J. Holly McCain


On January 2, 1996, J. Holly McCain lost her younger brother, Don, to AIDS. STAR is her emotional and touching response to this tragedy. Each poem in this collection takes us closer to McCain's feelings of grief, pain, and anger, and, eventually, peace. And each poem takes us closer to Don, the baby brother with blond hair and a mischievous grin, whose last words to his sister were, "Think of the living and not the dead." Though the poems in STAR focus on the life and death of Don, McCain's poetry speaks to everyone who has ever lost a loved one.

In 2007 she published the book, Brown Eyes, about her dog, Shadow.

McCain was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in Sheffield Lake. McCain raised her only daughter, Elizabeth, in Lorain. She wrote for both her high school and college newspapers. She graduated from Lorain Community College in 1991.

She now resides in North Ridgeville.


  • STAR (2000 )
  • Brown Eyes (2007)