Athens County Community Members Win Ohio Arts Council Awards

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Two members of the Athens community recently received Ohio Arts Council Awards for their writing.

Ohio University assistant professor of English Kevin Haworth and his wife Rabbi Danielle Leshaw received five-thousand dollars each for Individual Excellence awards.

Haworth's piece is an essay collection, Famous Drownings in Literary History.

Haworth says the piece centers around stories of parenting, both in Southeast Ohio and in Israel.

He says he has spent a great deal of time in both places and is able to draw many parallels.

"It's also interesting to raise children in an environment like this," Haworth said. "It's very rural in some ways but there's really interesting opportunities for them as well. And then to contrast that with some of the essays that take place in Israel which is really different, that's a nice mix."

Leshaw's piece is also focused on Southeast Ohio and Jewish culture, however, her piece is a novel rather than nonfiction.

Haworth says as a couple they help each other out and share ideas.

"I read a lot of her work she sometimes reads my work, although I am a little bit more shy about that than she is," Haworth said. "And we trade ideas and we also just encourage each other that's a really big part of it."

Haworth and Leshaw were two out of eight finalists to earn the grant statewide.

According to Haworth, the couple plans to use the money for future travels.

Haworth and Leshaw are taking Ohio University students on an education abroad trip to Israel this summer and will also be doing readings in different locations once the book is released.

"The award just makes travel possible. It's really great when you have a book to be able to get out, visit different college campuses, and share your work with people," Haworth said.

The book is scheduled to come out this coming October and will be available in print and in a Kindle version.