John G. Rodwan, Jr., is the author of Fighters & Writers (Mongrel Empire Press, 2010), a collection of essays. One selection from Fighters & Writers was named a Notable Essay of 2009 by The Best American Essays. Another was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. To order a copy of the book from Barnes & Noble, click here. To order via Powell’s, click here. His nonfiction chapbook Christmas Things (2011) can be ordered directly from its publisher, Monkey Puzzle Press. Both publications are also available via Google Books.
Rodwan writes frequently about literature, music and boxing – and often about the connections among these subjects. His writing has been published by The American Interest, The Mailer Review, Blood and Thunder, Open Letters Monthly , Spot Literary Magazine, The Oregonian, Prime Mincer, Palimpsest, California Literary Review, Logos, Shaking Like a Mountain, Slow Trains, The Brooklyn Rail, American Writer, Free Inquiry, and The Humanist, among others. A former correspondent for Fight News, he also contributed to the Ringside and Training Principles website and to the International Labor Office’s Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety. He has lived in Brooklyn, New York; Geneva, Switzerland; Portland, Oregon; and Detroit, Michigan, where he was a Thomas C. Rumble fellow at Wayne State University.
Rodwan’s writing about boxing has appeared in places both likely and unlikely. He served as a correspondent for Fight News from 2003 to 2006. His work has appeared in fight programs. He also wrote in the National Writers Union journal American Writer about efforts to form a boxers union (fall 2002). The Philip Roth Society published a paper of his on uses of boxing in fiction in its journal, Philip Roth Studies. He reviewed documentaries about Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson for The American Interest.
He has written essays about diverse musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Joshua Redman (in a piece that ended up on the saxophonist’s website), Henry Rollins, Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen. Bringing together some of his interests, he examined tributes to boxer Jack Johnson made by Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis and assessed in tandem biographies of the trumpeter Armstrong and the fighter Sugar Ray Robinson.
In the area of literary journalism, Rodwan has written essays about Martin Amis, Michael Chabon, Joseph Conrad, Henry Fairlie, Norman Mailer, George Orwell and Elinor Wylie, among many others. For Portland’s daily paper, The Oregonian, he has reviewed works by the likes of Saul Bellow, John Irving and Abraham Verghese.
Rodwan has also done some work on movies, including the Poetry In Pictures Series. He wrote and co-produced the documentary No Neutral Corner, an official selection of the 2010 All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival and winner of the Las Vegas Film Festival’s Silver Ace Award. See IMDB for more information about his film-related efforts.