Rossiter, Charles 1942-(Charlie Rossiter)

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ROSSITER, Charles 1942-(Charlie Rossiter)

PERSONAL: Born December 11, 1942, in Baltimore, MD; son of Charles (an air force career officer) and Margaret E. (a teacher; maiden name, Wallace) Rossiter; married Mary Ellen Munley (a museum educator); children: Erika Lynn (deceased), Jack. Education: University of Maryland—College Park, B.S., 1965, M.A., 1968; Ohio University, Ph.D., 1970; postdoctoral study at Northwestern University, 1975. Hobbies and other interests: Photography.

ADDRESSES: Home and offıce—705 South Gunderson Ave., Oak Park, IL 60304. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, instructor, then associate professor of communication, 1969-79; Hood College, Frederick MD, associate professor of communication, 1980-84; Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Bethesda, MD, senior research scientist, 1985-87; State University of New York—Albany, senior project director at Research Foundation, 1987-89; Albany Training Program in Poetry Therapy, founding director and poetry therapist, 1989-96; performance poet and poetry therapist, 1991—. Poetry Motel (weekly cable television program), producer and host, 1989-96; poetrypoetry. com (audio poetry Web site), coproducer and host, 2000—; Field Museum, guest curator for literary series, 2000; workshop presenter, organizer of poetry readings, and guest on media programs, including National Public Radio.

MEMBER: National Association for Poetry Therapy (vice president, 1988-89).

AWARDS, HONORS: Grants from New York State Council on the Arts, 1990-96; fellow, National Endowment for the Arts, 1997; Pushcart Prize nomination, 1999; Red Wheelbarrow Award, Pudding Press, 2000, for What Men Talk About.


The Human Potential Guide to Dynamic Personal Growth, Human Potential Press (Alexandria, VA), 1984.

No, I Didn't Steal This Baby, I'm the Daddy, APD (Albany, NY), 1995.

On Reading the Thousand-Year-Old Sorrows in a Book of Chinese Poems, Esker (Albany, NY), 1997.

Evening Stones (poetry), Ye Olde Font Shoppe (New Haven, CT), 1999.

What Men Talk About (poetry), Pudding Press (Johnstown, OH) 2000.

(With Al DeGenova) Back Beat (poetry), Cross+Roads Press (Ellison Bay, WI), 2001.

Cold Mountain 2000: Han Shan in the City (poetry), Backwoods Press (Ellsworth, ME), 2001.

Greatest Hits: Selected Poems, 2002.

(Editor, with Karen vanMeenan) Giving Sorrow Words: Poems of Strength and Solace Collected after the World Trade Center/Pentagon Attacks of September 11, 2001, Poetry Therapy Foundation, 2002.

Work represented in anthologies, including Life Guidance through Literature, edited by Arthur Lerner and Ursula Mahlendorf, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 1991; A Gathering of Poets, edited by Maggie Anderson and Alex Gildzen, Kent State University Press (Kent, OH), 1992; Passionate Hearts, edited by Wendy Maltz, New World Library (Novato, CA), 1996; Identity Lessons: Contemporary Writing about Learning to Be American, edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan, Penguin (New York, NY), 1999; and Intimate Kisses, edited by Wendy Maltz, New World Library, 2001. Author of songs published by Smithsonian Institution. Contributor of poetry, articles, and reviews to periodicals, including Paterson Literary Review, Little Magazine, Poets and Writers, Maryland Poetry Review, Thema, Red Brick Review, After Hours, Green Fuse, Heaven Bone, and Potpourri. Book review editor, Journal of Poetry Therapy, 1997—. Some writings appear under the name Charlie Rossiter.

SIDELIGHTS: Charles Rossiter told CA: "After a successful start to an academic career, I gave up tenure at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee in 1979 to pursue poetry while I continued to hold a succession of research and teaching jobs. In 1991, while living in Albany, New York, I began devoting myself full-time to writing poetry and administering poetry projects. There I also founded and served as director of the Albany Training Program in Poetry Therapy, having been credentialed as a certified poetry therapist in 1988.

"After years of being relatively unknown, my poetry has begun to gain recognition with the awarding of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and the publication of poetry collections in each of recent years.

"My book Back Beat, coauthored with performance partner Albert DeGenova, is a memoir with poems that traces the ways in which we have been influenced by the beat writers of the fifties. The book has earned praise from poets such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Jimmy Santiago Baca.

"I believe that one need not be obscure to be poetic; at the same time, one need not be pedestrian in order to be understood. Thus I strive for a poetry that is the funkiest work that still can gain respect from the academic crowd while simultaneously being the most poetic work that retains the power to quiet a noisy crowd at bars like the Green Mill or the Nuyorican Poets Café. When asked to describe my work I refer to my poetry as personal and socially committed.

"I am known to poetry audiences nationwide for dynamic performances. In addition to performing as a solo artist, I am also one-third of 3 Guys from Albany and one-half of the performance poetry duo AvantRetro. When performing with these groups I often play the conga drum to back up my fellow poets. I also make frequent use of found-object instruments such as the cake-cover gong, the fence-top clave, or my homemade mojo rhythm stick. In these instances the goal is always to start with the poem and then add whatever performance technique will enhance the poem's impact on the audience, such as call-and-response involving audience participation, multi-voiced delivery, or unorthodox vocalizations unique to the individual poem.

"Often working from personal experience and memories, I frequently use what I know of psychology and the therapeutic process in my writing. This means that no subject is taboo, even the most difficult. In fact, I believe that writing about difficult personal subjects is beneficial for one's mental health."



Poetry Poetry, (July 10, 2002).

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Rossiter, Charles 1942-(Charlie Rossiter)

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