Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Charles Rossiter  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;


-- Website --
-- Charles Rossiter on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

I've lived in Oak Park, IL, since 1997 and have given readings in many Chicago-area libraries and festivals such as Printers Row, Around the Coyote, Chicago Blues Festival. I founded and have hosted the 3rd Saturday Coffeehouse at Unity Temple in Oak Park since 2004. Among my poems are a substantial number of Chicago Poems.

Biographical and Professional Information

Charlie Rossiter, NEA Fellowship recipient and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, hosts the audio website His work has been featured on NPR and numerous statewide public radio networks. During the ‘90s he hosted the Poetry Motel TV program, still seen on cable stations in some parts of the Northeast. His recent co-authored book Back Beat, has been praised by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. His chapbook, What Men Talk About, won the first Red Wheel Barrow Prize from Pudding House Press. He has performed at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in NJ; and was among a handful of poets chosen to perform at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2005. His latest book All Over America: Road Poems (2009) is available at and continues his explorations of memoir and poetry begun in The Night We Danced With the Raelettes, (2007) also from FootHills Publishing.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Evening Stones
ISBN: 1889289426

Ye Olde Font Shoppe. 1999

"Charles Rossiter gives us all the popculture outrageousness we can take in a line of language then gives it to us again and again. If poetry is sport, Charlie's is "extreme" sports. If poetry is landscape, Charlie's is the grand canyons of megatropolis nightspots. I boogie in this book."

(Jennifer Bosveld, editor, Pudding House Publications, proprietor, Pudding House, the Poetry B&B in Johnstown, Ohio)

What Men Talk About
ISBN: 0944754856

Pudding House Publications. 2000

Poetry chapbook 5x8 1/2 saddle-stitched.

Back Beat 2nd Edition
ISBN: 1933126183

Fractal Edge Press. 2006

This book combines prose memoirs supplying context with poems supplying the rhythm and pulse of real lives. Nothing is prettied up, nothing beautiful is toned down, and nothing spiritual is denied. If you think beat poetry is anything else, you haven't read this book. Ferlinghetti says this book is "beater than the Beats." What are you waiting for?

The Night We Danced with the Raelettes
ISBN: 0941053288

FootHills Publishing. 2007

NEA Fellowship recipient Charles Rossiter has compiled this medley of poems which reflect on his experiences in and around College Park Maryland in the 1960's.


  • NEA Fellowship for Poetry
  • ''What Men Talk About'', Red Wheel Barrow Prize

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    For bookings; fees for readings, lectures, workshops range from $250-$1500 depending on the assignment. I travel the country and especially enjoy taking poetry to areas that don't typically get a lot of poetry. My style, which one critic said "bridges the raw and the refined," goes over well with general audiences and still receives accolades from experienced poets. I also relate well with at-risk youth, middle-school and older.