Posts tagged “sleepaway school”
April 26, 2013
Seven Stories author Lee Stringer described a life of poverty in America in an article for Alternet’s Hard Times, USA series. The article, entitled “How Being Poor in America Shaped Every Part of My Life and Forced Me to Live on the Streets,” details his childhood, his parents struggles to make ends meet, and the circumstances that led Stringer to live on the streets of New York City for a dozen years.
Stringer tells of living in a rooming house with his mother and brother; of his mother having to rely on public assistance; and of how he, deemed economically and culturally disadvantaged by his school, was “summarily consigned to the slow classes and systematically steered towards developing [him]self into a capable factory worker.”
Through his experiences with poverty, Stringer notes a series of ironies–how pride, which he was taught in church was a sin, was actually a virtue for the poor; how charity, which he was taught was a virtue, was tinged with shame for the recipient; how when a poor person self-advocates, they are a beggar, but when they are advocated for, the person who does so is lauded for their humanity; and, ultimately, how only when he was no longer poor did people begin to care what he had to say about being poor.
February 14, 2010February 14-15, 5pm Sunday to 1pm Monday, Chapel Hill, NC. Tickets are from $50 to $100. For more information on the event, sponsored by the Orange County Literary Council, please see http://www.orangeliteracy.org/WFR2010.html.
July 9, 2009
July 9, 7:30pm, WORD Brooklyn, 126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222.
Douglas A. Martin, the author of Branwell, Outline of my Lover, and the newly-published Once You Go Back from Seven Stories, writes in his new book about the children of a transplanted working-class family dealing with violence, their own budding sexuality, and the strain of a home breaking apart.
Lee Stringer, author of Grand Central Winter and Like Shaking Hands with God (with Kurt Vonnegut), writes in his memoir Sleepaway School about the longing for family, his own experiences growing up in the Hawthorne Cedar Knolls home for at-risk kids, and the challenges of growing up within an extremely non-traditional institutional home.
Together for the first time at WORD in Brooklyn, Martin and Stringer will read from their respective work and discuss its common source—childhoods that run off the rails, exposing kids to forces that can equally destroy and nourish a young, creative life—as well as the process, the struggle, and the redemptive power of autobiographically-charged writing.