Award-winning author and former Clark student Mitchell S. Jackson came to Clark on Tuesday to read and discuss his novel “The Residue Years.”
This presentation was part of the Columbia Writers Series, an event where local, national and international writers are brought in to Clark to inspire, teach and talk to the community about their writing and their lives as writers, according to the Clark website.
Over 50 students gathered in PUB 258 and listened intently as Jackson read an excerpt of “The Residue Years,” an autobiographical novel published in 2013 that reflects what it was like to grow up as a black kid in Portland, a predominantly white city. The story focuses on a mother and her oldest son, Champ, and their struggle to keep the family together as drugs threaten to tear it apart.
Jackson also read some of his other writing, including two out of a collection of 16 nonfiction essays, that recounted the toughest experiences of men in his family
Jackson said that he hopes students take away from his presentation that it’s fine to be uncertain of your future. “When I was here, I had no plans. I didn’t know really what was possible for me to do,” Jackson said. “I think being in this space and continuing on just gave me the opportunity to figure it out. So even if you don’t know necessarily where you want to end up, that is just good to be in this kind of environment that challenges you.”