Pulled between the disparate spheres of homelife with his minister father and the world of sex, drugs, and violence of his closest friends, author Stephen Haven relates his journey of self-discovery in this poignant memoir. After a fourteen-year absence from his home in Amsterdam, New York, Haven returns to the streets that molded his character. Through memories of his adolescence, Haven relives his youth in this economically deprived community and explores the values of friendship, loyalty, and privilege. A true bildungsroman, The River Lock traces the forging of Haven’s identity from the clash of the two worlds of his youth-home and street. His return to his childhood past allows Haven to understand and describe how his growing understanding of art, culture, spirituality, and class melded to create a man able to live fully in two distinct worlds, the foundation of the man he is today.
Stephen Haven is director of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at Ashland University and director of the Ashland Poetry Press. He is the author of two poetry collections, The Long Silence of the Mohawk Carpet Smokestacks and Dust and Bread. He is also editor of The Poetry of W. D. Snodgrass: Everything Human, and coeditor of two anthologies of contemporary poetry.