Billy Lawrence –
Billy Lawrence – Once branded as a local punk, Billy is now a doctor of education with a collection of college degrees. He was born and raised on Long Island in New York and has lived in five other states.
His other creative publications, (credited as WK, Will, and William Lawrence) include poems and stories in various national and international literary journals, a trilogy of poetry chapbooks, and two collections of poems State of Love and Trust (2005) and Punk Poetry (2016).
Lawrence has been working in education for the past eighteen years. He has written and lectured about issues that affect at-risk and first-generation college students. He has a doctorate in education from Northeastern University and three Masters degrees from George Washington University, SUNY Stony Brook, and Long Island University. He studied literature and the history of Rock N Roll at Portland State University in Oregon. He currently lives in North Carolina and teaches at NC State University. To him, it feels like just yesterday he was an insubordinate punk wandering the streets of New York.
IT WAS A CLEAR SUNNY DAY in late May, but the inside of that school felt subterranean. Some rooms had an unobstructed window to look out of— initial joy for the view of the sky— blue all around from the bottom to the top of the window— only to be followed by the sinking recognition that plexiglass stood between us and nature. It was a glimpse of the world out there, but so difficult to break through. The plexiglass was deceiving. We were caged in that building like broken animals gone from the jungle far too long.
— Chapter 1
I WAS BARELY LIVING SOMEWHERE. I dumped my black plastic garbage bag full of belongings in Paul’s closet. It was home for now. After two weeks of sleeping in my car, at the beach, and a few nights at Elizabeth’s house, Paul came by to visit. He had heard the news. Paul offered me the floor and insisted I stay with him. I couldn’t refuse the help.
— Chapter 55
The Punk and the Professor