nothing obvious could possibly be important


Rick Powell WordPress Consultant, Teacher, & Writer

Stepping Out/The New Times, 1986 thru 1993

My first writing job ever was with Stepping Out Magazine in Indianapolis. I wrote movie and theater reviews at first and eventually, when the magazine metamorphosed into The New Times, became a contributing editor. I created a column about [mostly] local indie music, the first of its kind in the city, called Noise from Hell, and also wrote as the first openly gay critic, perhaps in all of Indiana. You can read some published clippings, the ones that survived.

SIU, 1985 thru 1988

Rick Powell in Carbondale with a photo by Bruce Weber on the wall. Late 80s. Photo by Michelle Price.

In 1988, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema & Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. I made a Super 8 film called The Way Love Moves and a 16mm film called Pictures of Maleness featuring me nude and my roommate Janet in male drag. No one noticed she was a girl, which proved part of the point of the film. I also drank a lot of cheap beer and that began a lifelong love affair.

Chicago: NewCity, The Reader, etc., 1989 thru 2003

After graduating from SIU in 1988, I moved to Chicago where I wrote for The Chicago Reader and delivered papers for NewCity Chicago, another alternative paper in the city. I also joined the graphic design team for the latter and eventually ended up creating NewCity’s first website, all by my lonesome, which also happened to be the first of its kind in Chicago. It still looks fairly modern, especially compared to what every other website looked like at the time. I wrote one cover story for NewCity, as well.

On a personal note, I fell in love hard with my best friend, a state of partial requital I've never quite been able to shake. My portrait of him for the cover of gab, the best Chicago gay rag ever, can be seen below.

Cover of gab, with a portrait of Santosh Isaac by Rick Powell

I also acted in a couple underground films directed by Shawn Durr, playing an abusive closeted gay guy in Fucked in the Face, and a submissive to a bisexual dom in The Last Fuck. They were comedic satires, to be clear.

For a long while I picked vintage clothing and sold it on ebay. 

Speaking of ebay, during this time period I created a short-lived but fairly profitable amateur gay porn business called lofiguys, which I might revive someday because I think it's a great name.

Chicago: ACT UP & Go Fish

I contributed in a small way to Rose Troche's seminal and still fresh Go Fish. I was a middling production assistant and was in charge of continuity for the first stage of the movie. I also drove the van and ended up as an extra in the cafe scene when someone didn't show up.

ACT UP was a big part of my life in Chicago, giving me direction and purpose.

Prague, 2003 thru 2008

Fed up with life in those United States, I moved to Prague in the Czech Republic in September of 2003.

There I gave tours. I taught English. I created three separate blogs, all diaries of my life there, and ended up writing almost 1 million words, many of them NSFW.

Portrait of Kuba by Rick Powell

If you’re up for it, you can buy a PDF version of one of those blogs.

In Prague I continued and deepened my love affair with beer. It was damn good beer, too, much better than what I drank in Carbondale.

Buenos Aires, 2009 thru 2019

After calamitous events in Prague, I moved to Buenos Aires in 2009. This was my most productive time period, really. I wrote less but did more, if you get me.

My projects included:

  1. The San Telmo Art Walk & La Boca Tour. I sold the tours to another company in 2016.Rick Powell leading the San Telmo Art Walk, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mural by Macro
  2. Juanele AR, a non-profit arts org dedicated to promoting Argentine art in English & Spanish. We produced a daily bilingual blog, the first and only of its kind, as well as hosting events, curating film festivals, covering gallery openings, sponsoring street art murals, giving grants to emerging artists. We even ran a closed door restaurant for a while. I was the co-founder, editor, graphic designer, photographer, and director.Groulou and Gumy mural in Juanele AR headquarters, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  3. The Buenos Aires Reader
  4. Picante Buenos Aires, a series of successful pop-up Tex-Mex dinners.
  5. Fascinating Monster, a WordPress consulting and site-building collective.Fascinating Monster, a WordPress consulting and site-building collective

In 2010 I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. I died during one of my three surgeries but I'm in remission now. I blogged during this period and continued to give tours and run Juanele.

I traveled a bit through Argentina in the summer of 2019, crossed the spectacular Andes to spend a couple days in Santiago, Chile, and then got on a plane to CDMX.

CDMX, 2019 thru ?

I'm in Mexico City now, teaching English and planning my next projects.


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