In Memory: Kathy Y. Wilson, Our First Writer-in-Residence

Written by Liz Foreman, Marketing Manager, Downtown Main Library

The Library is saddened to learn that our first Writer-in-Residence, Kathy Y. Wilson, has passed away and sends condolences to her family and friends.

Wilson was a local author and journalist, known for her provocative column “Your Negro Tour Guide” in CityBeat, opens a new window. Her columns were adapted as a book which she launched with events at several library locations. Later, the book was adapted as a one-woman play on stages including the Ensemble Theatre, opens a new window.

Earlier in her career, Wilson worked in what then known as the Library's Literature Department. Later, when named Writer-in-Residence, she said she first felt the desire to write at the age 5, wandering the stacks of her neighborhood library. "I knew the alphabet, and I would stand up in those stacks and try and figure out where Wilson would go," she says.

"I knew where the Ws were, and I would imagine where my book would be. The Library is the great equalizer of this community. I am so honored to represent this institution." Read more about Wilson's life on the Writer-in-Residence section of our website.  

"Kathy was a local literary icon and journalist. She helped us forge the Library and The Library Foundation’s Writer-in-Residence program, as our first Resident. Kathy set the bar that year and continued to help the residency grow through her volunteerism on the Writer-in-Residence Selection Committee. Her passion, spirit, wit and drive made a great impression on everyone that she worked with," says Staci Dennison, the Thomas W. Jones Executive Director of The Library Foundation. The Writer-in-Residence program is supported by the generous donation of a private donor and The Library Foundation. 

Among her many achievements and contributions to our community, Wilson was an educator, teaching journalism at the University of Cincinnati. To learn more about her, listen to an Inside the Writer's Head podcast with Wilson and our then-Writer-in-Residence, Dani McClain: