Find out more here: https://library.ohio.gov/books/american-ace/
Megan Neville is a writer and educator from Cleveland, Ohio. She is the author of the chapbook Rust Belt Love Song, and her work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Cherry Tree, Longleaf Review, Belt Magazine, Noble/Gas Qtrly, Split Rock Review, and elsewhere. Her full-length manuscript was a finalist in the 2019 Write Bloody book contest. Follow her on Twitter @MegNev.
Judy Carey Nevin
JUDY CAREY NEVIN twice received a fortune from a NYC fortune cookie that read “You are a lover of words. You will someday write a book.” Judy never expected that fortune to come true, but the sale of her debut picture book, WHAT DADDIES LIKE, has sealed her fate. Her sensibilities lean toward texts for the very young, especially preschoolers. Judy works as a library director in Ohio, where she lives with her family. Please visit Judy at: http://www.judycareynevin.com
Mary Newman, PhD, MPA – Mary holds a PhD in Toxicology from the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, is a former professor at Ohio University, co-author (with husband John Kachuba) of Why is this Job Killing Me? (Dell, 1999) and numerous articles published in scientific journals, award-winning lily gardener, and wedding cake designer and baker. Mary lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her writer husband John Kachuba.
Susie Newman lives in Westerville, Ohio with her family. Following her lifelong dream of being a writer, Susie finds creative ways to write full-time. She is a licensed wedding and funeral celebrant, and started Simply I Do Ceremonies. Susie inscribes and performs customized ceremonies and personalized memorials. This job allows her to write the real everyday life and love stories and recite it to the ones involved. When Susie wanted to write a book about a haunted cafe, she took a job as a waitress in a cafe & bakery (Mozart’s in Clintonville) and began writing her inspirations and thoughts on a server pad, in-betweeen customers and shifts. What started out as chicken scratches on a waitress tablet is now the novel, Lost Souls Cafe.
Celeste Ng is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Everything I Never Told You (Penguin Press). Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, One Story, Five Chapters, Gulf Coast, The Millions, and elsewhere, and has won the Pushcart Prize.…Read More
Celeste Ng is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Everything I Never Told You (Penguin Press). Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, One Story, Five Chapters, Gulf Coast, The Millions, and elsewhere, and has won the Pushcart Prize. To learn more about her, visit celesteng.com or follow her on Twitter (@pronounced_ing). (Photo ©Kevin Day Photography)
Sarah Rose Nordgren
Sarah Rose Nordgren is a poet, teacher, and multiform text artist. Her two books of poetry are Best Bones (2014), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and Darwin’s Mother, which is recently released from University of Pittsburgh Press (November 2017).
Her poems and essays appear widely in periodicals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, and American Poetry Review, and she creates video and performance text art in collaboration with Kathleen Kelley under the name Smart Snow.
Among her awards are two winter fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, and fellowships and scholarships from the Sewanee and Bread Loaf Conferences, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.
Originally from North Carolina, Nordgren earned her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA in poetry from University of North Carolina Greensboro. She’s currently at the University of Cincinnati where she is a doctoral candidate in poetry with a certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Nordgren serves as an Associate Editor at 32 Poems.