Library announces 2023 Writer-in-Residence

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library’s 2023 Writer-in-Residence is ready to share his writing experience in his new role. 

The Library Foundation named poet and essayist Manuel Iris the 2023 Writer-in-Residence. Iris is coming off winning the 2022 Ohioana Reader’s Choice Book Award for “The Parting Present / Lo Que Se irá” in July. He was Cincinnati’s second poet laureate emeritus (2018-2020). 

“Combining my love for my adopted hometown and expressing myself through language, learning and writing, well, that intersection is the Library,” Iris said. “To get a year to be the local Library’s ambassador and share my passion, that’s a wonderful opportunity to share my passion.” 

During his year as WIR, Iris serves as the Library’s ambassador in the local literary arts scene, fosters engagement between the Library and regional writers, and provides instruction on the craft of writing, both online and in-person. The WIR also hosts a Library podcast, writes for the Library’s blog and newsletter, holds office hours, and leads workshops and other events to engage readers and writers of all ages. 

“Writing has always been a way for me to define things difficult for me to understand completely,” Iris said. “Poetry is a translation of the silence. I look forward to sharing my journey and my process to inspire others to share their experiences through writing or other ways.” 

Charitable donations support the Writer-in-Residence program, including the generous contributions of Naomi Tucker Gerwin and The Library Foundation. 

“Bringing Manual’s skill to the Writer-in-Residence program is extremely special,” said Staci Dennison, the Thomas W. Jones Executive Director of the Library Foundation. “He has a unique perspective that aligns well with the Library’s mission. I think this is going to be a great year.” 

Special thanks go out to the WIR Selection Committee: Mike Boberg, Kaya Burgin, Susan Cranley, Staci Dennison, Marilyn Duke, Naomi Tucker Gerwin, Dan Hurley, Ed Loyd, Jessica Strawser, and Kathy Y. Wilson. 

ABOUT MANUEL IRIS: Iris received the “Merida” National award of poetry (Mexico, 2009) for his book Notebook of dreams, and the Rodulfo Figueroa Regional award of poetry for his book The disguises of fire (Mexico, 2014). In 2016 two different anthologies of his poetic work were published: The naked light, in Venezuela; and Before the mystery, in El Salvador. His first bilingual anthology of poems, Traducir el silencio/Translating silence, was published in New York in 2018. This book won two different awards at the International Latino Book Awards in Los Angeles, California, that same year. Iris has published poetry, essay and translation in magazines and literary journals from Mexico, Spain, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Portugal, France, the United States, and Angola. His poetry has been included in several Mexican, Latin-American, and American, poetry anthologies. Iris holds a BA in Latin American Literature from the Autonomous University of the Yucatan (Mexico), a MA in Spanish from the New Mexico State University, and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages from the University of Cincinnati, the city in which he lives with his wife and 4-year-old daughter.