27 October 2011

Meeting Ericka Williams, Author/Teacher/Producer

Ericka Williams
Meet Ericka Williams: author, teacher, producer, public speaker, and more. Ericka has published five (5) street lit novels, with her latest, The Robbin Hoods (2011), recently released on September 27, 2011. 

Ericka is probably best known for her novel, A Woman Scorned (2009), and its sequel, A Woman Scorned, Part 2 (2010). 

Her other novels include: Shining Star (2010) and All That Glitters (2007).

While Ericka has penned entertaining and insightful women's stories for street lit, The Robbin Hoods is her first novel that chronicles men's stories with protagonist Chance Major leading a live of crime in order to feed his family and realize some semblance of the elusive "American Dream". Williams offers a twist to street lit in that she illustrates a story of a family who leaves the hood for the suburbs, only to discover that the two are not that different in terms of the dangers and illegal temptations that constantly looms.

Back cover synopsis:

Based On Actual Events...
"The Robbin Hoods are burglars. They are hood stars who are living the good life splurging their money on women, fast cars, jewels, nice homes, trips, and drugs. Chance was from Brooklyn. His mother moved him and his siblings to New Jersey for a better life. They moved to the suburbs where the dangers and crime of city life were not supposed to exist. 

Very early on his family learns that the have-nots are surrounded by those who are successful; as opposed to the projects where everyone is struggling. Chance chooses a life of robbery to support his mother and siblings. The "crew" started out robbing houses in their town and the surrounding working class and middle class towns. 

What started out as a petty crime with teenagers who would cut school and break and enter into houses, on foot, turned into a multi-million dollar empire when the crew took their craft to a higher level. They graduated from boys to men, who made millions of dollars when they began venturing into exclusive upper class neighborhoods. The Robbin Hoods is about what happens when you take from others, instead of building your own." - Source: http://www.erickaw.com/pages/sys/therobinhoods_sys.html

Williams dedicates this novel to "the men of the world who have had to take to have, raise themselves, be strong with no help, and who love without ever being taught how."

Ericka's dedication makes me think of many youth-led revolutions that are occurring in the world today - in the Middle East (Arab Spring) , Africa (Libya, South Sudan), South America, and in cities across Europe and the U.S. (Occupy Wall Street), where we see young men and women fighting for justice, where civic disobedience sometimes can lead to illegal actions. 

Williams' novel is a timely consideration for how the most unfortunate of "the 99%" live at the expense of the elite "1%." Except in The Robbin Hoods, justice is turned on its head with the 'have-nots' spiraling along risky journeys to 'have' ... even if only for a moment. Ericka Williams challenges us to "hear" and "see" the back stories of WHY young, disenfranchised men of color may enter a life of crime. The Robbin Hoods sheds light on the motivations and lifestyles that mainstream media seems to only be able to demonize.

To connect with Ericka Williams:
Facebook: Ericka Monique Williams
Twitter: @AuthorErickaw
Email: erickawilliamsinfo@yahoo.com
Website: Bestselling Author Ericka Williams
Book Tour: Robbin Hoods Book Tour Info
Online Audio Interview: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/Cp2R6jds

26 October 2011

Librarians: Why We Do What We Do

"Reading as a kid, The Count of Monte Cristo, at the age of 10: I was feasting on those words...romancing them. Once I read that book, it was a wrap...I started enjoying reading, period. I would sneak off to the library, find a place, and just read." -- Author Treasure E. Blue, October 23, 2011.

KC Boyd, Warrioress Librarian. Used with permission.

25 October 2011

EPILOGUE: B.E.E.F. - Bringing Extreme Explanations to the Forefront of Street Lit!

Now that my book, The Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature, is officially released and available for order, I'd like to draw your attention to the epilogue of the book that is very powerful. It is entitled, "B.E.E.F. - Bringing Extreme Explanations to the Forefront of Street Lit". This concluding chapter is the reprint of an intense email dialogue/debate between myself and young adult author, Zetta Elliott.

In this exchange we discuss the pros and cons of Street Lit as a literary genre for readers. We also get into issues of culture, identity, and equity of access. It is a very hot, intense read! As such, it is a very fitting conclusion to a readers advisory guide about a literary genre that continues to raise controversy and debate. Get your copy of the book today and enjoy!

21 October 2011

Book Launch Day#8 - Characters Outside the Cover: Who and What are we Reading in the Library?

CHAPTER EIGHT: "Truth be told, both the dark side and the bright side of public librarianship parallel similar themes laid out in various ways in the street lit genre. There are regularly scenes in street lit stories where characters enact in literacy activities that include reading books; writing letters, poems and lyrics; and doing research at the public library." - Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature 

Pre-order (it's on its way - I was told by publisher today!): http://www.amazon.com/Readers-Advisory-Guide-Street-Literature/dp/0838911102/

20 October 2011

Book Launch Day#7 - Who Put That On The Shelf? Street Lit Collection Development

CHAPTER SEVEN: "It must be noted that contemporary street lit has a strong entrepreneurial bent that the library world must respect. Patrons will often come into the library suggesting or asking for titles that they saw on street-vendor tables outside the library's doors. It is important that librarians take an engaged approach to locating relevant titles that may not be readily available via traditional library book vendors." - Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature

or http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3302

19 October 2011

Book Launch! Day#6 - Toning It Down: Teen-friendly Street Lit

CHAPTER SIX: "Reading street lit allows teens to claim some modicum of ownership over their daily lives by being able to compare their realities and identities to the characters in the stories. Street lit gives its teen readers a sense of proaction, allowing them to slow down, to examine and process the rise and pitfalls of ghetto life." - Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature 

18 October 2011

Book Launch! Day#5 - Street-Lit Readers Advisory: Expanding on the Patrons' Expertise

CHAPTER FIVE: "[T]he best resources for street lit authors, titles, and trends are patrons. ... Getting good information from patrons requires that librarians trust the patron's insights and information." - Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature 


16 October 2011

Book Launch! Day#4 - The Diversity Within Street Lit: Themes and Subgenres

CHAPTER FOUR: ‎"The genre doesn't depict women as just hapless victims of their circumstances. ... Female characters are often independent, confident, and resilient. ... Male characters tend to be proactive in their quest for respect and credibility in their communities." - Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature


15 October 2011

Book Launch! Day#3 - The Streets Are Callin': The Street as a Literary Motif

CHAPTER THREE: ‎"As a motif, the streets symbolize possibility and the enactment of choice; it is an ominous, mysterious four-sided intersection with no directional signs. ... Inner-city residents recognize instinctively that the streets hold a wisdom, if you will, a memory of transactions and interactions that metaphysically informs those who live there." - From chapter 3, Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature.

14 October 2011

Book Launch! Day#2 - From Moll Flanders to The Coldest Winter Ever: A Historical Timeline of Street Lit

CHAPTER TWO: ‎"The historicity of street literature isn't chronicling cultural norms or stereotypes about certain ethnic groups inasmuch as chronicling the challenging socioeconomic realities of diverse peoples, whoever they may be, who are living in low-income city communities at various periods in time." - Chapter 2, Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature

Book Launch! Day#1 - "It's Like A Movie in My Head": Street Lit and Its Appeal to Readers

CHAPTER ONE: ‎"Today's renaissance of the street-literature genre appeals to readers for a variety of reasons." - Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature.

13 October 2011

Book Launch! Foreword by NYT Bestselling Author, Teri Woods

FOREWORD: "This new-wave genre of street lit will always remind the human race of a people who were supposed to be forgotten, swept under a rug, put in a box - better yet a cell - never to have a voice, never to cry out, and never able to speak out again the injustice we live in, see, experience in our everyday lives just because of our demographics. ... I'm here to say this: give them (the readers) the book that lets them read." - Teri WoodsReaders Advisory Guide to Street Literature.

04 October 2011

The Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature Drops October 20th!

Hi All!

I am very excited about the official release of my book, The Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature. Its release date is set for October 20, 2011. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com, ALAStore, and other major book retail outlets. You can click on the book cover (below) to pre-order from ALAStore. 

If you are a teacher, librarian, author, publisher, or lifelong learner who wants to understand what the street lit craze is all about - this is the book for you!


Forward by New York Times best-selling author Teri Woods

Early Praise for Vanessa Irvin Morris's book:

"Morris' book challenges us to reflect on how we practice our 'service for all' credo. Her excellent scholarship and analysis will assist library staff to become 'literate' about a large body of literature and the ways that literature resonates with a large body of readers." -- Robin Osborne, Editor, From Outreach to Equity: Innovative Models of Library Policy and Practice

"Vanessa Irvin Morris persuasively overturns common prejudices against Street Literature, situating the genre convincingly in a long literary history of narratives located in low-income city neighborhoods. Her broadened conceptualization of the genre provides educators with indispensable tools for linking Street Literature with works of other literary periods and genres, non-fiction formats and even audiovisual media. Librarians and teachers will gain in-depth knowledge about readers’ agency, tastes and complex reading practices – all essential prerequisites for engaging seriously with Street Literature and its readers."-- Kristina Graaff, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
To pre-order: http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3302

To connect with Vanessa:
Facebook: Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature
Blog: StreetLiterature.com
Twitter: @vanirvinmorris
LinkedIn: vanirvinmorris
Website: http://www.vanirvinmorris.com 

StreetLiterature site *ON HIATUS*

Greetings, This site is *on hiatus* until further notice. There are reasons: 1/ Since street lit has become pretty mainstream in publicat...