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.
A product of parochial schools and the social & political upheavals of mid-20th century America, Columbus native Steve Abbott has been a community activist, alternative newspaper writer and editor, criminal defendant, delivery truck driver, courtroom bailiff, private investigator, unemployed stepfather, social-service PR director, and college professor. He was a founding member in 1984 of The Poetry Forum—now the Midwest’s longest-running poetry series—and continues to co-host the weekly event at Bossy Grrls Pin-Up Joint in Columbus. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in English of Columbus State Community College. His poems have appeared in dozens of literary journals as well as in several anthologies. He received an Ohio Arts Council Excellence Award in Poetry in 1993 and the following year was the first writer to be awarded an OAC residency at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. He has presented readings throughout the eastern United States.
He has two full-length poetry collections. A Green Line Between Green Fields (Kattywompus Press) was published in 2018, and A Language the Image Speaks, a collection of ekphrastic poems (responses to visual art), was released by 11thour Press in September 2019. He also has five chapbooks: A Short History of the Word (1996) and Greatest Hits (2004), both from Pudding House; The Incoherent Pull of Want (NightBallet Press) and Why Not Be Here Now? (11thour Press) in 2016; and Kicking Mileposts in the Video Age (Moria Poetry, 2017). He has also recorded a live reading on CD titled Stardust in Franklin Park. He edited the anthologies Cap City Poets (Pudding House, 2008), a collection of 74 central Ohio poets, and Everything Stops and Listens (OPA Press, 2013), containing work by members of Ohio Poetry Association. He also edits Ohio Poetry Association’s annual journal Common Threads, and in 2015 he represented the OPA on the Ohio Arts Council panel selecting Ohio’s first Poet Laureate.
Anneliese Abbott grew up on a small Michigan farm. Her research on the history of Malabar Farm began while studying plant and soil science at the Ohio State University. She recently received a University Fellowship to begin graduate research on the history of organic/sustainable farming in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, was released in June 2016 from Button Poetry. It was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize, and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. With Big Lucks, he released a limited edition chapbook, Vintage Sadness, in summer 2017 (you cannot get it anymore and he is very sorry.) His first collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in winter 2017 by Two Dollar Radio and was named a book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Paste, CBC, The Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, and The Chicago Tribune, among others. He released Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest with University of Texas press in February 2019. The book became a New York Times Bestseller, was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and was longlisted for the National Book Award. His second collection of poems, A Fortune For Your Disaster, was released in 2019 by Tin House, and won the 2020 Lenore Marshall Prize. In 2021, he released the book A Little Devil In America with Random House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the The PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. The book won the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the Gordon Burn Prize. Hanif is a graduate of Beechcroft High School. Check out his website: http://www.abdurraqib.com/
Lisa Abraham is a columnist and food writer for the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper in Akron, Ohio. A native of Niles, Ohio, she is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Abraham is the recipient of numerous writing and reporting awards and has been named best food columnist by the Association of Food Journalists and was twice named best lifestyle columnist in the Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards.
A newspaper writer in Ohio for more than twenty-five years, she previously worked for The Blade in Toledo and the Tribune Chronicle in Warren. Her work regularly appears in newspapers across the country through the McClatchy-Tribune news service. When she’s not working, Abraham can be found at home in her kitchen, cooking up food and fun with her husband, Richard Hart.
Ian Adams is a landscape photographer, writer and educator specializing in Ohio’s natural, rural, historical and garden areas. Twenty-one books of his color photography have been published, including his most recent, A Photographer’s Guide to Ohio – Volume 2, which was released by Ohio University Press in April, 2015 and a centennial edition of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, published by the University of Akron Press in May, 2015. Ian has produced more than 60 Ohio calendars and conducted over 200 seminars and workshops in nature, garden, and digital photography throughout North America. He is an adjunct lecturer at Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio where he teaches digital photography. Ian shares a home in Cuyahoga Falls with two cats, Fuji and Spicer, and an assortment of cameras. Find him online at http://ianadamsphotography.com.
Deanna R, Adams
DEANNA R. ADAMS is an award-winning writer, speaker, instructor, essayist and author of eight books, both fiction and nonfiction. She is the “Book Whisperer” at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library’s Writer’s Center, coordinates the Western Reserve Writers’ Conference and teaches online writing courses for the Pennwriters organization. Her web site is http://www.deannaadams.com. She received an Ohio Excellence in Journalism Award in 2009.
Deanna’s first book, Rock ’n’ Roll and the Cleveland Connection (Kent State University Press, 2002), was named a finalist for the Ohioana Award for nonfiction, and the ARSC Award (Association for Recorded Sound Collections) for excellence in research. Other books include Confessions of a Not-So-Good Catholic Girl. Peggy Sue Got Pregnant, Scoundrels & Dreamers, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Roots, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Venues, and The Writer’s GPS: A Guide to Writing & Selling Your Book. Her latest novel is The Truth about Justyce, to be released in April 2020. Deanna’s email address is Deannawrites10@gmail.com
Gloria G. Adams spent most of her career as a children’s librarian and storyteller. She has been published in books and magazines, along with a picture book, Ah-Choo! with co-author Lana Wayne Koehler, published by Sterling Children’s Books in 2016. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and she has three non-fiction titles published through Rosen, Enslow, and Greenhaven Press. She is a partner, with author Jean Daigneau, in a manuscript editing company, Two-4-One Kid Critiques, LLC.
Frederick Luis Aldama
Frederick Luis Aldama, aka Professor Latinx, is an award-winning author, co-author, editor, and coeditor of over 48 books. He is author of several children’s books, including The Adventures of Chupacabra Charlie (published in English and Spanish) and Con Papá / With Papá as well as co-creator of the animation short, Carlitos Chupacabra, currently on a world film festival tour. In 2022 he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters and the Ohio State University’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion Hall of Fame.
I was born and raised in Lancaster, Ohio, home to the best county fair in the state, birthplace of William Tecumseh Sherman (sorry, Atlanta) and his brother John (author of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act). My grandfather, who knew both his churches and his bars, used to say that Lancaster had more of both than any town he’d ever seen. My mother and father met in Normandy, in 1944. She was an officer. He wasn’t. After the war they got married. My dad became a salesman. My mom became a mom. I have two brothers. I competed in sports that don’t impress girls — swimming, track, cross country. I voted in the great Rabbit v. Trix election, in favor of the Rabbit. I served a term as president of the Fairfield County Teenage Republicans. I’m pretty sure the other members elected me so they’d have more time to make out with each other. After crushing my mother with the news that I was not going to law school, I became a writer like I’d always wanted. I wrote my first short story at age five. It was supposed to be about Dan’l Boone, but if you were to read it you’d say it’s really more about Fess Parker and Ed Ames. Since then, I’ve written for many magazines and newspapers like The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Science, Outside, Esquire, and MIT Technology Review. I spent five years as Glamour magazine’s Jake columnist, then became a contributing editor there. I was also a contributing editor at Wired where I covered biotechnology. Today I write books, mostly, and contribute to the Atlantic as well as Outside and other magazines. A reporter once asked me why I write what I write. I wanted to say something all vision-y and wound up giving an embarrassingly pretentious answer. I write what I write in hopes you’ll be interested. I am. Things get under my skin and I need to scratch.
I once won an altar boy award. I’d like to say it was because of excellent incensing, or candle lighting, but it was mainly for showing up. I also won an essay contest in the eighth grade. They gave me a $25 U.S. savings bond. I’ve been a finalist for the National Magazine Award, and been recognized by the John Bartlow Martin Award for public interest journalism administered by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. I’ve also been honored with the Ohioana Book Award for non-fiction, Books By the Banks book festival, and been a finalist for the California Book Awards. Addiction to good movies, mainly old ones, is a monkey on my back. I surf. I drink my own cocktails. I’ve spent years trying to learn blues harp, so if someday you see me standing on a corner wailing “Hootchie Cootchie Man,” drop a few shekels in the hat, OK?
Check out his website: https://brianralexander.com/
Kazim Ali is a poet, essayist, fiction writer and translator.
His books include several volumes of poetry, including Sky Ward (Wesleyan University Press, 2013), The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award, The Fortieth Day (BOA Editions, 2008), and the cross-genre text Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities (Wesleyan University Press, 2009). He has also published a translation of Water’s Footfall by Sohrab Sepehri (Omnidawn Press, 2011), and (with Libby Murphy) L’amour by Marguerite Duras (Open Letter Books, 2013). His novels include Quinn’s Passage (blazeVox books), named one of “The Best Books of 2005″ by Chronogram magazine and The Disappearance of Seth (Etruscan Press, 2009), and his books of essays include Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence (University of Michigan Press, 2010), Fasting for Ramadan (Tupelo Press, 2011).
He is an associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College.