Friday, June 14, 7:30pm
Cops don’t respond to calls on Stag Hill. Neither does the fire department. The Ramapough Lenape, a destabilized people—origins uncertain, debated and mythologized—are struggling to survive in the face of an ecological devastation visited upon them by the neighboring Ford plant, which has dumped paint sludge in the abandoned mines for decades. The EPA hasn’t lived up to its promise of a cleanup, and the woods in which they hunt and play are toxic.
Exley DeGroat is an apathetic Ramapough teenager trying to define himself and his people, wrestling with the revenants of his past and the horrors of his present. Mixedbloods is a story of identity, of a cultural history under attack, and of destructive—often violent—behavior. It documents a class struggle between the rich and poor, but also between the organic and the inorganic, and thus between the forces of life and the forces of death.
Joseph Rathgeber is an author, poet, high school English teacher, and adjunct professor from New Jersey. His short stories and poems have appeared in The Literary Review, J Journal: New Writing on Justice, Mizna, Salamander, and elsewhere. His story collection is The Abridged Autobiography of Yousef R. and Other Stories (ELJ Publications, 2014). His work of hybrid poetry is MJ (Another New Calligraphy, 2015). He is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a recipient of a 2014 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship (Poetry). He’s currently at work on a novel.
Joseph Rathgeber, Mixedbloods