1. I grew up in Ohio and live in Indiana, and I love vowels.
2. I live on the banks of the St. Joseph River where I keep tabs on the herons, turtles, groundhogs, and geese.
3. I am regularly attacked by the aforementioned geese as well as red-winged blackbirds while minding my own business.
4. I'm probably taller than you.
5. If I had to pick a favorite author for, say, password recovery, it would be Virginia Woolf.
Kelcey Ervick is the author and illustrator of the graphic memoir, The Keeper: Soccer, Me, and the Law That Changed Women's Lives, winner of a 2023 Ohioana Book Award. Her three previous award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction are The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová, Liliane's Balcony, and For Sale By Owner. She is co-editor, with Tom Hart, of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature.
Kelcey's stories, essays, and comics have appeared in The Rumpus, The Believer, Washington Post, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She has received grants from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities at Indiana University. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and is a professor of English and creative writing at Indiana University South Bend.
But I didn't know it. I didn't know it when I started playing soccer on co-ed teams because there were no teams just for girls. I didn't know it when I moved to Cincinnati at age 12 and became a goalkeeper for a girls' club team and traveled the country playing (and winning) tournaments.
I still didn't know anything about Title IX when I was an NCAA Division I goalkeeper for four years at Xavier University. Years later when I got a PhD and a job as a university professor in creative writing, I never really thought about the fact that Title IX had helped make my career as a woman in academia possible.
I wrote my graphic memoir THE KEEPER because I wanted to know more about Title IX and how it shaped my life and the lives of women in my generation. How it has shaped the lives of today's generation. And what it was like for the women who came before.
[Read my Title IX story and comic at the Washington Post.]
What I really wanted to be was a wide receiver.
I became a goalkeeper instead.
Eventually I became a writer and artist who tells stories of badass women who have been treated badly.
[All the awesome author photos by: Myriam Nicodemus]
[Childhood photos of author by: Mom]
THE KEEPER was published in 2022, the year Title IX turned 50, and my edited book THE FIELD GUIDE TO GRAPHIC LITERATURE followed in 2023. I'm happy to meet with classes, book clubs, athletes, libraries, and other groups to talk about writing, comics, Title IX, girls' sports, and more.
As a professor, I know that the best way to learn something is to try it. As a reader of Beckett, I know that the best way to improve at something is to try again. Fail again. Fail Better.
In 2018, I started drawing every day. I published an essay about it at The Rumpus: "The Habit of Art: A Year of Daily Painting."
This image is a watercolor painting I made from a scene at our league night. Our team of English professors is called The Big Lebowskis.
I got married, changed my name. I got divorced, changed it back. In between, I published some books. It's a pain.
Ervick is what might be called my "maiden name," but I don't like that (patriarchal) term, and my grandfather was from Ervik, Norway, where the tradition is to take the name of the place, not the man. My grandfather was named after the Viking, Ragnvald of Ervik, so I call Ervick my "Viking name."
Here is a photo of Ervik, Norway from my visit there in 2008.