Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Meet Peg Hanna

A mother of six and grandmother of nine, Peg Hanna is a busy woman. Not necessarily because of her large family, although she spends as much time as she can with her kids  who are scattered around. Peg is busy because she is a writer who not only likes to write but who goes out and congregates with other writers, building her skills and promoting her work.

Peg and I have known each other for years. We met, appropriately enough, at a meeting for a local writers’ group, the Ohio Writer’s Guild. Peg is still an active member of that group. I haven’t been at a meeting for years although I still keep in touch with some of the former attendees, one of whom is Peg. We recently got together at a local library to discuss our writing endeavors and to “interview” each other.

Peg hasn’t always been a writer. She is a former school teacher. She taught middle school reading in Aliquippa, PA for five years. She quit her teaching job after she married and her first child, Lee, was born in Columbus, Ohio. She spent many years as a stay-at-home mom, keeping order in the ranks when her husband traveled a lot. She also volunteered many hours at her kids’ schools, reading to students, leading writing workshops and judging writers for the Power of the Pen.

Now that the house is quiet – the kids are out on their own and her husband is retired – Peg uses her time to write. She likes to write poems, short stories, and longer novels.

Her professional writing career started when she penned a series of poems for a church newsletter. People identified with her feelings and emotions and asked for copies. Thus were born two volumes of poetry, Hear My Heart volumes I & II.

Since then, she has written early reader books for Zaner-Bloser, a local educational publisher and has had her work printed in a number of publications.

The Columbus Creative Cooperative publishes anthologies of works gathered from local writers. Peg’s story, “From Empty Envelopes” appeared in a recent edition titled While You Were Out. The story is about a bag lady who wants to be a writer.

Six of her poems were published in the Scioto Sampler, an anthology of works by local writers of The Franklinton/McConnell Writers’ group, another group Peg is actively involved in.

In order to raise the profile of writers, Peg volunteered to be on a committee of the Columbus Arts Festival to put together a competition for writers. Each writer had to send in an application. Eight semi-finalists were selected to present 10-minute readings of their works during the festival. A panel of independent judges selected those to read. Peg read a selection from her current book, While

Peg co-authored the book with Brun/Hilde Maurer Barron. The two came of age during one of the most tumultuous times in history, during WWII. 

Says Peg, “My mother taught me that an important word in any language is WHILE. "While washing dishes,Peggy, you dry.’ She would say, ‘While one thing is happening, so is another. While someone is in darkness, someone is in daylight. While one person dies, another is born.’

"With this word WHILE we started this book. While a war was raging between the United States and Germany , and WWII began, two little girls were growing up in opposing countries and living in its aftermath.”

While is available online at, Barnes and, through Peg’s website, in the gift shop at the Creative Arts Building in downtown Columbus, The Book Loft in German Village and a bookstore in Chicago.

Even though Peg is busy promoting what she’s already written, attending writing meetings, and taking care of everyday business, she is still writing. She is currently working on a book about her children when they were growing up. It is titled H dot: Raising 6 Hannas in Gahanna .

Visit Peg’s website for more information about the author and her books.