Ian Belknap is a writer/performer living in Chicago. He is the Founder and Overlord of WRITE CLUB, the world's greatest competitive reading series, now in five North American cities. WRITE CLUB is an all-volunteer enterprise that gives a portion of show proceeds to charity. Since launching in 2011, WRITE CLUB has donated over $10,000 to non-profits of every description - now we pay our artists instead. In 2014, the WRITE CLUB anthology, Bare-Knuckled Lit will be published by Hope and Nonthings. He is co-host with Lindsay Muscato of the WRITE CLUB podcast, which features some of the best bouts from the live show.
He was a cast member and contributor to the fiction podcast Pleasuretown. Ian also serves as the Dean of Mean at The Paper Machete. Ian is a former cast member of The Encyclopedia Show, and has performed at virtually every Live Lit show in Chicago.
FUN FACT: Live Lit is a term COINED BY IAN BELKNAP.
His highly regarded live memoir show Wide Open Beaver Shot of My Heart: A Comedy With a Body Count debuted in the Rhino Theater Fest and was later produced at The Neo-Futurists. He is curator/host of the shows Something Wicked This Way Comes (seven deadly sins-themed monologues), which appeared at Rhino Fest and later at The Garage at Steppenwolf, and Ian's Dog & Pony Show (it's a big world of funny - let's all play nice) which gathered solo performers, improv, sketch, and stand-up in a comedy mashup. Ian is writer/peformer of the solo shows Bring Me the Head of James Franco, That I May Prepare a Savory Goulash in the Narrow and Misshapen Pot of His Skull, Terminal Ferocity, and Uncle Dad is Ripshit, You Guys.
His essays and criticism have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Reader, Crain's Chicago Business, and The Rumpus. He used to be an actor, then a stand-up comedian, but came to his senses.