Ohio and Ohio Valley writers and writing, literary and cultural history with occasional ventures into the greater Midwest and Upper South.

Congratulations, Graduate: Ernest Hemingway, Class of ’17

By buckeyemuse | June 14, 2017

Ernest Hemingway… What comes to mind when you hear the name? The famous author big-game hunting on the African savannah? The young aspiring writer in a Paris cafe, drinking cafe au lait and rum and writing about Michigan? The war correspondent on the front lines in the Spanish Civil War, or traveling with the U.S.…

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“A Long Thin Line of Personal Anguish”: Ernie Pyle on the Normandy Beachhead

By buckeyemuse | June 9, 2017

Ernie Pyle, born in Dana, Indiana on August 3, 1900, was one of the great American journalists of the twentieth century. He is one of the most famous correspondents of the Second World War, a man who riveted readers with his simple and direct accounts of life in the war zones and his skill at…

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“Spring” from Sherwood Anderson’s “Home Town”

By buckeyemuse | May 22, 2017

Sherwood Anderson published a book called Home Town shortly before departing for Latin America in March of 1941 to write articles for Reader’s Digest about Latin American nations and people. He was also traveling as a kind of unofficial goodwill ambassador for the U.S. State Department as the threat of war intensified for the United States. It…

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“Faithful to our God and Our Cause”: Ohio Soldiers Celebrate Passover, 1862

By buckeyemuse | April 14, 2017

On a spring night in West Virginia, twenty Union soldiers gathered in a log hut. Before them were cooked lamb and chicken, eggs, barrels of cider, strands of some bitter herb and stacks of matzos, the unleavened flatbread of Jewish tradition. These twenty men were Jewish soldiers of the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry gathered together…

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Stage Irish: Ernest Ball of Cleveland, Ohio and His “Irish” Songs

By buckeyemuse | March 23, 2017

It begins with a swelling orchestra that evokes a dramatic landscape suddenly coming into view, like a grand vista beheld from a mountain summit, and then come these words: “Tis a dear old land of leprechauns and wondrous wishing wells and nowhere else on God’s green earth are there such lakes and dells. No wonder…

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When Buddy Toured The Heartland

By buckeyemuse | February 3, 2017

February 1, 2016. Traffic rumbles past the enormous brick bulk of The Cincinnati Gardens on Seymour Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio. Three bas-relief sculptures depicting a basketball player, a hockey player and a boxer rise from the exterior brick walls on either side of the main entrance. Several high school boys carrying hockey sticks and large…

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Toni Morrison’s “Remember: The Journey to School Integration.”

By buckeyemuse | January 17, 2017

Not long ago I was in a local library’s children section and I came upon Toni Morrison’s 2004 children’s book Remember: The Journey To School Integration. I wasn’t aware of this book by Toni Morrison. Remember is the story of school integration geared towards younger readers and told through photos and text. In the text…

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1916: Some Books From A Century Ago

By buckeyemuse | January 1, 2017

As the year winds down I thought I’d take a look at some well-known books from a century ago: 1916. This list examines some works by important Midwestern writers, both fiction and nonfiction, and includes works by other authors from both the U.S. and overseas. I’ll start out here with a little background on the…

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In Autumn, In Ohio, Long Ago: Walt Whitman’s “Come Up From The Fields Father”

By buckeyemuse | November 22, 2016

I was leafing through the “Drum-Taps” section of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass a few years ago and reread many of the poems in this section, including “Come Up From The Fields Father.” As had happened many times before, I was moved by the compassion and tenderness that is present throughout this section of Whitman’s…

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