Ed Simon

Simon Author PhotoEd Simon is the Executive Director of Belt Media Collaborative and the Editor-in-Chief for Belt Magazine, a contributing editor for the History News Network, and a staff writer at The Millions, which the New York Times has called the “indispensable literary site.” He is the author of several books, including An Alternative History of Pittsburgh from Belt Publishing and most recently Pandemonium: A Visual History of Demonology, a work of illustrated nonfiction released by Abrams. Currently he is working on a history of apocalypticism for MIT Press, and Elysium: An Illustrated History of Angelology from Abrams, as well as the short book Relic from Bloomsbury.

His essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Paris Review Daily, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Poetry, McSweeney’s, Aeon, Jacobin, Salon, The New Republic and The New York Times among dozens of others, while his anonymous reviews appear in Publishers Weekly.

Originally a native of Pittsburgh, he has lived in New York City, Boston, Washington DC, and now his hometown again. He holds a PhD in English from Lehigh University and has taught as a college instructor for fifteen years, in disciplines including English literature and composition, journalism, rhetoric, religious studies, and political science, at institutions including Point Park University, Duquesne University, Lehigh University, Bentley University, American University, and Mt. Aloysius College. Starting in 2022, he is joining the faculty of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary as an instructor in their innovative doctoral program in Creative Writing and Public Theology. In addition to his writing, Simon has worked with the Franco-American production company Good Hero as a film consultant. As part of his work at Belt, Simon is a Community Partner with the Rust Belt Institute at Ursuline College. Since 2022, he has been a proud member of the board for Autumn House Press, the indispensable and venerable Pittsburgh-based non-profit publisher of fiction, non-fiction, and especially poetry.

What Readers Are Saying:

“Between the struggle for religious certitude and stick-in-the-mud atheism is Ed Simon’s honest and authentic exploration.” – Peter Bebergal, author of Strange Frequencies and Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

“Ed Simon’s powerful, searching essays are conversant with a startling range of subject matter: Augustine and Whitman, Bob Dylan and Thomas Paine, Catholicism and Cathars, Cotton Mather and Martin Luther. Simon’s mind goes, quite simply, everywhere.” – Tom Bissell, author of The Disaster Artist 

“[Simon] piques your interest with a vision that is like an impossible mashup of William James and George Carlin… equal parts poet, prophet, and philosopher.” – J.C. Hallman, author of The Devil is a Gentleman: Exploring America’s Religious Fringes and B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal

“From dusty reliquaries to Walt Whitman’s odes, from Thomas Paine to Thomas Moore and all across the persistently stubborn landscape of the American religious imagination, Ed Simon’s essays help readers to understand how we got to this complicated moment in American religious history.” – Kaya Oakes, author of Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture and Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church 

“Like William Blake writing The Lives of the Saints or Nietzsche drawing a map to Utopia, Simon succeeds on his own impossible terms.” – Brook Wilensky-Lanford, author of Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden