By Dan Johnson
The Skid Row Reader is an experimental adult literacy textbook created to nourish reading skills in students who are recovering from a host of afflictions that contribute to chronic homelessness. Created as a response to inadequate and out-of-touch teaching materials, the effort is built around themes of history, perception and context that center students in a sense of social geography and shared experience. The text encourages “digressive learning.” Each chapter is conceived as a launching point for personal association, discussion and an exploration of corollary topics rather than the imposition of a rote lesson. Contributors include Patricia Nelson Limerick, Michael Lesy, David Shields, Sam Sweet, D. Randall Blythe, Liz Goldwyn, Daniel Levitin, Erik Davis, Larry Harnisch, Terry Stevenson, Max Felker-Kantor, Jonathan Gillette and more.