The inimitable Rita Bottoms, ah what a broad!

rita1.jpgAs head of McHenry Library’s Special Collections for many years, Bottoms moved and shook with literary giants and cranky academics alike. She handled every ego with diplomatic skill, almost as well as she handled many Anglo Saxon expletives.

Colorful, brilliant, opinionated and politically adroit, Rita is one unforgettable creature.

Now she’s offering the world some of her choicest observations, words, poetry, and character profiles in the first of her “True Stories,” entitled Riffs & Ecstasies , which officially hits the bookstores this Saturday, September 17.

Those familiar with the styles of Ferlinghetti, Paul Bowles and Bob Dylan will find Bottoms’ pungent voice simpatico and engaging. In this slender, beautifully produced tome, our gal remembers Tillie Olsen, Al Weber, John Cage, David Hockney and morphs into an ecstatic groupie, nay bacchante, as she eulogizes actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

A tiny treasure from an irrepressible observer, Riffs & Ecstasies, by Rita Bottoms, from Cafe Margo press, $10, at all your favorite bookstores. Indulge!

Bruce Btratton interviews Rita Bottoms, next Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7:30pm on KZSC 88.1FM.