Patrick T. Reardon’s poetry has appeared in many journals, including America, Poetry East, Rhino, Main Street Rag, After Hours, Autumn Sky, Solum Literary Press, Burningword Literary Journal, The Write Launch, Meat for Tea and Under a Warm Green Linden. His poem “The archangel Michael” was a finalist for the 2022 Mary Blinn Poetry Prize.

He is the author of fourteen books, including:

  • Puddin’: The Autobiography of a Baby, A Memoir in Prose Poems (Third World Press)
  • Salt of the Earth: Doubts and Faith (Kelsay Books)
  • Let the Baby Sleep (In Case of Emergency Press)
  • The Lost Tribes (Grey Book)
  • Darkness on the Face of the Deep (Kelsay Books)
  • Requiem for David (Silver Birch Press)
  • The Loop: The “L” Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago (Southern Illinois University Press)
  • Faith Stripped to Its Essence: A Discordant Pilgrimage through Shusaku Endo’s ‘Silence’ (ACTA)
  • Daily Meditations (with Scripture) for Busy Dads (ACTA)

In addition, he has written one or more chapters in several books, including the following:

  • Chicago Days: 150 Defining Moments in the Life of a Great City, edited by Stevenson O. Swanson and produced by the Chicago Tribune staff (1997).
  • An Irrepressible Hope: Notes from Chicago Catholics, edited by Claire Bushey (2012)
  • Old Comiskey Park: Essays and Memories of the Historic Home of the Chicago White Sox, 1910-1991, edited by Floyd Sullivan (2014).
  • The Way of Suffering: Readings for an Enlightened Life, edited by Michael Leach, James T. Keane and Doris Goodnough (2020)
  • The Way of Love: Readings for a Meaningful Life, edited by Michael Leach, Doris Goodnough and Maria Angelini (2022).

From 1976 through 2009, Reardon was the urban affairs writer and a feature writer at the Chicago Tribune. During his 32-year career at the newspaper, he specialized in writing about social issues, public policy questions and the interconnections within the Chicago region.

He was the primary reporter and team leader on a wide variety of in-depth multi-part series on such subjects as the urban underclass, public housing, Chicago’s public school system, the middle-class migration out of the city, the rebirth of the Chicago River, the inner workings of a ward boss’s organization, the social and cultural shifts behind the disappearance of the city’s taverns, the surprising importance of alleys in the life of the city, and the emotional, cultural and historical factors behind suburban sprawl. As a team leader, he has won three Peter Lisagor Awards from the Chicago chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for reporting. In addition, his book reviews won two Lisagors for arts criticism.


Reardon was one of a team of fifty Tribune reporters, photographers and editors who won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for “Gateway to Gridlock,” a series of stories about the nation’s over-crowded skies.

During his career, Reardon used his expertise in social policy, demographics, statistics, community organizing, Chicago politics, Chicago history, the geography of the city and region, the city’s literature, the multiplicity of governments in the region, real estate development, religion and the history of the nation and world to hold a mirror up to the people of the metropolitan region. His goal has always been to help people understand where they’d been, where they were and where they were going.

While at the Tribune, he wrote more than 200 book reviews and profiled such writers as Gay Talese, Haki Madhubuti, Sandra Cisneros, Patrick O’Brian, Richard Russo, Robert Caro, John Keegan, Antonia Fraser, P.D. James and Roddy Doyle.

He has written for a variety of publications, including the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, National Catholic Reporter, U.S. Catholic, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Reader, Health Progress, Reality, Streetwise and Illinois Heritage.

Praise For Patrick T. Reardon’s Writing

“It’s not a hyperbolic stretch by any means to say that Patrick T. Reardon’s Puddin’: The Autobiography of a Baby, is not only the most improbable and intriguing personal account by a writer published in 2022, but quite possibly the most ingeniously imagined memoir by any writer in any given year.

The Minderbinder , Review of Books.

“Empathetic readers will want to reach right down through these pages [of Puddin’] and pick up this baby who’s longing for it. Despite the fact that we’re experiencing this journey through words on the page, and even though those words were written by the fully grown version of this baby, we long the fill the void in what we are reading. In this baby persona’s blank lack, we discover our own.”

McKenzie Lynn Tozan, Lit Shark

Requiem for David is the heart’s howl, a passage through mourning, a lesson ultimately in learning how to walk alongside pain with grace. We cannot avoid the dark night of the soul, but if we don’t walk through it, we can never reach the light.”

Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“Patrick T. Reardon’s The Loop is a wonderfully engaging study that goes well beyond a descriptive historical account to tell us how much this remarkably dynamic piece of urban transportation planning and engineering has meant and continues to mean to Chicago and Chicagoans. The book is one of those exceptional works that enables us to see something that is right under our noses for the first time.”

Carl Smith, author of The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City.

“Patrick T. Reardon’s epic poem The Lost Tribes is a cri du coeur as thrilling for our time as Alan Ginsberg’s Howl was for his. It celebrates the lonely and the desperate, the forgotten and ignored, the poor, the working class, and the lucky but lost Americans the author finds “in the land of milk and honey,/in the barber shop mirror,/in the electric hours before dawn,/in all that is seen and unseen…

Mike Leach, Third Coast Review

“For this stunning collection [Darkness on the Face of the Deep], Patrick T. Reardon has chosen as title a line out of Genesis, as reworked by Bob Dylan. That mesh makes sense: in an incantatory voice all his own, Reardon manages to mix the local and the oracular at every turn of phrase. The poems teem with road names, ordinary and overtoned: Randolph Street, Clark Street, Proverb Street, Ecclesiastes Road. What happens on and by those roads can feel, in Reardon’s capacious geography, like everything that has ever mattered in human history (“Bull Run, Fort Dearborn, Agincourt”) and in literature too (“all sagas and Iliads, all Great White Whales”). Like many of our most astonishing poets, from Homer to Ginsberg, Reardon knows how to make the sacred gritty and the gritty sacred.”

Stuart Sherman, author of Telling Time, and English professor, Fordham University

The Loop is simply great fun! Patrick T. Reardon takes his reader on a wild ride through the construction of the Loop as well as the ways Chicagoans think about it.”

Ann Durkin Keating, author of The World of Juliette Kinzie: Chicago before the Fire

“Detail by razor-sharp detail, perception by vivid perception, recollection by haunting recollection, Patrick T. Reardon’s Requiem for David gathers into the force of a cri de coeur.”

Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago