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.
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Emily Spencer earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Boston University global writing fellow. Her debut award-winning book is East Walnut Hills (Zone 3 Press, 2021) and her chapbook Translate Neighbor is forthcoming. Her poetry has appeared in the Kenyon Review, POETRY, Modern Haiku, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere.
Visit her website at: https://emilyspencer.org/
Andrew Speno is a teacher and the author of “The Great American Foot Race,” as well as this year’s “The Many Lives of Eddie Rickenbacker.” He enjoys cooking, attending live music and theater performances, and playing Go. He lives with his family in Cincinnati.
Jeffrey F. Spieles
Jeffrey Spieles is an elementary schoolteacher in Englewood, Ohio. A nominee for the 2011 Ohio Teacher of the Year award, drama and storytelling have been major influences on his teaching style.
Tricia is the author of award-winning books for readers of all ages. Kirkus Review called her novel The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe “a perfect thing in the universe of juvenile literature”. Reader’s Digest listed Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures as one of The 100 Best Children’s Books Ever Written. She’s delighted to be at Ohioana to share her newest middle grade book, Looking for True, about the power of opening our hearts to others, whether they have two legs or four! Tricia lives and works in Cleveland Heights. Visit her online at triciaspringstubb.com
Kezia Sproat, a native of Chillicothe, raised her family in Columbus, teaching English and Comparative Literature at Ohio State, where her 1975 dissertation on Shakespeare immediately won a national competition. A member of Women’s Poetry Workshop for 25 years, she co-founded the Community Film Association in 1978, and coordinated a “Festival of Dionysus” poetry competition in City Council Chambers at the 1987 Greater Columbus Arts Festival. Dr. Sproat was editor at OSU Center for Human Resource Research 1978-1985; writer/editor, Creative Services at Abbott Labs 1987-1990; and coordinator, SCOPS South Central Ohio Preservation Society, 1993-2013.
In 1987 Dr. Sproat began a serious study of nonviolence and founded Highbank Farm Peace Education Center in 1994. Her response to 9/11, “A Short Course in Nonviolence,” won recognition from Morehouse College and membership in the Board of Sponsors of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel in Atlanta. A handbook, Beginning Nonviolence, appeared in 2013.
Tuwyn, her first book of poetry, was written during her Columbus years. In 1998 she restored her childhood home, where she lives in Chillicothe. A second poetry collection, Eh Tih Zwell, is set to release December 2019. Also in the pipeline are her collected essays, Sisterhood in Shakespeare.
Jyotsna Sreenivasan is the author of the short story collection These Americans and the novel And Laughter Fell From the Sky. Both are about Indian Americans. She was selected as a Fiction Fellow for the 2021 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her short stories have been published in literary magazines and anthologies. She received an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts. She was born and raised in Ohio. Her parents are immigrants from India. For information about Jyotsna as well as other writers who are children of immigrants, please see http://www.SecondGenStories.com.
Del’s cooking career began when he was just eight years old; creating dishes from whatever he could find in his father’s kitchen. By age of thirteen he was flaunting his culinary talents by preparing family dinners, much to his mother’s delight. After high school Del shelved his love for the kitchen and sold men’s clothing while he attended The Ohio State University School of Business. Selling suits and ties did not polish Del’s wing tipped shoes so he set out to pursue his passion, cooking. He landed a position at one of Columbus, Ohio’s premier vegetarian restaurants, The King Avenue Coffeehouse, and began to establish himself as a leader in the industry.
In 1997 Del opened his own bakery, Del’s Bread, where he created, prepared and served delicious vegan pastries, breads, potpies, calzones, smoothies and other sorted delicacies to the palate of his Columbus based clientele. In 2001, Del transitioned from his bakery business to start a vegan Personal Chef Service, preparing eclectic plant-based cuisine to his already captivated audience. During this time, he developed what became a very popular cooking class series, sharing many of the delicious recipes he had created over the years with his students. In 2006, Del joined Wellness Forum Foods as Executive Chef, where today he continues the tradition of delivering great tasting plant-based meals to clients locally and throughout the continental United States. Del continues to teach cooking and health classes and is a keynote speaker at local venues and events around the country.
Del is the author of Forks over Knives: the Cookbook, on the New York Bestseller list for more than 30 weeks; Better than Vegan, the story of his struggle with weight loss and gain, and how he managed to lose over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant based diet, and The China Study Quick and Easy Cookbook.
Catherine St. John
Catherine St. John is the owner and director of the Western Reserve School of Cooking located in Hudson, Ohio. She received her culinary training at Tante Maria’s Cooking School in San Francisco, California.
Linda Stanek has a passion for teaching, animals, and conservation. Her book, Cheetah Dreams (Arbordale Publishing), released in fall of 2018. Other books include award-winning Once Upon an Elephant (Arbordale Publishing) Night Creepers (Arbordale Publishing), Beco’s Big Year: A Baby Elephant Turns One, (Columbus Zoo and Aquarium), and more. She is the author of Sheeba and the Private Detectives (AZ Corp, 2018) a leveled comic book series that teaches STEM concepts to children in Pakistan. She is a co-author of college textbook Cheetahs: Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes (Academic Press, 2017). In addition to winning the Children’s Choice Book Award’s 3rd-4th grade Book of the Year, Linda’s books have been nominated for a number of other awards, and have been placed on state reading lists. Her book Once Upon an Elephant is a 2019-2020 Choose to Read Ohio title. She is a frequent visitor in schools, and has spoken at zoos and at conferences for museum personnel, librarians, teachers, and writers. In 2019, Linda will work with the Columbus Zoo and The Ohio State University on a scientific study to measure the impact of authors, literature, and ambassador cheetahs in schools.
Sherry Cook Stanforth, a native of Clermont County, Ohio, grew up in a circle of traditional Appalachian musicians who played dulcimers, guitars, fiddles, banjos and mandolins late into the night. Her singing, flute, tin whistle and harmonica styles were inspired by these old time jammers of her childhood. Over the years, she has performed regionally with Sunset Dawn and Tellico, a three-generation family band named for her father’s Tellico Plains Cherokee ancestry. “Of all the venues I play, the Fraley Festival of Traditional Music at Carter Caves, Kentucky, and my own back porch overlooking the Ohio River bring the most joy.”
As founder and director of Thomas More College’s Creative Writing Vision Program Sherry promotes regional authors, providing high-energy, interactive literary arts events for under-served populations in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky community. She teaches fiction, poetry, environmental and ethnic literature, and folklore, and often collaborates with TMC students to provide school and public events that blend creative writing with music and the natural world. Currently, she serves as co-editor for Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary journal of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative, and as faculty adviser for Words, the campus literary magazine.
Drone String, her first full poetry collection, was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Her other writing appears in various journals, anthologies, and NCTE books. She enjoys keeping bees, hiking mountains, and studying native plants. With her husband, David, she raises four children, two trusty hound dogs and a garden.