The name: Chris Lombardi. The buzzwords: novelist, journalist, activist; born in the Bronx in 1962, have lived in upstate NY, Baltimore and (for 10 years) San Francisco, back in NY 4 years; in Washington Heights via the East Village.
The essence, now: I've been telling stories as long as I've had words, and writing them down nearly as long. According to my mother, I was seven when I first said "I want to write books when I grow up." I was fifteen when I did my first activist work, and tasted the joys of using my communications skills for my beliefs. For about 20 years after that, I divided my life between novels and activism, from PR director of an anti-poverty organization and a peace and veterans group to fundraiser and freelance wordsmith to a range of do-gooder groups. The dance got more interesting, to say the least, when I was diagnosed, at age 22, with multiple sclerosis, a chronic degenerative disorder of the nervous system — something that put a fire under my butt, feeling like I have to get everything done now. I certainly felt I had to make the choice early - "Are you a writer, or someone who always wanted to be a writer and went on to something else?"
Thus, while working full time for a range of nonprofits -- the last and most profound for me, the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors -- I still kept writing fiction, poems, essays.
As I became surer of my voice I also began writing and publishing freelance pieces, beginning as opinion editorials, until I moved on and became a part-time correspondent for Women's E-News. So I took the big plunge -- returned to New York City, finished my masters' degree, became a freelance writer full time and began teaching. I've now published articles in The Nation, Ms. , Poets & Writers, ABA Journal , New Mobility and Inside MS. My fiction has appeared in the minnesota review, Anything That Moves, Living Room, and assorted anthologies, including Hey! Paesan: Lesbians and Gays of Italian Descent. My novel The Suicide Project , a finalist for Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize, won CCNY's Lowell de Jur award; my novel-in-progress,jehanne darc, a re-imagining of the life of Joan of Arc, won CCNY's Geraldine Griffin Moore Award.
Currently undergoing the one-year boot camp at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, I still hope to work on revising jehanne darc and finally writing, when i get out, a book about the GI Rights Network (I helped run it when I worked at CCCO), and to finish jehanne darc
I'd love to hear from folks interested in working together. The best way to reach me is email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, my journalism resume (with links to clips) is available at .
Writing, reading, politics, film.