My name is Joe, born November 3, 1985, in rural southern Wisconsin, complete with cows, raspberry fields and star-filled skies. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in journalism and mass communication in 2008, and moved to Chicago shortly thereafter. I work as a writer and reporter and am currently employed as a senior reporter focused on food and water issues at The Huffington Post. My work has also been featured in the Village Voice, Fodor’s, Gapers Block, Windy City Times, EDGE Media Network, ChicagoPride.com, Chicagoist and elsewhere. I also formerly waited tables at an actual sit-down rural Pizza Hut and spent a strange week working as a magician’s assistant.
I live in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood with my partner Stefin, two cats and way too many records.
Yes, I really love music. As a hobby, I occasionally DJ. In 2011, I co-founded the Subject to Change collective, a group which held monthly fundraising parties/DJ nights benefiting area non-profit and community groups. I’m also the resident DJ of Burly, another monthly event held at The Burlington Bar in Logan Square. In addition, I host and co-organize an annual tribute night to British music legend Kate Bush.
These are a few of my favorite published works:
- 12 reasons why writer Jamaica Kincaid is a total badass (The Huffington Post, 10/24/14)
- Chicago Public Schools under fire over dirty conditions, rotten food (The Huffington Post, 10/8/14)
- This is what it’s like to lose your own child to gun violence (The Huffington Post, 8/5/14)
- Yes, even rock stars like Dum Dum Girls freak out when they meet their idols (The Huffington Post, 7/22/14)
- Chicago teen: ‘When you’re in Englewood, that is the wrong place’ (The Huffington Post, 6/27/13)
- Chicago mental health advocates put city ‘on trial’ for clinic closures (The Huffington Post, 6/21/12)
- Sexual assaults: Are Midwestern campuses turning a blind eye? (The Huffington Post, 6/24/11)
- It’s not easy peeing ‘T’: Trans activists strive for safety and equality (Gapers Back, 6/22/11)
- Hunx and His Punx: A ‘bad boy’ take on ’50s girl pop (EDGE, 4/26/11)
- An interview with Mink Stole (Chicagoist, 8/11/10)
- Move over, metrosexuals: Meet the straight bears (The Village Voice, 6/22/10)
- Sia hits East Coast, picks up the tempo (EDGE, 4/30/10)
- For gay Iranians, a matter of life or death (EDGE, 6/20/09)
Erbentraut spoke on a 2013 “Print to the Future” panel moderated by Alison Cuddy at Revolution Brewery. Other speakers included Ed Marszewski, Mara Shalhoup and Charles Whitaker. Watch highlights here: