Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Billy Lombardo  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Billy Lombardo on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Lombardo was born and raised in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. He currently lives in Forest Park - a suburb of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Lombardo is the author of ''The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories'', a Chicago Tribune Best Fiction of 2005 selection. He teaches English literature and creative writing at Latin School of Chicago and teaches fiction for UCLA's Extension program. He founded and directs ''Polyphony HS'', a student-run national literary magazine for high school writers and editors. He has had fiction, essays, and nonfiction published or anthologized in ''StoryQuarterly'', ''Cicada'', ''TriQuarterly'','' Bryant Literary Review'', ''Other Voices'', ''The Spoken Word Redux'', ''Elysian Fields Quarterly'', ''River Oak Review'', The ''Forest Park Post'', ''Chicago Sun-Times'', ''Knee Jerk'', and other publications.Lombardo is the 2011 recipient of the Nelson Algren Award.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories
ISBN: 1886157502

BkMk Press. 2005

Fiction. "Lombardo gets everything right, from a sensitive boy's struggle to say and do the right thing in delicate situations to Chicago's impossible weather, as he celebrates the marvels of boyhood and everyday life"--Booklist. "THE LOGIC OF A ROSE is as rich and vital as Bridgeport, the blue-collar Chicago neighborhood in which these stories are set"--Stuart Dybek.

How to Hold a Woman
ISBN: 0976717751

OV Books. 2009

An emotionally powerful book it is organic, surprising, and edgy in a way that will appeal to male readers as well as female readers. It has the potential to be groundbreaking in its raw, honest portrayal of a just-barely-functioning family. Billy Lombardo is interested in the beauty of words. He is also a great observer of the world around him, and he is exquisite and precise in getting that world onto the page.

Billy Lombardo is the author of The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories, a Chicago Tribune “Best Fiction of 2005” selection. His novel Man With Two Arms is due from The Overlook Press in 2010.

Meanwhile, Roxy Mourns
ISBN: 0970801297

EM Press. 2009

The Man with Two Arms: A Novel
ISBN: 1590203070

The Overlook Press. 2010

Henry Granville, a baseball fanatic and high school teacher, spends hours in the basement with his young son Denny, introducing him to balls of all shapes and sizes.

He even turns the basement into an indoor stadium. Enthralled by possibility, Henry begins guiding every instance of Denny's behavior, ensuring that every action performed on one side is matched by an equal action on the other-whether it's throwing a ball, swinging a bat, brushing his teeth, coloring, and even wiping his ass.

Denny quickly distinguishes himself from his peers, most conspicuously by his ability to throw perfectly with either arm, a feat virtually unheard of in baseball. But he also possesses a visionary gift that not even he understands. Denny becomes a superior athlete, skyrocketing through the minor leagues and into the majors where he experiences immediate success, breaking records held for decades.

When a journalist, a former student of Henry's hungry for a national breakout story, exaggerates the teacher's obsession and exposes him to the world as a monster, all hell breaks loose and the pressures of media and celebrity threaten to disrupt the world that Henry and Denny have created. A baseball novel-and much more--The Man with Two Arms is a story of the ways in which we protect, betray, forgive, love, and shape each other as we attempt to find our way through life.


  • Chicago Tribune Best Fiction of 2005 selection, ''The Logic of a Rose

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Book Billy for a Book Club!

    Book clubs must be willing to make a donation ($300 minimum)

    to ''Polyphony H.S.'', the student-run, national literary magazine for high school writers and editors. To schedule Billy for school readings, performances, classes, etc. please contact Billy Lombardo c/o Sheryl Johnston 623 W. Oakdale Avenue Chicago, IL 60657