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Inside the Writer's Head
13 minutes | 2 months ago
Season 5, Episode 10: Dani McClain
In this episode of our “Inside the Writer’s Head” podcast, Dani McClain reflects on her time as Writer-in-Residence in a tumultuous year, and announces that her residency has been extended through 2021!
39 minutes | 3 months ago
Season 5, Episode 9: Gabriela Godinez Feregrino
In this episode of our “Inside the Writer’s Head” podcast, Dani McClain speaks with Streetvibes editor Gabriela Godinez Feregrino. Gabriela graduated from Ohio University in May of 2018 with a communications degree in media. In school, she studied media production with an emphasis on social change, and also finished a minor in English. She worked at the Ohio University LGBT Center where she found her love for working with and for the community around her. Her previous employment taught her how to speak on panels, teach advocacy, and grass roots organizing. She knows the importance of advocacy and hopes to spend her life working in this sort of field. She has always been a writer and she was incredibly excited when she found out that we were hiring a new editor—she jumped at the opportunity. She feels it’s a privilege to work for this paper as well as an incredible responsibility. She hopes to showcase as many voices from the community as she possibly can.
45 minutes | 4 months ago
Season 5, Episode 8: Gavin DeVore Leonard
For the latest episode of “Inside the Writer’s Head,” Writer-in-Residence Dani McClain interviews Gavin DeVore Leonard. He’s the Executive Director of Ohio Voice, Ohio's 501(c)(3) civic engagement table, a job title that he breaks down for us early in our conversation. They discuss the 2020 election, voting, and more.
39 minutes | 5 months ago
Season 5, Episode 7: Gregory Kornbluh
In this episode of our “Inside the Writer’s Head” podcast, Dani McClain speaks with bookstore owner Gregory Kornbluh. They discuss his vision and goal for opening a book store, adapting to COVID-19, and more. A product of Sands Montessori and Walnut Hills High School, Kornbluh got his start in bookselling while doing graduate work in American Studies at UMass Boston. He went on to spend a decade in the Sales & Marketing Department of Harvard University Press, a leading publisher of nonfiction in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, where he worked closely with authors, booksellers, librarians, and media members to help new books and ideas find their audience. After thirteen years on the East Coast, he returned home in November 2018 and opened Downbound's doors late the following year.
56 minutes | 7 months ago
Season 5, Episode 6: Luna Malbroux
In this episode of our “Inside the Writer’s Head” podcast, Dani McClain speaks with comedian Luna Malbroux. They discuss one of Malbroux's recent performances that speaks to sex, power, desire, and also about this moment of national uprisings and police violence against Black bodies, and so much more. Named one of KQED's Women to Watch, Luna Malbroux is a comic, writer, and creator of the award-winning play, "How to Be A White Man". Winner of the Comedy Hackday Grand Prize at SF Sketchfest, Luna has made international headlines as the creator of EquiTable, an app that satirically solves the wage gap by creating 'reparations, one meal at a time.' A regular contributor to national publications, Luna has been featured on Fusion TV, AJ+ and Refinery 29. Tastefully crude, Luna is also the host and creator of the live and recording ongoing comedy talk-show, Live Sex. Originally from Louisiana, Luna has dazzled audiences all across the United States with her Southern charm mixed with her bold humor a feature at festivals and clubs alike.
41 minutes | 9 months ago
Season 5, Episode 5: Nick Swartsell
In this episode of our “Inside the Writer’s Head” podcast, Dani McClain speaks with local journalist Nick Swartsell. Nick Swartsell has been staff writer and news editor at CityBeat Cincinnati for six years. He is currently furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but continues to contribute to CityBeat on a regular, pro-bono basis until he can resume full time paid work. Originally from Hamilton, Ohio, Nick completed an undergraduate degree in English and Political Science at Miami's Hamilton, Middletown and Oxford campuses. Shortly after he graduated, he began freelancing for various publications, including a community press covering township government in nearby Fairfield Township. He completed two years of the Americorps Public Ally program in Cincinnati before pursuing a masters degree in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. While in Texas, he interned for The Texas Observer and The Texas Tribune, writing stories about everything from a heated political battle over an indigenous cultural site in the Texas hill country to cancer cases around a nuclear waste facility near the New Mexico border. He completed his masters thesis on media coverage in neighborhoods undergoing economic and demographic change and subsequently spent a year covering Congress and federal agencies for The Dallas Morning News in its Washington, DC bureau before returning to Cincinnati for a job at CityBeat. Nick's primary areas of coverage include law enforcement and the justice system, housing, systemic and individual issues around poverty, development and urban land use, transportation and breaking news, including coverage of protests, the 2016 RNC in Cleveland, the 2018 Fountain Square mass shooting and the COVID-19 crisis. Nick currently lives in an 11-person intentional community in Mount Auburn.
48 minutes | a year ago
Season 5, Episode 4: Tim’m T. West
In this episode of our “Inside the Writer’s Head” podcast, Dani McClain speaks with acclaimed artist and advocate Tim’m T. West. They discuss self-care in quarantine, moving back to Cincinnati, West's poetic memoirs, and more. Tim’m T. West is an educator, poet, youth advocate, and hip-hop artist who has spent decades traveling the nation, speaking about issues at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and social justice. A graduate of Duke University (BA), The New School for Social Research (MA) and Stanford University (MA), he is the author of several books and hip-hop projects and is widely anthologized. He has also appeared in multiple documentaries at the intersection of hip hop and black masculinity. Prior to joining Teach For America in 2014, Tim’m served as inaugural faculty at Oakland School for the Arts, impacted educational outcomes as an English teacher and basketball coach at Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy, and more recently as Director of Youth Services at Chicago’s Center on Halsted. A Board member of the LGBT Institute located at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Tim’m was named one of 31 icons during LGBT History Month in October of 2015. Tim’m currently leads Teach For America’s national LGBTQ+ Community Initiative, advancing safer and braver classrooms for LGBTQ educators and students in grades preK-12.
37 minutes | a year ago
Season 5, Episode 3: Daisy Hernández
In this episode of “Inside the Writer’s Head” Dani McClain chats with her friend and colleague, author Daisy Hernández. They discuss memoir writing and the nature of memory, language, the differences between creative writing and journalism, the Midwest, and more. Daisy Hernández is the author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and co-editor of Colonize This: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. The former editor of Color Lines magazine, she has reported for The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Slate, and has written for NPR’s All Things Considered and Code Switch. Her essays and fiction have appeared in Aster(ix), Bellingham Review, Brevity, Dogwood, Fourth Genre, Gulf Coast, Jute, and Rumpus, among other journals. A contributing editor for the Buddhist magazine Tricycle, Hernández is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at Miami University in Ohio and is currently teaching at Vanderbilt as the visiting writer in nonfiction for the Spring 2020 semester.
33 minutes | a year ago
Season 5, Episode 2: Jan-Michele Lemon-Kearney
In this episode, McClain and Jan-Michele Lemon-Kearney, who gave McClain her first journalism job in 1997, discuss journalism, the history of the Black press, publishing, objectivity, the upcoming 2020 election, and more. Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney is the president of Sesh Communications, publisher of award-winning The Cincinnati Herald, The Northern Kentucky Herald, The Dayton Defender, seshPRIME magazine, and more. She is also the co-host of WLWT Channel 5’s “Let’s Talk, Cincy” weekly public affairs program and a realtor and attorney in private practice. Before joining Sesh, Ms. Lemon Kearney practiced law with the firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister before branching out into a solo law career. She was born in Cincinnati and attended Rockdale elementary school and Walnut Hills High School. She graduated cume laude from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. While there, she attended an exchange program at an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama. She earned a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and was selected first class marshal of her law school class and gave the commencement speech at graduation. Ms. Lemon Kearney is married to former state senator Eric H. Kearney, Esq. who now is the president of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce and they are blessed with two children.
43 minutes | a year ago
Season 5, Episode 1: Kathy Y. Wilson
Welcome to season 5 of Inside the Writer’s Head with our 2020 Writer-in-Residence, Dani McClain! In her inaugural episode, McClain sits down with local author Kathy Y. Wilson, who was the Library’s first Writer-in-Residence in 2014 and a friend and mentor of McClain. Together they discuss everything from writing, health, the marginalization of the voices of Black women and girls, art, and more. Wilson is an acclaimed writer, performer, educator, and art collector, largely known for her provocative column “Your Negro Tour Guide”. Her column was published for eight years from 2000-2005 and again from 2013-2016 in Cincinnati’s alt-weekly City Beat. “Your Negro Tour Guide” was later adapted as a book and a one-woman play. In addition to her multiple creative iterations of “Your Negro Tour Guide”, Wilson has received national exposure through her NPR commentaries on All Things Considered and has been a contributing writer for the monthly Cincinnati Magazine, developing longer-form content about challenging Cincinnati issues and local profiles. She’s also taught writing as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati. Wilson has won accolades for her writings from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, the Cleveland Press Club, and the Associated Press Society of Ohio. Twice, a fellow for the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of Maryland, she was also a finalist for a National Magazine Award for her profile on Cincinnati-based conservative talk radio host Bill Cunningham. In September of 2014 the Library Foundation named Kathy Y. Wilson its inaugural Writer-in-Residence. In May of 2016, Wilson received the Rosa F. and Samuel B. Sax Fund Prize awarded by secret committee giving recognition to her many contributions to Cincinnati’s cultural life and civic discourse.
43 minutes | a year ago
Season 4, Episode 10: Dani McClain
In this episode of Inside the Writer's Head, Jessica Strawser introduces us to her successor here at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 2020 Writer-in-Residence Dani McClain. Known for her in-depth reporting on race and reproductive health, Dani McClain is a contributing writer at The Nation and a fellow with Type Media Center (formerly the Nation Institute). Her writing has appeared in Time, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Colorlines, EBONY.com, The Rumpus, and other prestigious outlets. Her work has received a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, as well as recognition by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, and elsewhere. A former staff reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, McClain has worked as a strategist with organizations including Color of Change and Drug Policy Alliance. Her book, We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood, was published April 2019 by Bold Type Books. In this episode, they discuss McClain's path to finding her voice as a writer, making it heard, coming back to her Cincinnati hometown as a mother, and what she has in store for the Library community in the year ahead.
48 minutes | a year ago
Season 4, Episode 9: Gabe Kea
Comedian Gabe Kea's unbridled enthusiasm for entertaining audiences is what truly sets him apart. With a personality as big as his 6'5" frame, Gabe melds well-crafted, storytelling-based jokes with his comedic physicality to create an unforgettable show. Gabe started performing in St. Louis after spending most of his youth living in both the United States and Canada. He eventually relocated to southwestern Ohio, where he won the "Funniest Person in Cincinnati" contest. He has made several appearances on the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom Show, has opened for Joel McHale at Gilda's Laugh Fest, and is a regular here in town at Go Bananas Comedy, The Funny Bone, and elsewhere. He has also been featured in various comedy Festivals; Limestone in Bloomington IN, Laughing Skull in Atlanta GA, the Flyover in St. Louis MO, and of course Cincy Brew Ha-Ha. In this episode of Inside the Writer's Head, Gabe joins Writer-in-Residence Jessica Strawser to delve into what writers and comedians can learn from one another, how humor can enhance any type of storytelling, and how to get your message across in an entertaining way.
50 minutes | a year ago
Season 4, Episode 8: James Patterson
A few weeks ago, our Writer-in-Residence Jessica Strawser had the honor of joining the world’s #1 bestselling author James Patterson onstage, in front of a packed audience of readers of all ages, at the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts. No ticket? No problem! We’re pleased to bring you the live theater recording of their conversation as this month’s very special episode of Inside the Writer’s Head! Listen as they discuss Patterson’s three newest releases—the adult thriller Killer Instinct (coauthored with Howard Roughan), the middle-grade adventure novel Max Einstein: Rebels With a Cause (coauthored with Chris Grabenstein), and the picture book Bigger Words for Little Geniuses (coauthored with his wife, Susan Patterson)—what it was like collaborating with President Bill Clinton, what’s up next from him (Hint: Alex Cross fans with young readers on your gift list should be very excited!) and much more.
