What We Do · Writer-in-Residence

Dani McClain

A reporter and author whose work has been featured in Time, Slate and Ebony.com will serve as the Library Foundation’s Writer-in-Residence for 2020. Dani McClain is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and a fellow at the Type Media Center in New York. Her work centers on reproductive health, race and activism. 

McClain has been tapped to serve during 2020 as the Library’s literary ambassador to the community, and receives a $10,000 stipend thanks to the generous support of Naomi Tucker Gerwin and the Library Foundation. She’ll also host a monthly podcast, write blog posts, hold office hours and lead writing workshops.

“Dani McClain brings so much prestige to the Writer-in-Residence,” said Kathy Y. Wilson, author, University of Cincinnati Hall of Fame journalist, inaugural Writer-in-Residence, and member of the WIR Selection Committee. “She is an old-school, passionate, never-give-up journalist; she is a voracious and thirsty reader and she is proof that not all Cincinnati writers are steeped in fiction or poetry--which are fine unto themselves--but Dani scores a big one for narrative, long-form, nonfiction, reportage and memoir writing that shows others working on that ilk there is room for them at the Inn. And the Writer-in-Residence is meant to make room for us all,”

McClain grew up in Camp Dennison and, after graduating from Indian Hill High School, attended Columbia University for both her undergraduate and graduate work, earning a Master of Science from its prestigious School of Journalism. She has received numerous awards, including the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. She is the author of We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood and contributed chapters to Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence and Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. She lives in Northside.

The goal of the Writer-in-Residence program is to foster engagement between the Library and the community’s writers and readers by providing instruction on the craft of writing, both online and in-person. 

Connect with Dani

McClain is  scheduling events at the Library soon. Read McClain’s WIR blog posts on Blog.CincinnatiLibrary.org and her first Inside the Writer’s Head podcast appearance with 2019 Writer-in-Residence Jessica Strawser is Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Past Writers-in-Residence

Special thanks go out to the WIR Selection Committee: Mike Boberg, Emma Carlson Berne, Susan Cranley, Naomi Tucker Gerwin, Joe Hoffecker, Dan Hurley, Kate Lawrence, Blossom Smith, and Kathy Y. Wilson.