Mark Winegardner

The Ohio Connection

“Everything that is great about Cleveland I appreciate. Everything that is screwed up about Cleveland interests me. That’s the nature of love.”

–Mark Winegardner, Cleveland Magazine, December 2004

  • Mark Winegardner was born November 24, 1961 in Bryan, Ohio.
  • He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1983.
  • He taught creative writing and American literature at John Carroll University in Cleveland from 1989 to 1997.
  • In 1997 Winegardner received a $5,000 Individual Artists Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council.
  • In 2001 Winegardner published Crooked River Burning, a fictional story rooted in Cleveland from 1948 to 1968, chock full of real-life Clevelanders and historical events.
  • In his book The Godfather Returns, one of Winegardner’s main additions is Nick Geraci, a former boxer born and bred in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood, who must kill his mentor to prove his allegiance to the Corleones. Geraci pilots his plane over Lake Erie to attend a boxing match at the Cleveland Armory. He meets with local Mafia head Don Forlenza at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “I thought it important that I made this book my own,” says Winegardner. “By starting out on the sturdy ground of Cleveland, it was a way to put my stamp on it early.” (Cleveland Magazine, Dec. 2004)

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