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Tony Ardizzone

From Bloomingpedia

Tony Ardizzone (born 1949, Chicago) is an American novelist, short story writer, professor, and editor.


Tony Ardizzone was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago. He attended grammar school at Saint Gregory the Great parish, where he served as an altar boy and harbored hopes of someday becoming a priest, and then went to Saint George High School, where the Christian Brothers dispelled all notions that he was worthy. In 1971 he graduated with a B.A. with Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, though his degree was not formally released until two years later due to court proceedings arising from his involvement in a peaceful, nonviolent anti-war protest and subsequent arrest as one of the so-called "Champaign 39." In 1975 he received a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Fiction, from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He also did a year of graduate study in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1973.


He has published three novels with big presses, his novels In the Name of the Father, Heart of the Order, and In the Garden of Papa Santuzzu. However, most of his work has been published by small presses, including his story collections The Evening News, Larabi's Ox, and Taking it Home. His most recent novel, The Whale Chaser, will also be released by a small press publisher out of Chicago. The publication of The Whale Chaser will be his first book in eleven years. Currently he is working on a book of interconnected short stories set in Rome, tentatively titled The Calling of St. Matthew.

His short stories have appeared in such prestigious journals as Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, Epoch, TriQuarterly, The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, and Sonora Review.

Ardizzone has written book reviews over a three-year period for the Virginian Pilot and Ledger Star, coordinated several week-long annual campus literary festivals, served as a Board Member of the City of Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and worked with various writers organizations including PEN South and two terms (1983-87 and 1989-92) on the Board of Directors of the Associated Writing Programs. In 1989 he revived AWP's Intro intitiative and founded the AWP Intro Journals Project, serving as the series' Managing Editor until 1991.

He has taught at Saint Mary's Center for Learning (Chicago), Bowling Green State University, Old Dominion University, the M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program at Vermont College of Norwich University, and Indiana University, Bloomington. In 1979 he founded Old Dominion University's creative writing program, and for nine years served as its program director and frequent director of its annual week-long literary festival. He is currently Chancellor's Professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he teaches courses in creative writing, ethnic American fiction, 20th century American fiction, and literary interpretation, and where he has served as administrative consultant to the Indiana Review (1989-94) and Director of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program (1996-98 and 2002-05). He is also the recipient of the Tracy M. Sonneborn Award, awarded annually to an Indiana University faculty member for exemplary research and teaching.

In 1985 Ardizzone taught at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, as part of a faculty exchange sponsored by the United States Information Agency. While in Morocco he lectured on the craft of fiction and also gave readings and lectures at universities in Casablanca and Fez. He returned to Morocco during the summer of 1988 for further travel and research for his interconnected short story collection Larabi's Ox. In the fall of 1988 he participated in an American Studies Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where he lectured on the role of baseball in American culture and gave readings from his baseball novel Heart of the Order. More recently he has traveled to Rome, Italy, for research on a book of interconnected short stories set there. Since 1975 Ardizzone has conducted writing workshops and given fiction readings and lectures on the craft of writing and related literary topics at dozens of North American colleges and universities.


1986 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction for The Evening News

1992 Milkweed National Fiction Prize for Larabi's Ox: Stories of Morocco.

1992 Chicago Foundation for Literature Award for Fiction for Larabi's Ox: Stories of Morocco.

1986 Virginia Prize for Fiction, for Heart of the Order

Lawrence Foundation Award

Bruno Arcudi Literature Prize

Prairie Schooner Readers' Choice Award

Black Warrior Review Literary Award in Fiction

Cream City Review Editors' Award in Nonfiction

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship


The Whale Chaser (Academy Chicago Publishers, forthcoming 2010)[1]

In the Garden of Papa Santuzzu (Picador/St. Martin's Press, 1999, 2000)[2]

Heart of the Order (Henry Holt and Company, 1986)[3]

In the Name of the Father (Doubleday, 1978)[4]

Short Story Collections

The Calling of St. Matthew (tentative title for a collection being written)

Taking it Home: Stories from the Neighborhood (The University of Illinois Press, 1996)[5]

Larabi's Ox: Stories of Morocco (Milkweed Editions, 1992)[6]

The Evening News (University of Georgia Press, 1986)[7]