Sharon Hatfield

Sharon Hatfield

Sharon Hatfield is a native of Ewing, Virginia, and she began writing poems and stories at an early age. After earning undergraduate degrees in English and biology at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, she became a newspaper reporter in Virginia. Sharon moved to Ohio in 1985 and later earned a master's degree in journalism from Ohio University and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in Maryland. She has worked as a reporter, editor, English professor and manuscript consultant.

Sharon has twice received an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council and has served as a panelist for the Kentucky Arts Council and on the faculty of the Appalachian Writers' Workshop in Hindman, Kentucky, and the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival in Harrogate, Tennessee. In her adopted hometown of Athens, Ohio, she is a member of the Southeast Ohio History Center and is active in environmental work. She also volunteers as an adviser to the Jenco Fund of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, an endowment that supports visionary leadership in the region.


Sharon Hatfield's Books

Enchanted Ground

ENCHANTED GROUND: THE SPIRIT ROOM OF JONATHAN KOONS (2018): Enchanted Ground addresses spiritualism as a 19th-century religious movement and explains the place of Jonathan Koons and his family within it. The movement began in western New York in 1848 and extended into the cities and rural communities of the Midwest. Curious visitors travelled from as far as New Orleans to Athens County, Ohio, to a remote country cabin whose marvels would rival any of P. T. Barnum’s attractions. People dressed in homespun crowded in with those in city attire to experience what spiritualist Jonathan Koons and his son Nahum would demonstrate in the pitch dark of the log cabin night after night.

Jonathan Koons was considered one of the most impressive physical mediums of the 1850s. His Athens County "spirit room," built specifically for theatrical-style seances, was known for a musical "angel band" that allegedly played along as Jonathan fiddled. Today Koons is considered by historians of religion to be the innovator of the trumpet used for voice communication in sťances. Replicas of his famed spirit room were built throughout Ohio (including Cleveland) and in Indiana, Massachusetts and beyond. Hatfield's Enchanted Ground is not only a portrait of a charismatic medium, but the story of a countercultural force that shook American religion in the 19th-century.

31st Annual
Buckeye Book Fair
November 3, 2018
9:30 to 4:00
Fisher Auditorium Wooster, Ohio
$2 Admission
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