Literature Program

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.


A Close Read: Readings & Short Films in Tribute to Steve Street

Stephen Moncada Street, writer and longtime adjunct English professor at Buffalo State College, died of cancer at the age of 56 on August 17, 2012. Near the end of his life he became known as a forceful, articulate advocate on contingent faculty issues, publishing regular columns in The Chronicle of Higher Education. But tonight we celebrate him as a fiction writer, presenting his finely tuned short stories focusing on microcosmic human dynamics, cultural alienation, and sublime slivers of poetic observation.

Steve's writerly glance careened from expat culture in Egypt (where he taught English for four years at the American University in Cairo) to town/gown tensions in his hometown of Beloit, WI, to small moments observed and recycled from the streets of Buffalo. Reading from Steve Street's work tonight will be Ed Taylor (Buff State adjunct professor and author of the novel Theo and the poetry collection Idiogest), Dr. Ralph Wahlstrom (professor of English at Buff State and author of The Tao of Writing), Dr. Michele Ninacs (director of the College Writing Program at Buff State), and others.

Steve Street was recipient of a 1995 Artist Residency Exchange: Western New York (ARE:WNY) grant, a regional regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) which Hallwalls administered in the late 1990s in partnership with Pyramid Arts Center in Rochester and Wayne County Council for the Arts in Newark, NY. Filmmaker Lynne Sachs, Steve's sister-in-law and a three-time Hallwalls visiting filmmaker (see Timeline links, below), will show a 5-minute interview with Steve she shot near the end of his life. Filmmaker Mark Street, Steve's brother and a 2007 HARP artist-in-residence at Hallwalls, will show Dear Steve, an animated film composed of one video frame of each piece of correspondence recovered from the writer's Main Street apartment. Steve Street's fiction, essays, and reviews appeared in The Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Missouri Review, and Rain Taxi.

Timeline Links: