Don Riesett was born in 1946 in Baltimore’s Pigtown — a blue-collar neighborhood with a slaughterhouse heritage and a heavy dose of German immigrants who prided themselves on the well-scrubbed brilliance of the marble front stoops leading into their simple row homes.

In 1968, he became the first member of his family to graduate college, having attended Rutgers University on a football scholarship. It was at Rutgers that Don discovered an interest in writing and advertising.

He landed an entry-level job with one of New York’s top advertising agencies where, over the course of ten years, he became a Vice President, got married, had four children, buried one, felt the strain of two worlds pulling him in different directions, relieved the pressure with bouts of infidelity and, ultimately, descended into the dark void of psychiatric institutionalization.

He emerged from his madness, left Madison Avenue and returned to Baltimore, joining a rapidly growing regional ad agency that grew to national and international prominence. Over the next twenty years, Don shared in that agency’s success as a senior partner. In 1992, he became CEO of the agency’s international portfolio, based in London, where he and his second wife, Sande, savored expatriate life and traveled the globe until Don left the company in 2000.

Don’s writing is a reflection of the diverse experiences of his life…from the creative corridors of advertising agencies to the locked wards of psychiatric institutions…from High Tea at Claridge’s in London to homemade vodka shooters in a Ger tent on Mongolia’s nomadic Siberian plain. He has viewed the world from the rooftop ledges of Manhattan and the 6,000-foot Himalayan foothills of Nepal. He writes about growing up in ’50s Baltimore and mentoring challenged youth and recovering drug addicts in the New Millenium.

Don Riesett’s work has appeared in The Awakenings Review, FollyFox Cry Review, Gemini MagazineHome Planet News, ken*again, The Legendary, Monkey Puzzle PressNorth Atlantic Review, Palo Alto Review, Red Wheelbarrow, The South Carolina Review, and The Writers Post Journal, among others.

Don currently lives in Baltimore with Sande and their rescue cats, Little Man, a 30-pound “grumpy old man” who goes to a shrink, and Bugsy, a tailless, bent-eared waif also known as “the Tiny Tim of cats.”


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