Blue Ash Review - Poets in the Schools Program

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About the Program

In our Poets in the Schools Program, UC Blue Ash College English Department faculty authors will conduct creative writing workshops in your very own classroom or as part of an after-school club – for free!  Workshops in poetry, fiction,dramatic writing, creative non-fiction, French translation, revision feedback, song writing, and publishing are offered for primary, intermediate, and secondary schools.  

Workshops are also available for non-school clubs, groups, religious organizations, community centers, etc.


The Workshop Leaders

Jody Ballah, M.A. Dip.Ed

Jody has taught French language, literature and translation in Canada and the USA for more than 20 years. She has published poems and translations of poems in B.e.d – the literary magazine of Naropa University summer writing program, and the Blue Ash Review. She has translated a 19th century French novel into English as well as numerous poems, short stories and essays. She offers workshops in French translation and poetry.

Jody Ballah

Robert Murdock, Ph.D.

Robert has had poems published in The Boston Review, Antioch Review, Poet Lore, and other national journals. He was a recipient of a 2009 Individual Excellence Award in Poetry from the Ohio Arts Council and his first manuscript of poems, The Living Are On to You, was a finalist for the Saturnalia Prize. He has been the associate editor of two national journals. He offers workshops in poetry, creative nonfiction, revision feedback, and literary publishing.

Bob Murdock

Cynthia Crane, Ph.D.

Cynthia is the author of the historical nonfiction Divided Lives. Her work has been published in print and online journals, and she has received a number of national awards. She has given speeches and workshops centered on writing (the Mad Anthony Writers’ Workshop at Miami University), and was on the nonfiction faculty at Antioch Writers' Conference. She offers work- shops in nonfiction (memoir) and fiction.

Cynthia Crane

Rhonda Pettit, Ph.D.

Rhonda is the author of Fetal Waters and The Global Lovers, a poetic drama about sex slavery that was a Critic’s Pick at the 2010 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Her poems have been published in print and online journals and anthologies across the U. S., and “1963” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She coordinates UCBA’s annual celebration of National Poetry Month, and edits the Blue Ash Review. She offers workshops in poetry, dramatic writing, fiction, revision feedback, and song writing.

Rhonda Pettit

Kevin Oberlin, Ph.D.

Kevin is the author of Spotlit Girl, a Wick Poetry Series chapbook of sonnets about a young jazz singer and her desire to become a star. His poems have appeared in journals including Pank, Diagram, and Quarterly West. He offers workshops in poetry, fiction, revision feedback, and song writing.

Kevin Oberlin

Claudia Skutar, Ph.D.

Claudia has published poetry and essays in the Red Cedar Review, National Writers Union YMCA Writers’ Voice Project, Express Cincinnati, and the book Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes. She has conducted writing workshops in Ohio and Michigan, and served as a guest poetry critic for the Greater Cincinnati Writers League. She offers workshops in poetry, creative nonfiction, and revision feedback.

Claudia Skutar

Also Available for High Schools

Song Writing Workshop

Students can learn the basics of writing compelling lyrics for their songs from musicians and judges of the UCBA Song Writing Contest – Professors Mike Roos, Rhonda Pettit, and Kevin Oberlin. This workshop can be taught by one or more of the instructors based on schedule availability.

Translating & Responding to French Poetry Workshop

Students will work with the instructor to translate a poem from French, then write their own poem in English and/or French that responds to the translated work. Professor Jody Ballah.


Contact Information

Rhonda Pettit
Phone: (513) 745-8319
Email: rhonda.pettit@uc.edu