Yellow Springs and The Arts

A sampling of people in the arts that came from or through Yellow Springs, Ohio

This is a work in progress. This is not intended to be a complete listing, but a reasonable representation of major contributors to the arts community who were also residents of the town. Please email any corrections, updates, additions, or suggestions to Tim Eschliman at

The Yellow Springs WRITING: [back to main index] The Yellow Springs

Virginia Hamilton (creative writer, YSO native)

Virginia Hamilton
"One of America's most distinguished writers of children's of more than 35 books for young readers, Hamilton was the recipient of every major award in her field, including the John Newberry Medal, three Newberry Honors, the National Book Award, the NAACP Image Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, the international Hans Christian Andersen "Nobel" Medal, the Edgar Allen Poe Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for her body of work. She was also the only writer of children's literature to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. A superb storyteller, Hamilton came from a multigenerational, extended family of 'tellers'."

An advocate and creator of "liberation literature," Hamilton grew up with an appreciation and knowledge of history, of generations and of books and writing. She eventually became a powerful force and contemporary pioneer of African-American literature and often drew upon her own heritage, as her grandfather Levi Perry and her great-grandmother Mary Cloud escaped from Virginia via the Underground Railroad to Ohio in the late 1850s.

As Hamilton wrote, 'Liberation literature ... makes us aware of how very precious is our own freedom. Reading about the struggle of those victimized by the American slavocracy serves to demonstrate through the story lines that all of us need to take care and keep a close watch over our liberty. One of the constant concerns of the literature is the unbroken line of communication - from writer to reader by word and deed, and understanding among free people, through all times.'"

-- excerpts from an article by the Yellow Springs News. See also
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Ed Ward (Music writer, Antioch alumnus)

Ed Ward
NPR Radio rock critic, Rolling Stone Reviews Editor, Creem music writer

Ed has studied music formally, and has played a variety of instruments since about the age of eight, including bass and Bb clarinets, saxes, keyboards, guitar, Hawaiian guitar, mandolin, etc. studied music at college and wound up teaching a freshman music course on popular music that became "one of the most popular courses on campus." (He never got a degree, however, because "they insisted I learn piano - which I hate - before I could take organ or harpsichord lessons.") First thing written was a review of Eric Andersen's first album delivered to his high-school girl friend "in the hopes of convincing her what shit it was." First item published was a review of Richard and Mimi Farina's first album in New York's "pinko songsheet" Broadside, in late 1965, "about a month after it occurred to me that instead of telling just my girl friend how bad Eric Andersen was (is), I could tell the world..." Doesn't really know how much he makes annually from his music writing, as most of it is done for Creem and "I don't insist that they pay me unless they have extra $$$." Best fringe benefit was "getting Jann Wenner to fly me, my dog, my books, records, and everything else from Dayton, Ohio to San Francisco, and advance me $800 to set up living quarters, and pay me $180 a week to be record review editor of Rolling Stone." Also cites the above experience as the worst fringe benefit received: "Fortunately, I was able to extricate myself after six months. It was a mixed blessing. I got some recognition etc., but I also had my head ***ed something fierce by the San Francisco hip Mandarin scene." Gets fan mail, love letters ("Just yesterday, as a matter of fact") and "a bushel" of hate letters "including a death threat from Jesse Edwin Davis."

-- biographical info from J. Montague Fitzpatrick used with permission from Rock's back Pages

Ward's place was jammed with more records than I had ever seen outside a record store, shelves full of the coolest books, and piles of promo rock paraphernalia (the stuff the PR departments used to send rock writers, like t-shirts, coffee mugs - that kind of thing). [He} wrote one of the greatest-ever pieces of writing about music, the essay "Dedicated To You," found in the Greil Marcus book "Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island." It was at Ed Ward's place where I first saw (and heard) the New York Dolls' debut album. Ed had very good taste!

-- biographical info courtesy of Michael Goldberg from Insider One - The Drama You've Been Craving

Ed Ward has been writing about popular music for nearly 35 years. He was an editor at Crawdaddy! Magazine in 1967, at Rolling Stone in 1970, and West Coast Editor of Creem Magazine from 1971-77. Moving to Austin, Texas in 1979, he became Rock critic at the local daily paper, while moonlighting for the alternative Austin Chronicle. After leaving the daily to write the first section of Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock and Roll, he also became involved in Austin's attempts to promote ts music industry, which led to the foundation of the South By Southwest Music and Mdia Conference in 1985. In that same year, he started as "rock historian" for National Public Radio's Fresh Air program, and continues in that capacity to this day. He moved to Berlin in 1993 and writes on a wide variety of topics for Mojo, The Wall Street Journal Europe, the New York Times, and many other publications. In addition, he founded the Berlin Information Group, a multimedia firm which provides information about Berlin in English through a website, news summary, and a monthly magazine. Check out his BerlinBites Blog.

-- biographical info courtesy of University of Delaware Department of English
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Suzanne Clauser (writer, screenwriter, YSO resident)

Suzanne Clauser

Photo coutesy of
Disc-Us Books
Suzanne Clauser was born in 1929 and grew up in a suburb near New York City. She attended Indiana University and was graduated in 1951 with a degree in American and British literature. In the same year, she married Charles Clauser, a graduate student finishing a Ph.D. in physical anthropology. In 1954 her husband was awarded a Fulbright Grant and the Clausers spent ten months in Burma and Rangoon. Eventually, the Clausers settled in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and in the early 1960's, Mrs. Clauser drew on her Asian experiences for her first successful writing effort, a travel reminiscence of India published in Blackwood's, a British literary journal.

After being published in Blackwood's, Mrs. Clauser began to write scripts for the BONANZA television series. Rod Serling, who came to Yellow Springs to teach a writing course at his Alma Mater, Antioch College, helped her sell her first script to BONANZA in 1964. During the next eight years, she supplied BONANZA with material regularly. By the time the series ceased production in 1972, BONANZA had accepted 13 Clauser scripts and produced 11.

Her first novel, A GIRL NAMED SOONER, was published by Doubleday and Company in 1972. It was well received and Mrs. Clauser was soon at work on its adaption to a full-length television movie. SOONER was shot on location in a small Southern Indiana town and aired in June of 1975. It received very high ratings as well as endorsements from the National Educational Association and the National Council of Churches.

Mrs. Clauser has written several highly regarded, full-length plays including PIONEER WOMAN (1974), THE FAMILY NOBODY WANTED (1974), GRANDPA AND FRANK (1977), a four-hour adaption of Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN (1978), and THE PRIDE OF JESSE HALLAM (1981), a story about adult functional illiterates which won an award for the best original television play for 1981.

Suzanne Clauser was a founder and serves on the Board of The Antioch Writers' Workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where she and her husband reside. In addition to being an award-winning writer of TV movies and miniseries, Clauser also created her own hourly primetime series. Her scripts have attracted a lengthy list of stars such as William Shatner, Johnny Cash, Jane Alexander, and Henry Fonda. The Clausers have traveled extensively in China, India, the Pacific and throughout Southeast Asia, and have lived in Rangoon and Upper Burma, where parts of her novel East of Mandalay take place.

-- biographical info with permsission, courtesy of Wright State Library Archives and Disc-Us Books
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Arnold Adoff (poet and anthologist, YSO resident)

Arnold Adoff

Photo coutesy of
Kent State
Arnold Adoff, poet and anthologist, has published more than 30 books in 30 years for young people and their older allies. His books have received numerous awards: most recently, an American Library Association Notable citation for "Street Music" and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults citation for "Slow Dance Heartbreak Blues." His latest book,"Love Letters," has received a Blue Ribbon Award from the "Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books" and is a "Riverbank Review" Children's Book of Distinction. Forthcoming collections of his poems are titled "Touch the Poem," illustrated by Lisa Desimini, "The Basket Counts," and "Jazzicals...". In 1988, Arnold Adoff was awarded, for the body of his work, the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. He travels around the country visiting young readers and writers in their schools, reading his poems and teaching poetry and creative writing. Commenting on his poetry, he has said, "I will always try to turn sights and sounds into words. I will always try to shape words into my singing poems." Arnold Adoff and his wife, Virginia Hamilton, live in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

-- article from Kent State
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Earle Reynolds (writer and director, former YSO resident)

Earle Reynolds

Photo courtesy UCSC
Earle Reynolds wrote a 3-part series of articles, "We Crossed the Pacific the Hard Way," for Saturday Evening Post, May 7, 14 and 21, 1955, co-authored "All in the Same Boat" (David McKay Co., Inc. 1962) about our circumnavigation on board the yacht Phoenix, which he designed and built, and authored "The Forbidden Voyage" (David McKay 1961), about our peace activities on the Phoenix and "The Center is Quaker," history of Quaker Center, Ben Lomond, California (self-published, 1985). He also wrote, produced and acted in plays at the YS Area Theatre in the 1940's: Solitude, No Pace for a Lady, Americana, Bite the Dust, I Weep for You.

-- info courtesy Jessica Renshaw

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Barbara Leonard Reynolds (writer, former YSO resident)

Barbara Leonard Reynolds

Photo courtesy UCSC
Barbara Leonard Reynolds authored the murder mystery, Alias For Death (NY: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1950), five children's books, four fiction and one non-fiction: Pepper (NY: Charles Scribner's Sons , 1952, won Jr. Literary Guild award) Hamlet and Brownswiggle (Ibid, 1954) Emily San, (Ibid, 1955; in Japanese translation by Chugoku Shimbun, 1995). Cabin Boy and Extra Ballast (Ibid, 1958) The Story of Leopons (with Dr. Hiroyuki Doi, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1967). She also co-authored All in the Same Boat (see above), wrote The Phoenix and the Dove (Japan: Nagasaki Appeal Committee, 1986) and had articles published in Parents Magazine, Mature Years, Quaker Life, The Dial and The Rainbow Generation and in the Long Beach (CA) P ress-Telegram and Reweaving the Web of Life: Feminism and Nonviolence (New Society Publishers, 1982).

-- info courtesy Jessica Renshaw

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Tim Reynolds (writer, YSO resident)

Tim Reynolds

Photo courtesy UCSC
Tim Reynolds had seven books of poetry published: -- Ryoanji (NY: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1964), Halflife (Cambridge: Pym-Randall Press, 1964), Catfish Goodbye (San Francisco: Anubis, 1967), Slocum (Santa Barbara: Unicorn Press, 1967), Que (Cambridge: Halty-Ferguson, 1971), The Women Poem (NY: Phoenix Book Shop, 1973), Dawn Chorus (NY: Ithaca House, 1980), and What Ever Happened, (nee IBM:IRT, Los Angeles: if publishing, 2000), as well as two plays: -- "The Tightwad" (translation of 'La"Avare' by Moliere, produced in YSO, 1978) --"Peace" (published in The Tenth Muse: Classical Drama in Translation, edited by Charles Doria, Swallow Press, 1980)... and poems in 54 magazines, among them The Antioch Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The Nation, Poetry and Saturday Review.

-- info courtesy Jessica Renshaw

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Ted Reynolds (writer, YSO resident)

Ted Reynolds

Photo courtesy UCSC
Ted Reynolds wrote numerous short stories for nine publications, the first of which was published when he was 13. He was a Hugo finalist twice, Locus award nominee three times; best 200-word story in Village Voice. His book, The Tides of God (NY: Ace Books, 1989), was translated into Italian and Russian, and was a Locus award nominee for Best First Novel, 1990)

-- info courtesy Jessica Renshaw

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Jessica Reynolds (writer, YSO resident)

Jessica Reynolds

Photo courtesy UCSC
Jessica Reynolds wrote Jessica's Journal, a diary written when she was 11 (NY: Henry Holt & Co. 1958), To Russia with Love (published in Japanese translation only. Tokyo: Chas. E Tuttle Co., 1962) and Gianna: Aborted and Lived to Tell About It (Colorado Springs: Focus on the Family Publishing, 1995 (under married name Jessica Shaver. Also published in Spanish and German) She also wrote Hundreds of articles, poems, devotionals and fiction published in multitudes of magazines, metropolitan newspapers, newsletters, books, such as Christianity Today, Human Life Review, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, South Coast Poetry Journal, Chicago Sun-Times, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Dayton Daily News, Houston Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald. She produced the play, "Lovest Thou Me?" at Multnomah School of the Bible, 1965 ans has two novels coming out with Pleasant Word (a subdivision of WinePress): Compelling Interests (under the name Jessica Shaver-Renshaw) New Every Morning (under my present married name. Jessica Renshaw).

-- info courtesy Jessica (Reynolds) Renshaw
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See also: Whitney Leblanc (director, producer, writer, stained glass artist, former Antioch faculty)

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Special thanks to: Nicholas Q Dewey, Rebecca Eschliman, The Yellow Springs News, Scott Sanders and Antiochiana, and John Armstrong, Wright State Archivist

For an overview of Yellow Springs Ohio history from 1803 to 2003, see the Yellow Springs News.

For info on the YSO Bicentennial (July 4, 2003) and YSO background info, see The Yellow Springs Historical Society.

Please email any corrections, updates, additions, or suggestions to Tim Eschliman at

-- Page last updated April 20 2013