Jodi Sh. Doff is a New York-based writer and photographer. Her writing frequently includes autobiographical elements of drug-use, alcoholism, and the strip clubs and nightlife of New York City’s Times Square. As part of the harm-reduction/street-outreach movement, she educated and advocated for active addicts and street prostitutes, while working towards the decriminalization of prostitution. Chicago Now declared her stories about “the underworld of drugs, sex and violence in the 80s” to be “heartbreaking” and the New York Times Book Review compared her prose to that of Henry Miller.
Her stories have appeared in drafthorse literary journal, The Fix, xoJane, Penthouse, Playgirl, Cosmopolitan, and Bust Magazine, and have been anthologized alongside Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates in the anthology Bearing Life–Women’s Writings On Childlessness. Other anthologies include Best American Erotica; The Bust Guide To A New Girl Order; the awkwardly titled Hos, Hookers, Callgirls & Rentboys and its equally awkwardly titled sequel, Johns, Marks, Tricks & Chickenhawks.
She’s made regular appearances as part of the Sex Worker Literati Reading Series; appeared back on stage, albeit fully-clothed, in New York’s first Sex Worker Cabaret at the infamous Slipper Room; been a featured guest on Sex and Politics (Brooklyn College radio); the KGB Radio Hour with Ratso Sloman and Mark Jacobson; In Bed with Susie Bright (audible.com); Minx on Pseudo.com, and was profiled–as alter-ego Scarlett Fever–by author Lily Burana in her book, Strip City.
She has studied with the late Spalding Gray, Virginia Woolf scholar Louise DeSalvo, playwright Gretchen Cryer, author and Rumpus founder Stephen Elliott, and graduated summa cum laude from Hunter College with a B.A. in English in one hand and a Phi Beta Kappa key in the other. Jodi is a mentor with the PEN America Prison Writing Program, and was awarded an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Lesley University where she currently advises a graduate seminar in the art of memoir.
Her memoir of is currently seeking representation.
NYC 1975: So, a nice Jewish girl walks into a topless bar—152 cases of vodka, 147 men, 10 years, 2 dead bodies & 1 broken heart later, she walks out.
WHAT I DID FOR LOVE is a coming-of-age story about the search for truth, love, and family in the go-go bars of Times Square at the height of its bottom. An exploration into self-image and self-hate, visibility and invisibility, the community and safety found in the outsider subculture that made up Times Square during the seventies and eighties, the phenomenon of dissociation and denial as survival mechanisms, and the lies we tell ourselves in order to hold our head up in the world.