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Rodd Whelpley

Born: 1964 in Geneva, Ohio
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Whelpley lives in Chatham. He works in Springfield and manages an electric efficiency program for 32 cities across Illinois.

Biography: Rodd seeks poetry in the everyday world. Early on, he hoped to be a fiction writer. He published a mystery novel, Capital Murder in 2002. In 2015, he began to write poetry in earnest. Since then, his poems have appeared in 2River View, Antiphon, The Chagrin River Review, Eunoia Review, Menacing Hedge, The Naugatuck River Review, Right Hand Pointing, Shot Glass Journal, Spillway, Star 82 Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He has written a poetry chapbook, Catch as Kitsch Can and has edited Governing Illinois: Your Connection to State and Local Government.

  • Whelpley was honored at the 2004 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Mystery; Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Blood Moon, Backyard Mountain
ISBN: 1956782249 OCLC: BERKELEY :

Broadstone Books BERKELEY : 2023

In his first full-length poetry collection, Rodd Whelpley finds worlds of memory and imagination in his backyard. The poems in Blood Moon, Backyard Mountain explore the familiar, backyard geographies of the tiny: birds, June bugs, creeping Charlie, desiccated leaves, old dogs that must constantly be walked. They also map the expansive territories of the imagination and the past--the places where family and friends have died, the yearnings for love with more depth, for life with more living. They are at once personal and universal, private and inviting.

Capital murder /
ISBN: 1591296889 OCLC: 51648714

PublishAmerica, Baltimore : ©2003.

Police Captain Doug Ebersole knew the victim. Marni Lewis was an intern at the Secretary of State's office and the stepdaughter of former police chief and current state Senator, Tom Crosley. But to solve Marni's case, Ebersole will need to resolve the twenty-year-old mysteries surrounding the death of Crosley's other daughter, Jessica. The investigation will take him to a ramshackle boys club, to the Senate floor, to a convalescent home in Ohio, and to an after-hours Goth party at a skateboard center. Along the way, he'll uncover a pattern of corruption that reaches to the highest levels of Illinois government. And why not? In Springfield, Illinois, everything is political - even a dead body.

The Last Bridge Home
ISBN: 1954353529 OCLC:

Poetry collection. The Last Bridge Is Home resonates with familial love and compassion of place. Rodd Whelpley dives into what is often unsaid but still heard, through music, through undertones of conversation. He builds for us a bridge to tandem our love and grief, what we remember and how we move forward. This collection is a testament to inevitable change, moments when “you look down, unsure the water will still be there” and find your strength. Whelpley holds out a hand and offers us an intimate lens of late 1970s Ohio, of family, and ultimately of how our relationships sustain us. —Madeleine Corley, Managing Editor, Barren Magazine In The Last Bridge Is Home, Rodd Whelpley gives us an intimate portrait of changing and complicated family relationships: how they bubble up, transform us, and never fully leave us. The poems dance in and out of childhood, adult, and familial fears and pains, tracing a life in a way that shows just how present memory, forgetting, and loss can be. —Bess Cooley, Winner of the 2017 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize, Co-Founder and Editor of Peatsmoke The beauty of Rodd Whelpley’s writing makes me want to sit with his poems. Their resonance makes me want to understand why they touch me. Their brevity fools me into thinking that they are simple, and then I embark on an experience that becomes more layered with each read. For Whelpley, it is in our nature to cling, to grieve, and, for whatever reason, we resist the calm. Our world is both immediate and distant. We drift and we land. We commune, and then we are other. We perceive both beauty and fury and remain powerless in the face of each. —Ariana D. Den Bleyker, Publisher, ELJ Editions, Ltd.