Poverty Hero Project


Poverty HerosLiterary and Visual Art honoring a new literary Hero - The Poverty Hero.

The Poverty Hero Project was a literary and visual art project launched in 2001 by artists at POOR Magazine in collaboration with Community Defense Inc. The three lead artists; Lisa Gray-Garcia, Leroy Moore and Dee Gray facilitated a series of 10 eight week workshops on the creation of this new form of literary hero.

These workshops culminated in a 55 page full color anthology published by POOR Press and a series of 12 radio narratives broadcast on PNN's KPFA radio show.

To get a copy of the book or CD of the radio shows please contact: POOR Press (415) 863-6306

The Poverty Heroes Project continues by honoring the lives of youth, adults and elders who have struggled, resisted, lived through poverty, racism, disability, criminalization and violence locally and globally.

To Trent, from Kaponda

June 2000

I had the honor of meeting Trent Hayward at the community newswroom in the offices of Poor Magazine. I was impressed as he claimed the persona of the Chief Justice of the High Court when issues of poverty were discussed. Trent's presence not only empowered everyone in attendance on that afternoon, but the unpretentious contribution he brought to the newsroom made him an instant friend to me.

To Trent From Darrin

June 2000

Trent Heyward was one of the most creative people I've ever had the honor of knowing.He possessed a wonderful sense of humor and an exceptionally keen mind. He was a good friend and I'll miss him a lot.

Thoughts on the death of Trent James Hayward aka Harpo Corleone

June 10, 2000

When I heard Trent died it seemed both unreal and inevitable. I look at his picture and he looks so alive, so energetic so vital. So young.

Inspiration to Keep on Living

June 2000

In a world where optimism is hard to come by, Trent was the embodiment of hope. A couple weeks back I figured: a guy with such a huge talent, with such sharp intellect will undoubtedly pull himself from the depths of despair. The streets that have devoured so many of my friends won't get this one, I thought.

To Trent, From Connie Lynch

June 2000

We had a routine. I'd be five minutes late. A black coffee with two heaping teaspoons of brown sugar and one orange juice would be the order.

POST-SCRIPT

June 2000

Like many writers, some of Trent's best stuff wound up being edited. This was edited out of an article the STREET SHEET ran last summer titled "Hate McMuffin," describing an incident where a McDonald's security guard beat up a homeless customer for demanding the same coffee refill that other, non-homeless customers were enjoying without problems. It describes the widening gulf between the haves and have-nots in SF, and anyone who's ever been shit on 'cause they're homeless knows exactly where Trent was coming from. c.m.

BAD NEWS Harpo Corleone throws a seven

June 2000

I finally wander into the COH offices around half past noon Saturday, June 3rd. People who call me a workaholic are closer to the truth than I'll ever let on: Money jingles in my pocket, and teeming along sidewalks linking all the many liquor stores of the Tenderloin are the typical legions of dealers and hustlers and runners and lookouts and all the whatever elses I don't care to contemplate and am trying to avoid - all of them choking back the despair of poverty and illness for a few moments at a time… sealing their fates in the bargain.

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