Happy Holidays from Ohioana

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With 2018 winding down, it’s time to look back on the past year and all that has been accomplished. For Ohioana, 2018 was filled with many memorable and record breaking events. Read about them below, and check out our photo gallery of Ohioana’s 2018 In Review!

Winter
• Governor John Kasich named 2012 Ohioana Poetry Book Award winner Dave Lucas of Cleveland as Ohio’s second Poet Laureate.
• The Ohioana Quarterly began its seventh decade of publication, with our winter cover story about the historic Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton, the sixth in our series of “Ohio’s Literary Landmarks.” The issue also featured a look at Ohio poets and poetry.
• Morgan Peters, previously our Mount Intern and part-time Program Assistant, became Ohioana’s full-time Program Coordinator, bringing Ohioana’s staff to four people for the first time since 2013.
• The official poster of the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival poster was unveiled, designed by Cincinnati artist and illustrator Christina Wald.
• Elizabeth (Libby) Vasey, a recent Bachelor of Music graduate of The Ohio State University, joined Ohioana as our 2018 Ruth Weimer Mount Intern.

Spring
• Ohioana and the State Library of Ohio jointly presented an event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of National Library Week and the kickoff the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival. The highlight of the event was the announcement of the 2019-20 Choose to Read Ohio list of twenty books. Nearly a dozen current and past CTRO authors attended, along with State Representatives Laura Lanese and Jay Lawrence.
• For the second consecutive year, the nationally-distributed comic strip Crankshaft, written by Tom Batiuk and illustrated by Chuck Ayers, featured characters at the Ohioana Book Festival for an entire week.
• The 12th annual Ohioana Book Festival was presented at the Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square on April 14. More than 120 Ohio authors participated, and our bookseller, The Book Loft of German Village, set a new festival sales record. Outreach and media activities helped the 2018 festival reach more than 50,000 people statewide.
• Thirty finalists were announced for the 2018 Ohioana Book Awards. The third annual Readers’ Choice Award was launched, inviting members and the general public to choose their favorite book among the finalists.
• Ohioana announced that the Columbus Metropolitan Library will be the new host venue for the Ohioana Book Festival, starting in 2019.

Summer
• Celeste Ng, Brian Alexander, Deanne Stillman, Ruth Awad, Sally Derby, and Tamara Bundy were announced as the juried winners of the 2018 Ohioana Book Awards. Tamara also was announced as the winner of the third Ohioana Readers’ Choice Award.
• Christopher Alexander Gellert of Cleveland was announced as the 2018 recipient of the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, awarded to an Ohio writer age 30 or younger who has not published a book.
• The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theater Research Institute at The Ohio State University, named in honor of the renowned and threetime Ohioana Award-winning playwrights, was profiled in the summer Ohioana Quarterly as our seventh “Ohio Literary Landmark.”
• Ohioana joined with more than twenty other organizations as a program partner for “I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100,” a centennial celebration of the historic literary and art movement.
• Governor Kasich appointed Brian M. Perera of Upper Arlington and re-appointed Carol Garner of Mount Vernon as members of the Ohioana Board of Trustees.

Autumn
• Ohioana Director David Weaver joined Two Dollar Radio HQ owner Erik Obenauf to talk about Columbus books and authors for WOSU’s “Columbus Neighborhoods,” hosted by Charlene Brown.
• The 77th annual Ohioana Awards were presented before a sellout crowd in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium on October 18. All the book award winners were present, while Marvin Grant winner Christopher Alexander Gellert appeared on video. Special guests included Ohio Poet Laureate Dave Lucas. The awards were streamed live by The Ohio Channel and can be viewed on their website: https:// www.ohiochannel.org/video/ohioanaawards-2018
• Ohioana held its 89th annual meeting at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Ellen McDevitt-Stredney was elected as a new trustee, joining re-elected board members Gillian Berchowitz, Louise Musser, John
Sullivan, and Jacquelyn Vaughan. Daniel Shuey, John Sullivan, Bryan Loar, and Jay Yurkiw were elected as officers for 2019-21.
• The fall issue of the Ohioana Quarterly profiled the 2018 Ohioana Book Award winners and featured a story by Marvin Grant recipient Christopher Alexander Gellert. There was also a two-part feature on the “I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100” project, including an interview with Larry James and Ohioana Award-winning author Wil Haygood, and a profile of two Ohio authors who were part of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes and Chester Himes, featuring rare items from the Ohioana Collection.
• Ohioana announced that children’s picture book illustrator Tim Bowers of Mount Vernon will design the official poster for the 2019 Ohioana Book Festival.

We are confident that 2019, Ohioana’s 90th anniversary, will be just as good. Happy holidays, and see you next year!

#GivingTuesday

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Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday, an inspiring day of generosity across the globe. We hope you’ll support your favorite nonprofit organizations, including the Ohioana Library Association.

Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2019, Ohioana connects thousands of readers with Ohio writers through programs including the Ohioana Book Festival, the Ohioana Awards, and the Ohioana Quarterly, and promotes our state as one of America’s great literary centers.

For #GivingTuesday, we are partnering once again with The Columbus Foundation to help you give AND receive! On #GivingTuesday, when you give to Ohioana and one or more other nonprofits through the Foundation’s Giving Store, you’ll receive a $20 Charitable Gift Card as part of the “Give Two on #GivingTuesday” promotion. Redeemable at any of the 1,000+ nonprofits in The Giving Store, these gift cards make excellent presents or stocking stuffers, and are a wonderful way to keep the good going this holiday season.

You can give directly to Ohioana by clicking on this link: https://columbusfoundation.org/the-giving-store/nonprofit-directory-listing/OhioanaLibraryAssociation/454

Please join us for another exciting annual day of giving.

Thank you in advance for your generosity . . . and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

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…and Ohioana is feeling thankful!

2018 has been a banner year for the Ohioana Library Association. To our supporters, partners, patrons, friends, volunteers, board, staff, and fans, we cannot thank you enough for continuing to support Ohioana year after year.

As we head into Ohioana’s 90th Anniversary year, we hope to continue to bring together Ohio readers and writers with the Ohioana Quarterly, events such as the Ohioana Book Festival in April, and much more. Watch this space for many exciting announcements to come in 2019!

Happy Thanksgiving from Ohioana and Cleveland native Dav Pilkey, author of the classic ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, read on YouTube by KK!

 

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Here in Ohio, we enjoy all things spooky. Did you know that Ohio is the state with the most annual haunted house attractions, with 111 in total? It seems that we love being scared, and that goes for our literature as well. If you’re looking for a good book to scare you on Halloween night, look no further. Below is a list of Ohio authors that specialize in stories about the dark and creepy to satisfy your need for thrills and scares.

Photo courtesy of Scholastic
  1. R. L. Stine

Few scary series are more iconic (or more chilling) than R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps. With over 230 books geared at grades 3-7, the Goosebumps series has something to scare everyone. Stine explores tales about everything from ghosts and werewolves to swamp monsters and mummies, and the books have even been adapted into a movie series.

 

Watch below to see R. L. Stine himself discussing the legacy of Goosebumps.

2. Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison was a master of sci-fi and speculative fiction, sometimes crossing into horror as well. He is the author of more than 1,700 stories, film and TV scripts, and our library specialist recommends that you start with the short story “I Have No Mouth but I Must Scream”.

3. James A. Willis 

If you’re looking for strange and spooky stories based on Ohio fact, James Willis probably has a book for you! He is the author of The Big Book of Ohio Ghost Stories and Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Investigating the Paranormal in the Buckeye State, among others. History and the paranormal mingle in Willis’s work, and are sure to prove fascinating to anyone familiar with some of Ohio’s notorious haunts.

4. Chris Woodyard

Since 1991, Chris Woodyard has been scaring residents of the Buckeye State with frightening stories that hit close to home. Make sure to explore her website, hauntedohiobooks.com, for tips on where to find ghosts in Ohio, how to write ghost stories of your own, and more.

5. Gary Braunbeck

Gary A. Braunbeck is a prolific author who writes mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mainstream literature. He is the author of 19 books and his fiction has received several awards, including the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction in 2003 for “Duty” and in 2005 for “We Now Pause for Station Identification”; his collection Destinations Unknown won a Stoker in 2006. His novella “Kiss of the Mudman” received the International Horror Guild Award for Long Fiction in 2005.

6. Lucy Snyder

Lucy A. Snyder is a five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, which should clue you in that she knows her stuff when it comes to scary stories! She wrote the novels SpellbentShotgun Sorceress, and Switchblade Goddess, and the collections While the Black Stars BurnSoft ApocalypsesOrchid CarousalsSparks and Shadows and Chimeric Machines. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Apex MagazineNightmare MagazinePseudopodStrange HorizonsWeird TalesScary Out ThereSeize the Night, and Best Horror of the Year.

7. Tim Waggoner

Shirley Jackson Award finalist Tim Waggoner has published over thirty novels and three short story collections of dark fiction. Most recently published is The Mouth of the Dark, the story of Jayce and his 20-year-old daughter, Emory, who is missing, lost in a dark, dangerous realm called Shadow that exists alongside our own reality. An enigmatic woman named Nicola guides Jayce through this bizarre world, and together they search for Emory, facing deadly dog-eaters, crazed killers, and — worst of all — a monstrous being known as the Harvest Man. But no matter what Shadow throws at him, Jayce won’t stop. He’ll do whatever it takes to find his daughter, even if it means becoming a worse monster than the things that are trying to stop him.

8. Laura Bickle 

Laura Bickle specializes in dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. She writes for adults and young adults, and her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

9. Josef Matulich

These aren’t your typical horror stories! Josef Matulich is a master of both laughs and scares, combing humor with horror. Some of his titles include The Ren Faire at the End of the World and 44 Lies by 22 Liars.

10. Dayna Ingram

Dayna Ingram writes science fiction horror for young adults. Of her latest book, Kirkus reviews writes, “”Ingram gives a nightmarish twist to the familiar YA formula of teenagers facing martyrdom by an oppressive society…. An absorbing and poignant YA dystopian fantasy with a convincing heroine.”

The “Dog Days” of Summer

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It’s hard to believe summer is almost over! Though the calendar says there are still a few weeks left, many Ohio schools are already back in session. With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of summer, we thought we would take a look at some great books to enjoy during these final “dog days” of summer.
Most people tend to think of the “dog days” of summer as those days that are the most hot and humid. However, this ubiquitous phrase has its origins in astronomy. The ancient Greeks were the first to notice that the “dog star,” Sirius, rose and set with the sun during July and August. They thought this was the reason for extra heat during that time of year.

Over time, this phrase has come into more common use to describe the type of steamy weather Ohio has seen for much of this summer, when many our canine buddies want to lie around and enjoy some fun in the sun (or shade!). Of course, dogs are not the only ones who like lounging on a hot summer day. Here are some great hot weather reads to help soak up the last few days of sun:

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Dog, Sun Dog by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by Tim Bowers
Meet Tinka – a dandy, sandy golden retriever, and the little boy who loves her, as they spend a busy, dizzy day at the beach. With rhyming text and adorable watercolors by Ohioan Tim Bowers, this is a story that the whole family will enjoy. Ohioana’s furry friend, Kirby thinks it’s a delightful “tail!”

Photo courtesy of KATHRYN POWERS

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

This debut novel by the 2017 Ohioana Readers’ Choice Winner is the perfect choice for a scorching summer day. It’s the tale of the summer of 1984, when a blistering heatwave baked the small town of Breathed, Ohio. Fielding Bliss never forgot that summer – the year he became friends with the devil.

ST. MARTINS PRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Summer with Maizon by Jacqueline Woodson
This first novel by Ohio native and 2018-19 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature tells the story of the beautiful friendship of Margaret and Maizon. The summer Margaret turns eleven, her father unexpectedly dies. Then Maizon is accepted at an expensive boarding school, far away from the place they have grown up together. This exploration of self-discovery and issues like racism and death is a realistic, touching look at the lives and friendships of young African-American girls, and their journey toward adulthood.

