Q&A With Raymond Luczak on “Compassion Michigan”

Raymond Luczak, author of Compassion, Michigan

What was the first story with which this book started? When was that story written and what inspired it?

I suddenly remembered the fact that I’d truly loved the taste of orange sherbet at an ice cream parlor across the street from Carlson’s Supermarket in Ironwood, Michigan; I must’ve been seven or eight at the time. That place felt magical, and I think I was in there maybe two or three times if that, and how peculiar that I couldn’t remember anyone serving those magnificent scoops of sherbet. At the same time I began to think about the neighborhood a few blocks south of where I grew up, so imagining a 33-year-old woman who ran the ice cream parlor living in that part of the neighborhood flowed together fairly quickly. After finishing “Stella, Gone” in late March 2017, I realized that if I did some historical research about actual locations around Ironwood, I could put together a new book of short stories that would be somewhat inspired by Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, which had been published in 1919.

How many of these stories are inspired from real-life events/experiences?

Aside from the fact that all of these stories take place in actual locations that I knew around Ironwood while following the general history of mining and/or downtown developments around the city, the book is truly fictional with a few exceptions. The experience of growing up Deaf in a large hearing family is definitely there in the book’s first and last stories, and there is a story somewhat inspired by an aunt who had a child born out of wedlock (but there was a happy ending unlike in the book), but that’s about it. “The Ways of Men” was directly inspired by reading in a memoir somewhere a very brief description of a trans man who regularly rode the streetcar in Ironwood during the 1920s. Everyone knew that he was trans but it didn’t seem to be an issue. No one knew his name, and his mere existence on the streetcar was all the information available that the author had about him, but I was immediately struck by the notion of a trans man living rather openly back in those glory days of Ironwood. Whoa! I couldn’t resist imagining everything else about him.

Most of these stories are about women/female-led characters. Any particular reasons for this focus on the female gender?

My previous collection The Kinda Fella I Am had focused solely on the disabled gay male experience, so I thought it was time to try something else different. Women have always fascinated me in the sense of their unfortunate second-class citizenship in our male-dominated society because as a Deaf person, I too have been treated very much like a second-class citizen by hearing people. My communication needs do not matter. The entire burden of communication rests on me: I must learn how to speak clearly and lipread while hearing people don’t feel obligated to change their behavior to accommodate my accessibility needs. Women have had to deal with an incredibly misogynistic society for centuries, so I believe I can appreciate a little bit of that fury against a system that still continues to reward hearing able-bodied straight white men.

Pretreatment In Action

SKU 978-1-61599-594-3
$25.95
Interactive Exploration from Homelessness to Housing Stabilization
In stock
1
Product Details

Jay Levy's Pretreatment In Action: Interactive Exploration from Homelessness to Housing Stabilization provides the reader with a wonderfully crafted, detailed step-by-step manual with real-world scenarios on how Pretreatment and the Stages of Engagement play out in the actual work. The vignettes are rich with descriptions that clearly come from a deep repertoire of experience working in the field that gives the reader confidence they are being guided by someone who has been in their shoes. The thoughtful questions and space to reflect add a helpful workbook touch to the feel of the text, and matches the grittiness of the material being covered.

The reader will...

  • Understand the 5 principles of a Pretreatment Model through their application to real-life scenarios that depict the world of homelessness, trauma and loss.
  • Learn how to utilize Pretreatment Assessment and interventions to promote the engagement process and safety with highly vulnerable people.
  • Effectively integrate the stages of Common Language Development with one's own practice of outreach and engagement with under-served persons.
  • Experience through interactive exercises and reflecting on case illustrations the importance of facilitating the meaning-making process with both staff and clients.
  • Discover an innovative approach to staff supervision based on the integration of Pretreatment principles with Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) and Open Dialogue approaches to helping

"Pretreatment In Action by Jay S. Levy, MSW is a landmark accomplishment. For those who do street outreach and street medicine, Jay has provided a much-needed framework for navigating the largely undefined terrain of therapeutic relationships with those experiencing unsheltered homelessness."
--Dr. Jim Withers- Medical Director and Founder of the Street Medicine Institute, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

"By using case studies and reflective exercises, Jay Levy has created a highly readable and accessible guide to working with people who are street homeless. Levy's enthusiasm for the work shines through on each page; he does not shy away from complexity, and the stories and situations he describes are as relevant in the UK as in his native USA.",
--Dr. Jenny Drife- START Homeless Outreach Team, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Advisor to the Royal College of Psychiatrists on homelessness and mental health

"Levy draws on respected approaches including Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. He integrates these into a clearly articulated practical approach that will also work with other significantly disadvantaged people living with trauma and marginalization."
--Rohena Duncombe, BA, BSW, MSWAP, Social work academic & researcher, Charles Sturt University, Australia

Learn more at www.JaySLevy.com

From Loving Healing Press

Save this product for later

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.