John G. Rodwan, Jr., is the author of the essay collections Holidays & Other Disasters (Humanist Press, 2013) and Fighters & Writers (Mongrel Empire Press, 2010) as well as the nonfiction chapbook Christmas Things (Monkey Puzzle Press, 2011). He wrote the text (prose and poetry) for Detroit Is: An Essay in Photographs (KMW Studio, 2015), a book of his father’s photography.
His essays and articles have appeared in numerous publications including The American Interest, Belt Magazine, Brooklyn Rail, Concho River Review, Cream City Review, Critical Moment, Fiction Southeast, The Humanist, Jazz Research Journal, Midwestern Gothic, The Oregonian, and Wayne Literary Review. His essays have been designated as notable several times by The Best American Essays.
His poems have appeared in journals such as Black Magnolias, The Chaffey Review, Pacific Review, Pea River Journal, Red Earth Review, San Pedro River Review, Spot Literary Magazine, and Trickster.
Rodwan’s work has also been included in A Detroit Anthology (Belt Publishing), Heaven Was Detroit: From Jazz to Hip Hop and Beyond (Wayne State University Press), The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook (Belt Publishing), I Just Wanna Testify: Poems about Detroit’s Music (Michigan State University Press) and other anthologies.
In addition to writing, Rodwan has worked as an editor since the mid-1990s, including stints at a small publishing house in Ann Arbor, Michigan; at the International Labor Organization (ILO), a specialized United Nations agency in Geneva, Switzerland; and at a research and consulting firm located in New York City. As a freelancer, he’s worked on projects for U.S. News & World Report and the ILO and on two books about Detroit’s legendary Nain Rouge, both published by KMW Studio.
His film work includes researching, writing, and conducting interviews for the 2004 documentary No Neutral Corner and writing and doing the voiceover for the short film Imperfect Armor, for which he received the Best Performance Award in the Experimental Film category at the 2010 Los Angeles International Film Festival.
Rodwan earned a master’s degree in English from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Kalamazoo College.