1834 Wake Forest Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA
Wake Forest University
Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Johns Hopkins University
14 Old Chapel Rd, Middlebury, VT 05753, USA
Charlottesville, VA, USA
University of Virginia
1 College St, Young Harris, GA 30582, USA
Young Harris College
(This collection of essays examines the richness of life i...)
This collection of essays examines the richness of life in a family and the struggle of one nuclear family cut off from history and tradition to create its own rituals and myths.
(From the author of A Geometry of Lilies comes a new colle...)
From the author of A Geometry of Lilies comes a new collection of essays focusing on the exotic in the ordinary of everyday life. Steven Harvey's words illuminate and entertain as he ruminates on such topics as love of family, of students and teaching, of place and tradition, and of how language itself can transform experience. Separate as the essays are, they all tell the same story, and though they bear different titles, they all could be called "Lost in Translation." In each essay, the self is brought against a new world or two worlds into conflict, the soul shedding a husk of its former life in the encounter. Such losses, the essays say, are the leavings of our changes and the price we pay for becoming. Some part of our true selves, Harvey notes, finds voice only in such translations―in engagement with others on others' terms―and this is the part we cannot live without.
(In Bound for Shady Grove, essayist Steven Harvey celebrat...)
In Bound for Shady Grove, essayist Steven Harvey celebrates the spirit of the music of his adopted home in the southern Appalachian mountains. There, at the wellspring of mountain music, he took up his guitar and assumed the journey that culminated in this book. Harvey's essays measure out in words the four seasons of a life in music. Springtime pieces describe playing music in the log house of friends born and raised in the mountains or entering a banjo contest and losing with style. There are essays about fiddles and the devil, homemade instruments and homemade weapons, and a trip to England to trace mountain songs back to their elusive sources. As the book progresses into winter, the mood darkens, with pieces exploring the connection between music and resentment, loss, and death. Descriptions of music, hills, and people blend into a rich harmony as Harvey explores where music has taken him―where, in fact, music can take any of us.
(The Book of Knowledge and Wonder is a memoir about claimi...)
The Book of Knowledge and Wonder is a memoir about claiming a legacy of wonder from knowledge of a devastating event. In some ways it has the feel of a detective story in which Steven Harvey pieces together the life of his mother, Roberta Reinhardt Harvey, who committed suicide when he was eleven, out of the 406 letters she left behind. Before he read the letters his mother had become little more than her death to him, but while writing her story he discovered a woman who, despite her vulnerability to depression, had a large capacity for wonder and a love of familiar things, legacies that she passed on to him. The book tackles subjects of recent fascination in American culture: corporate life and sexism in the fifties, mental illness and its influence on families, and art and learning as a consolation for life’s woes, but in the end it is the perennial theme of abiding love despite the odds that fuels the tale. As the memoir unfolds, his mother changes and grows, darkens and retreats as she gives up her chance at a career in nursing, struggles with her position as a housewife, harbors paranoid delusions of having contracted syphilis at childbirth, succumbs to a mysterious, psychic link with her melancholic father, and fights back against depression with counseling, medicine, art, and learning. Harvey charts the way, after his mother’s death, that he blotted out her memory almost completely in his new family where his mother was rarely talked about, a protective process of letting go that he did not resist and in a way welcomed, but the book grows out of a nagging longing that never went away, a sense of being haunted that caused the writer to seek out places alone—dribbling a basketball on a lonely court, going on long solitary bicycle rides, walking away from his family to the edge of a mountain overlook, and working daily at his writing desk—where he might feel her presence. In the end, the loss cannot be repaired. Her death, like a camera flash in the dark, blotted out all but a few lingering memories of her in his mind, but the triumph of the book is in the creative collaboration between the dead mother, speaking to her son in letters, and the writer piecing together the story from photographs, snatches of memory, and her words so that he can, for the first time, know her and miss her, not some made up idea of her. The letters do not bring her back—he knows the loss is irrevocable—but as he shaped them into art, the pain, that had been nothing more than a dull throb, changed in character, becoming more diffuse and ardent, like heartache.
Harvey graduated from Wake Forest University with a bachelor's degree in 1971. He then obtained his master's degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1973 and one more master's degree in literature from Middlebury College in 1984. Harvey obtained his doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1989.
Harvey started his career as an English teacher at a day school in Charlotte in 1974. In two years, he went to Young Harris College, where he worked as a professor of English till his retirement. He also held the position of a writing instructor at John C. Campbell Folk School since 1995.
Currently, Harvey is a professor emeritus of English and creative writing at Young Harris College, senior editor at River Teeth magazine, and a founding member of the nonfiction faculty in the Ashland University MFA program in creative writing.
(This collection of essays examines the richness of life i...)1993
(In Bound for Shady Grove, essayist Steven Harvey celebrat...)2000
(From the author of A Geometry of Lilies comes a new colle...)1997
(The Book of Knowledge and Wonder is a memoir about claimi...)2015
Harvey is not affiliated with any church.
Harvey is a member of the Associated Writing Programs. He also writes and sings and plays banjo, guitar, and ukulele with the musical group Butternut Creek and Friends.
Harvey married Barbara Hupfer on May 8, 1971. The marriage produced 4 children: Matthew, Nessa, Samuel and Alice.