PUFFIN BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Common Summer: New & Selected Poems  by Robert Wallace
A collection of poems on the season, by the late, celebrated Cleveland poet Robert Wallace. Mary Oliver describes his poems: “Often they have a shimmering quality, as though light was held inside the lines.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Evil Summer (Fear Street #25) by R. L. Stine
In this fun entry from the Bexley native who has given kids nightmares for decades, it’s summer at the beach and Amanda Conklin is stuck in summer school. At least she doesn’t have to take care of her bratty little brother and sister – that’s Chrissy’s job. Chrissy is the perfect babysitter. But Chrissy has a secret – she’s a cold-blooded killer!

R.L. STINE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Survive a Summer by Nick White
This debut novel by OSU Assistant Professor Nick White centers around a gay conversion camp in Mississippi, and a man’s reckoning with the trauma he faced there as a teenager. It is the story of reconciling the past and learning from the present, of found family, and of working through trauma and grief to reclaim your own story from those who have stolen it.

BLUE RIDER PRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan
In this novel by 2018 Ohioana Book Award Finalist Erin McCahan, it’s the summer after senior year, and Briggs Henry is out the door. He’s leaving behind his ex-girlfriend and his parents’ money troubles for Lake Michigan and its miles of sandy beaches, working a summer job as a personal assistant, and living in a gorgeous Victorian on the shore. It’s the kind of house Briggs plans to buy his parents one day when he’s a multi-millionaire. But then he gets there. And his eighty-four-year-old boss tells him to put on a suit for her funeral. So begins a summer of social gaffes, stomach cramps, fraught beach volleyball games, moonlit epiphanies, and a drawer full of funeral programs. Add to this Abigail, the mystifying girl next door on whom Briggs’s charms just won’t work, and “the lake effect” is taking on a whole new meaning.

DIAL BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books are the best gifts

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It’s never too late to buy Yuletide/Holiday/Christmas presents. Even if you were to be abducted by aliens on December 24 and not released from the Mother Ship until December 26, you can always apologize to those on your Christmas list. They’ll understand, especially if you take a tip from the Wise Men and arrive bearing a gift. And what gift is better than a book?

And you can buy books everywhere — the grocery store, the drug store, large chain stores, at the airport, used book stores, thrift stores, art and craft stores, independent and chain book stores …. can you think of some other places that we missed?

And isn’t it wonderful to unwrap a book on a holiday morning? All of the noise is over and you can sit down and read. And if reading a new book on a holiday makes you happy, you know it will make your family and friends happy too.

Books: The perfect gift!

 

 

A Christmas to break your heart

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O. Henry in 1909.

If you look up the word “pathos” in the dictionary, you’ll find The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry.

Not really. But we consider that an oversight to be corrected.

Some people consider the story comic, what with the twist and all: the married couple each giving up something cherished in an attempt to give one another a significant and meaningful gift — only to wind up weirdly missing the mark.

How is that funny? It’s not. It makes you cry. They’re poor as church mice and at the end of it all, what do they have to show one another? Bupkis. Except for the love between them, of course.

One of Columbus’ most famous temporary residents was the author of that story.  O. Henry, the best-known pen-name of short story William Sydney Porter, spent three years in the Ohio Penitentiary on a charge of embezzlement. He’d been on the run and  hiding in Honduras, but when he learned his wife was dying of consumption (tuberculosis), he came back to the United States and faced a jury. Some of his stories were even published while he was jailed. The Gift of the Magi wasn’t one of those, but it is unarguable the most famous story written by this popular and prolific writer.

Porter died young, and we’re not sure if ever came back to Ohio after leaving the penitentiary in Columbus. Some folks say that his pen name came from his time behind those walls: “O. H.” from Ohio, and then “enry” from “penitentiary.” We think that’s a bit of s stretch but we’ll also take it.

If the story makes you cry or makes you smile, it is truly about the spirit of giving and really giving until it hurts. May the spirit of the season grow large and bright within you.

Kind of like Christmas: December 5

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King Gambrinus in Columbus, Ohio

He looks like a certain jolly old elf and he does bring gifts, but he’s not Santa. He’s King Gambrinus and he doesn’t have a special day, but maybe he should. We’d like to suggest December 5 because of its significance in United States History: it’s the day that Prohibition ended.