45 minutes | 2 years ago
Season 4, Episode 7: D.M. Pulley
In this episode of “Inside the Writer’s Head,” our Writer-in-Residence Jessica Strawser chats with D.M. Pulley about her experiences behind the scenes in Amazon Publishing, the historical real-life inspiration behind her suspenseful new release, and more. D.M. Pulley lives just outside of Cleveland with her family. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a professional engineer, rehabbing historic structures and conducting forensic investigations of building failures. It was a structural survey of a vacant building in Cleveland that inspired her debut novel, The Dead Key, which was the grand-prize winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The book, a dark, haunting thriller, went on to be published by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint and to date has a staggering 10,000+ reviews on the site (with a 4+ star average). She has since published three other stand-alone novels in a similar vein: The Buried Book, The Unclaimed Victim, and No One’s Home (debuting on September 1). Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @DMPulleyAuthor and on Instagram @d.m.pulley.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
Season 4, Episode 6: Kristen Lepionka
Kristen Lepionka is the author of the Roxane Weary mystery series, hailed as rebooting and expanding the hardboiled genre thanks to its "private eye with little concern for her own safety (or the gender of her shifting sexual partners)" (True Crime Addict's James Renner). Her debut, "The Last Place You Look," won the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. novel and was also nominated for Anthony and Macavity Awards. Her follow-up, "What You Want to See," hit shelves last summer, and this July brings the latest installment: "The Stories You Tell" (all from Minotaur Books). Kristen's writing has been selected for Shotgun Honey, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Grift, and Black Elephant. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner and two cats. Visit kristenlepionka.com.
37 minutes | 2 years ago
Season 4, Episode 5: David Bell
David Bell (davidbellnovels.com) is the USA Today-bestselling author of eight suspense novels from Berkley/Penguin, including 'Somebody's Daughter', 'Bring Her Home', 'Since She Went Away', 'Somebody I Used to Know', 'The Forgotten Girl', 'Never Come Back', 'The Hiding Place', and 'Cemetary Girl'. His new psychological thriller, 'Layover', is due out July 2, and you can see him discuss the novel in person at Joseph-Beth Booksellers on Monday, July 8. He is an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University where he directs the MFA program in creative writing. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he spends his free time rooting for the Reds and Bengals, and confusing fellow fans by being named David Bell while rooting for the Reds and Bengals. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with his wife, writer Molly McCaffrey. In this episode of “Inside the Writer’s Head,” our writer-in-residence host Jessica Strawser chats with David about the page-turning premise of Layover—which begins with a memorable encounter in an airport—what makes a good thriller, the perks of being married to a fellow writer, and much more.
40 minutes | 2 years ago
Season 4, Episode 4: Sonali Dev
Award winning author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after. Her books—including "A Bollywood Affair", "The Bollywood Bride", "A Distant Heart", and "A Change of Heart"—have been on NPR, Washington Post, Library Journal, and Kirkus Best Books of the year lists, but Sonali is most smug about Shelf Awareness calling her “Not only one of the best but also one of the bravest romance novelists working today.” Her latest novel, Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors—a multicultural, gender-swapped reimagining of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice—released from William Morrow on May 7, 2019. Sonali lives in Chicagoland with her very patient and often amused husband, two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog. Find more at sonalidev.com.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
Season 4, Episode 3: Meg Leder
Meg Leder is a Cincinnati native who now lives in Brooklyn, New York, working as an Executive Editor at Penguin Books, where she oversees many of their lead nonfiction titles. She is also a talented author of both nonfiction and young adult fiction. Her debut YA novel, "The Museum of Heartbreak", takes a heartfelt look at the artifacts our relationships leave behind. Her most recent novel, "Letting Go of Gravity", is a moving coming-of-age story set here in Cincinnati—now available in hardcover and forthcoming in a new paperback edition this July. She is also the coauthor of several nonfiction books for teens and adults. In this candid conversation, she offers insight into how editors think, what gives writing its spark, and what it meant to her to bring her hometown to life for a new generation of readers.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
Season 4, Episode 2: Laurie Halse Anderson
In this episode of Inside the Writer's Head, Jessica speaks with non-fiction author Laurie Halse Anderson about her new book "Shout," the impact of sexual assault, and the power of telling stories about it. Content Warning: This article podcast deals with topics pertaining to sexual violence that may be sensitive for some.
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