Edward McClelland is a native of Lansing, Mich., which is also the birthplace of Burt Reynolds and the Oldsmobile.

Ted’s most recent book, How to Speak Midwestern, is a guide to the speech and sayings of Middle America, which The New York Times called “a dictionary wrapped in some serious dialectology inside a gift book trailing a serious whiff of Relevance.” His previous book, Nothin’ But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times and Hopes of America’s Industrial Heartland, released in 2013 by Bloomsbury Press, is a history of the Rust Belt, inspired by seeing the Fisher Body plant across the street from his old high school torn down.

After getting his start in journalism at the Lansing Community College Lookout, Ted went on to work for the Chicago Reader, where he met Barack Obama during his failed 2000 campaign for Congress. His coverage of that race became the basis of Young Mr, Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President. His book The Third Coast: Sailors, Strippers, Fishermen, Folksingers, Long-Haired Ojibway Painters and God-Save-the-Queen Monarchists of the Great Lakes, a travelogue of a 10,000-mile journey around the Lakes, won the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award in General Nonfiction. 

Ted’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles TimesColumbia Journalism Review, Salon, Slate, and Playboy. He is currently working on a collection of Midwestern folktales, legends and songs.