His first book, The Geography of Pluto (Véhicule Press/Esplanade Books, 2021), riffed off DiRaddo’s own heartbreak as he sought to recover from an intense breakup with his first boyfriend. Set in Montreal in the 1990s, the book received strong reviews, including from Daily Xtra (now Xtra Magazine) which surmised, “It’s one of those books that gets better as you keep reading, a rare combination of thoughtful writing that’s also hugely entertaining.”
‘My only job there is to write and I can’t wait to do that’
Fiction, journalism and communications have all been central to DiRaddo’s career. He hosted the radio show Queercorps on CKUT 90.3FM, produced public talks with queer authors for the non-profit organization Never Apart, wrote for and helped produce EnRoute magazine, and programmed roundtables and readings for the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival from 2016 to 2021.
DiRaddo has also been busy running his own reading series in Montreal, the first of its kind at the time when it launched. Violet Hour has been hosting book launches, readings and book clubs since 2014, often partnering with other organizations such as Fierté Montréal and Blue Metropolis. More than 250 writers have graced the Violet Hour stage.
“I realized I wanted to create a space to offer opportunities to queer authors and their fans,” DiRaddo says of his motivation to launch Violet Hour.
Raised in an Italian-Canadian home, DiRaddo has frequently returned to Italy on vacation and recently headed overseas for a more literary purpose. He was one of two writers selected to participate in in the Dentro La Terra residency, in the small town of Arielli in Abruzzo for September. Fellow Concordia grad Maryline Chery, BFA 17, joined him.
“It was exciting to be able to focus on my next project there,” DiRaddo says, “which was inspired by my Italian cultural heritage. My only job there was to write and it was incredible to be able to do that.”