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
- Virginia Hamilton (creative writer, YSO native)
"One of America's most distinguished writers of children's literature...author
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 virginiahamilton.com
- Ed Ward (Music writer, Antioch
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
- Suzanne Clauser (writer, screenwriter, YSO
- 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
- Arnold Adoff (poet and anthologist, YSO
- 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
- Earle Reynolds (writer and director, former YSO
- 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
- Barbara Leonard Reynolds (writer, former YSO
- 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
- Tim Reynolds (writer, YSO
- 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
-- "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
info courtesy Jessica Renshaw
- Ted Reynolds (writer, YSO
- 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
info courtesy Jessica Renshaw
- Jessica Reynolds (writer, YSO
- 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
- See also: Whitney Leblanc
(director, producer, writer, stained glass artist, former Antioch faculty)
|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
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