In 1933, after a less-than-successful run at being alcohol-free, America threw in the towel, effectively saying “Oh to heck with it,” and alcohol was again legal and could be sold, produced, transported, and generally enjoyed.

Our very own King Gambrinus statue in Columbus once adorned a brewery owned by August Wagner, a Bavarian brewer. The statue was saved even though the building is long gone, and his serene highness is now on display in Columbus’ Brewery District.

Beer is back in Columbus and all over Ohio with the rise of independent brewers. The later day beer barons and the fruits of their labors are celebrated in books like Ohio’s Craft Beers by Paul Gaston, published by Kent State University Press.  The latest addition to the genre of Ohio beer book includes Columbus Beer: Recent Brewing & Deep Roots by Curt Schieber.

King Gabrinus himself is less well-documented. He’s not exactly a god and certainly not a historic figure. He’s like Bacchus or any other merry reveler of myth; a personification of good times. With one leg up on a barrel and a foaming flagon held high, he reigns victorious over lesser beverages.

Our attitude is one of gratitude!

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Here at Ohioana, we have a lot to be thankful for. We’re thankful that we get to work with books and people who love them, just for starters. And on this day before Thanksgiving, we want to send a shout-out to some very special folks:

  • To the political leaders who approve our budget. Nonprofit organizations like ours need friends at the Statehouse. We promise to never let you down and to always live up to the trust you place in us to be good stewards of resources that form the backbone of Ohioana.
  • To the Ohio writers. You know how people use the word “literally” when they mean “figuratively”? This is not one of those times. We LITERALLY can’t do this without you and we just love you to pieces! Thank for your support as we strive to support you! And keep writing!

To the supporters, members, and volunteers. Because you subscribe to the Ohioana Quarterly, because you help out at the Book Festival, because you keep reading, we keep going. Thank you for all of your help in 2017!

To the Ohioana Board. Through thick, through thin, you folks are always there, moving us forward and getting into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to keep a nonprofit organization relevant and healthy. Thank you for all of the lunch meetings, suggestions, actions, and innovations.

To book publishing houses. Thank you for your generous gifts of books, promotional materials, author pictures and book cover images, books (we said books, right?) and cross-promotions. We love it when you follow us on social media, and we love to follow back.

To book sellers. Thank you for keeping the wheels of commerce rolling. We’re all in this together.

To the staff. What happens when you get a book-loving staff together with a bunch of political leaders, Ohio writers, supporters/members/volunteers, board members, publishers and books sellers? You get Ohioana.

Happy Thanksgiving!

An Ohio Halloween

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BOO! Did we scare you? Just a little?

It’s that time of year, when pumpkins get carved into jack-o-lanterns and everyone dresses up in great costumes to pretend to be someone (or something) else for a day. There’s plenty of scary stuff right here in Ohio, and fun stuff too — and serious stuff.

A recent article in the Columbus Dispatch, written by Nancy Gilson, featured the work of James Willis. James chases folklore, ghosts stories, and ghosts. He’s the author of three perfect Halloween books: Weird Ohio, The Big Book of Ohio Ghost Stories, and the most recent offering, Central Ohio Legends & Lore. You can follow him on Twitter at @GhostsofOhio to get all of the latest and greatest.

There’s plenty of book offerings in the category of cemeteries in Ohio as well, like Buried Beneath Cleveland: Lost Cemeteries of Cuyahoga County, by Wiliam Krejci. So if you are troubled by poltergeists, it could be that your house or your business is built over the top of a graves that didn’t get moved. Cemeteries that aren’t hidden  are spooky and creepy, for sure, and in older ones if you walk across the grave, the ground might sink under your feet a bit (so DON’T DO THAT! OMG!). But cemeteries  are also full of stories, and one of the few places that ordinary people can be memorialized for posterity.

So if you are looking for spooky thrills on the 31st, check the local paper and see if there’s still time to find a corn maze, a haunted tour, or that perfect pumpkin ready for carving!