Ethan Gilsdorf

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Ethan Gilsdorf
Ethan Gilsdorf headshot.jpg
Ethan Gilsdorf in 2010
Born (1966-09-29) September 29, 1966 (age 50)
Lee, New Hampshire
Occupation freelance writer, teacher, poet, author, geek
Nationality American

Ethan Gilsdorf is an American writer, poet, editor, critic, teacher and journalist. He was born in Dover, New Hampshire, and raised in the nearby town of Lee. He has lived in Northampton and Amherst, Massachusetts; Brattleboro, Vermont; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Paris, France; and currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. He attended Oyster River High School in Durham, New Hampshire, and received his B.A. from Hampshire College and his MFA from Louisiana State University.

Gilsdorf is the author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms (The Lyons Press).[1]

He publishes travel, arts, and pop culture stories, essays and reviews regularly in the New York Times, Boston Globe,, and and has published hundreds of articles in dozens of other magazines, newspapers, websites and guidebooks worldwide, including CNN,, Playboy, National Geographic Traveler, Psychology Today, Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Fodor's travel guides. He is a core contributor to the blog "GeekDad" at, his blog "Geek Pride" is seen regularly on, and he is a regular contributor to Boston NPR affiliate WBUR's Cognescenti blog. He is a book and film critic for the Boston Globe, and is the film columnist for Art New England. He also contributes to,; and Forces of Geek.

His award-winning travel memoir-pop culture investigation of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks is, according to The Huffington Post, "full of encounters, both funny and poignant" and National Public Radio’s “Around and About” describes the book as "Lord of the Rings meets Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.” [2] The subject matter ranges from Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) gamers and live-action role-players, or LARPers, to Harry Potter wizard rockers and World of Warcraft players.[3] Other subcultures and events the book investigates: the legacy of Gary Gygax, The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and Pennsic War, DragonCon (aka Dragon*Con), a French castle-building project called Guedelon, J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fandom, and a journey to New Zealand to see The Lord of the Rings film locations.[4] Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks also explores Gilsdorf's own lifelong (and at times twisted) relationship to fantasy and gaming.[5] The book was named a Must-Read Book by the Massachusetts Book Awards.[6]

As a poet, he is the winner of the Hobblestock Peace Poetry Competition and the Esmé Bradberry Contemporary Poets Prize, and has published poems in Poetry, The Southern Review, the North American Review and several national and international anthologies.

He is co-founder of Grub Street, Inc.'s Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), volunteers as a guest speaker in the Boston Public Schools and leads creative writing workshops in journalism, travel and essay writing, and poetry, as well as book promotion and writing career planning workshops at Grub Street,[7] Emerson College,[8] and, for younger students, in schools and community centers. He speaks frequently at conventions (such as Pax, Gen Con and DragonCon), universities, and book festivals nationwide.






External links[edit]

Clausen, Elizabeth (March 18, 2010), "Event to showcase two alumni authors", The Daily Reveille, retrieved 2010-03-26