10 Local Writers to Explore — Akron Art Museum

Akron Art Museum
3 min readDec 4, 2020


Posted on Friday, December 4, 2020

This fall, the Museum commissioned ten writers to be inspired by the Museum’s collection for a piece of microfiction. These writings were then used as the source for a series of postcards used in the Akron Art Mail installation. Some of these writers were also featured in On Process, the Museum’s speaker series which highlights artists and writers and their interviews are available to watch on our YouTube channel. Explore these ten writers along with their written works and Akron Art Mail postcards featured on the Museum’s website.

  1. Theron Brown is a professor of Jazz Piano at Kent State University and a resident of Akron, Ohio. He is immensely involved in promoting jazz music and the arts and he is the founder of the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival. For more information on Theron, watch his On Process interview.
  2. Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (2020) and The Sound of Listening: Poetry as Refuge and Resistance (2018). He is a professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University. Watch his On Process interview for more information about his work.
  3. Thrity Umrigar is the best-selling author of the novels Bombay Time, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet, The Weight of Heaven, The World We Found, and The Story Hour. She is a Distinguished University Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
  4. David Hassler is the author or editor of nine books of poetry and nonfiction. He directs the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University. His play, May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970, was produced in 2020 as a national radio play by the WKSU NPR station. For more information on David, watch his On Process interview.
  5. Joanna Wilson draws upon her academic background in film history and philosophy to create insightful commentary on television, movies, and popular culture. She is the author of four books on Christmas entertainment. Watch her On Process interview for more information about her work
  6. Holly Christensen is an award-winning columnist at the Akron Beacon Journal and teaches writing at the University of Akron. She’s currently working on her memoir, Becoming the Mother I Wanted.
  7. Dr. Mary E. Weems is an accomplished author, poet, playwright, and social and cultural foundations scholar. She has authored thirteen books and her plays and excerpts have been published or produced for nearly two decades. For more information on Dr. Mary Weems, watch her On Process interview.
  8. Brad Warner grew up in Akron, Ohio and Nairobi, Kenya. He is the author of Letters to a Dead Friend About Zen, Hardcore Zen, and several other books. Watch his On Process interview for more information about his work.
  9. Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in 2017 and was named a book of the year by multiple publications including Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, and The Chicago Tribune.
  10. Mary Biddinger is a writer, editor, and professor who lives in Akron, Ohio. Her poems have recently appeared in Court Green, The Laurel Review, Poetry, Southern Indiana Review, and Sugar House Review, and her prose is forthcoming in On the Seawall.

Akron Art Mail is made possible with the generous support from the Huntington-Akron Foundation with additional support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust, KeyBank, Trustee.

Originally published at https://akronartmuseum.org on December 4, 2020.