I know that we already made a post announcing the date and time of our May reading event (this Saturday, May 25, at 7 p.m.!), but we also like to tout the artistic triumphs of those authors who graciously agree to be our featured readers. So to whet your metaphorical appetite for Saturday’s reading, below you’ll find the official bio for our May reader, Robert Rodi.
Just a reminder: Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside. This reading event is free and BYOB, with tamales and tinga available for purchase and an open mic to follow the featured reader’s presentation. See you Saturday!
Robert Rodi was born in Chicago in the conformist 1950s, grew up in the insurrectionist 1960s, came of age in the hedonist 1970s, and went to work in the elitist 1980s. This roller-coaster ride has left him with a distinct aversion to isms of any kind; it also left him with an ear for hypocrisy, cant, and platitudes that allowed him, in the 1990s, to become a much-lauded social satirist.
After seven acclaimed novels set in the gay milieu (Fag Hag, Closet Case, What They Did to Princess Paragon, Drag Queen, Kept Boy, Bitch Goddess and When You Were Me), Robert grew restless for new challenges and decided to re-brand himself as an author of nonfiction. His first endeavor, Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World’s Least Likely Agility Dog, was released by Hudson Street Press in 2009. His newest effort, Seven Seasons In Siena: My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Italy’s Proudest People, is a 2011 release from Ballantine Books.
He is also republishing his early novels under the heading Robert Rodi Essentials, and has also released two original novels, The Sugarman Bootlegs and Baby. All are available as digital ebooks and traditional trade paperbacks.
Robert is the creator of several comic-book series, including Codename: Knockout and The Crossovers, and he has written a number of series for Marvel, including Elektra, Rogue, Tomb of Dracula, Astonishing Thor, Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers, and Thor: For Asgard.
Robert’s shorter fiction can be found in a number of anthologies, including Men On Men 5, His, and Sandman: Book of Dreams, and his novella Glad, Gladder, Gladys was serialized online at USAToday.com. His literary criticism has appeared in the pages of The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, NewCity, and The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review. He blogs about the Chicago performing arts scene for The Huffington Post, and pens his own self-proclaimed “guerilla lit-crit” blog on Jane Austen, Bitch In a Bonnet—the first three years of which have been collected in book form.
He was a founding member of the Chicago-based performance art troupe, The Pansy Kings, who were active throughout the 1990s, and he wrote sketches for the Live Bait Theater’s revues Junk Food and Dear Jackie: The Queen of Camelot Remembered. Recently he became an auxiliary member of the monologuist ensemble BoyGirlBoyGirl.
Robert still lives in Chicago, in a century-old Queen Anne house with his partner Jeffrey Smith and a constantly shifting number of dogs.