John Julius Reel

About John Julius Reel

I began a new life when I moved from New York City to Seville, Spain in 2005. After three whirlwind years—during which I married my Sevillian soulmate and sired two sons with her—I began publishing a weekly column of cultural journalism in Seville’s daily newspaper, Diario de Sevilla. This led to the publication of my Spanish memoir ¿Qué pinto yo aquí? Un neoyorquino en la ciudad de nunca jamás, brought out by Editorial Confluencias in 2014 as part of their Colección Gerald Brenan, named after the ground-breaking English travel writer and cultural analyst.

Que pinto yo aquí cover
John Julius Reel and his wife

In 2016, I collaborated as both editor and author in El derbi final, an anthology of essays, fiction, and journalism about the celebrated Seville soccer derby between Sevilla Fútbol Club and Real Betis Balompié. The book, published by Paseo Editorial, was shortlisted for Libro del año (book of the year) in the Premios Panenka, sponsored by Spain’s most widely-read monthly soccer magazine.

Through my friendship with the expat American actor, Ken Appledorn, I landed a supporting role in the feature film 6 Toreros Yankees 6, directed by Nonio Parejo and released during the 2021 Seville European Film Festival.

In 2023, my memoir My Half Orange: A Story of Love and Language in Seville was published by Tortoise Books, an independent press in Chicago. Other than the family I’ve helped create, My Half Orange is the project I’m most proud of. It took over ten years to get right.

To make a living, I teach composition and travel writing to American university students and conversational English to Spaniards. I also collaborate with Canal Sur Radio, Andalusia’s primary public radio station, participating in various weekly programs. The social networks are my hobby. I use them—mainly Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube—to teach English and Spanish and to review books.