Response to Gilyard’s “Voice of Self”

Erik Yan

Dr. Carrie Hall


I liked how Gilyard told his story with a lot of detail on a certain experience and also using dialogue to bring you more into the moment. Gilyard uses a lot of back and forth dialogue with his friends when they commit crimes together. He tells his story in a casual tone because he uses a lot of curse words and slang. His use of these words and slang help to portray how he was when he was younger. He didn’t really listen to older people who are trying to help him. For example, the part when he was in jail, the prison was asking him about how he ended up in jail and Gilyard just responses with ” Fuck you. Leave me the fuck alone”. This shows his arrogant mindset when he was younger. This is an interesting way to get readers attention in my opinion. I would like to do something like this in my essay because as a reader, you can just connect and understand a little bit easier.

Response to Gilyard’s “Voice of the Self”

Hend Elwahwah

Dr. Hall



Throughout Gilyard’s book I had realized that his writing style relates to many of us teenagers. Gilyard’s writing is not similar to many authors nowadays. He wrote this book with an amazing flow that can help many people understand it easier. Rather than, struggling to understand it. What Gilyard is doing in his writing that I would like to do in my own is go with a better flow that alerts the reader’s attention in wanting to finish what they are reading. Also, I would want to go as deep as Gilyard goes in his writing. Explaining all the details that every reader is interested in. In the past I’ve read many excerpts that are so boring because there is no flow, no deep detailing, nothing I was basically interested in. That’s exactly what I do not want to do. When Gilyard stated, “There were no customers when we entered the laundry, only the woman behind the counter who had a fit when Wallace pointed the pistol at her. She began backing away slowly, shaking her head “no no no” with her hands pressed up against the sides of her face.” That right there made me stop and say to myself, this is what I want to do, I want to immerse myself in my writing as intensely as Gilyard dwelled in his writing. In my opinion, it makes me want to continue reading the passage and have much more interest in what is going to happen next.


Response to Gilyard’s “Voice of the self”


While reading “Voices of the self” by Keith Gilyard, his background is easy to understand because I have been to the areas such as “a rehabilitation center over on 14th street”. So it was easy to imagine myself there in his setting-imagery. Gilyard also includes demographics that shows the diversity is expanding and also credited his resources, “Whitaker (1989) reports that because of low pay, undesirable work conditions, and overall frustration with school systems”. However, I would not like to write a research paper in the conclusion. While there are some things that can easily relate to things that happened around me, was how this story was very similar to the people that I had encountered. Such as students doing drugs in school and not even attending, and they still graduate like the rest of the students. However its nice that Keith was given the opportunity to graduate high school, even though he has been sent to jail. Another thing that I liked about this story and that I would prefer in my writings is the use of first person perspective. I do not like how this story has people talking to another individual, as reading from a 3rd person perspective, and would prefer his usual first person- his life. In my opinion, I though the story was okay.

Gilyard’s Story

Pavel Nunez

Dr. Carrie Hall

English 1101


Well after reading  Gilyards story I’ve noticed that  he writes similar/differently than any other people that also write stories . Similarly he did a type of writing called a “autobiography” which is basically a person talking about his/her life(not all stories  do this).But what he did different was making the reader feel mixed emotions for him(I almost never see this). For example, he first told us that he did drugs(which is bad thing obviously), then he told us that he scored an average above the 80’s which is impressive and tried to discouraged his family from doing heroin, then proceeding to tell us that he steals other people cars…. This was easy to read because I didn’t know whether I should feel bad for him or just hate him, Although he did keep the story entertaining by keeping me interested on seeing the outcome of his life which was that  he “was out of the drug life” and ended up passing most of his classes. Also I liked the imagery he used on pg 157 which says” the truth of that proposition was as clear as the bright caps of angry oceans wave hurtling toward a shore in clear darkness. But he did use a lot of foul language which I’m not really use to when it comes to reading a normal story.

Planning ahead, I think I might add a chain of good or bad events in my story because it seems to keep me interested on what is going to happen and I’m going to use imagery to express feeling.

Ife Ajayi
Prof. Hall
Eng 1121
1 February 2019

Throughout my reading of Gilyard’s book I noticed that his style of writing isn’t too similar to other authors. He wrote this book in a way where people who read it can understand it easily. I feel like some teenagers could probably relate to some of the things that happened to Gilyard when he was younger in a way. With that being said, the way he wrote this is similar to how some teenagers express themselves in writing. When I read some books I usually have trouble understanding points that the author is trying to make because of how sophisticated the language is. While reading some of Gilyard’s book, I could picture some of what he went through because of how understanding his writing is.

Throughout his writing, Gilyard openly expressed some of the things he went through when he was a high school student. He went into detail about certain things that other people would be ashamed to even talk about. This is one thing that I liked about his writing. If you’re going to openly write about something you should go into detail as much as possible or you shouldn’t write about it at all. In the book he stated, “I stole some more, did a little dealing, shot the highest dosages of dope I ever had. Jail was a more likely destination than a university.” These are some things that he did the summer before starting at a university. Things he planned on never doing again.

In future writing, I plan on being more specific especially when storytelling. It’s important to grab the reader’s attention in the beginning of your writing. And it’s just as important for the reader to still be engaged while reading the rest. Gilyard did a good job keeping me interested while reading his writing. Not many authors can do this. I get bored easily while reading. The subject matter of Gilyard’s writing is honestly what kept me going. He wrote about the lifestyle he use to live and how he was involved in drugs and jail. He also wrote about young people of color and how education in America works for them. In a way I felt that I needed to read about this because it related to me.

For Tuesday, Feb 5.

Link to OpenLab’s Help section on “How to Write a Post” HERE

Hi! For Tuesday, please read and annotate the excerpt from Keith Gilyard’s “Voices of the Self.” If you missed class, I have put a few extra copies outside my office, which is Namm 525.

There are basically 3 sections to this reading: VII (which you should read, but can skim), VIII (which I would like you to pay close attention to) and the reflection (“Conclusion.” I have also written “Part 2 starts here” on that page). You should pay especially close attention to this section as well.

Please also post a response to the Gilyard reading on Open Lab. For this, please think of yourself as a writer, and answer the following question: What is Gilyard doing in his writing that you would like to do in your own writing? Be specific! (by which I mean, use quotes– and tell us what it is about the writing that you like– the style, the subject matter, etc.) You may also talk about what Gilyard does in his writing that you do not want to do in your own writing– again, be specific– use quotes, and explain what you do not like. DON’T SAY IT’S TOO LONG, THOUGH. That’s just…too simple. It’s only too long if it bores you. If it does bore you, explain what, specifically, is boring! This response should be 200 words or so, and posted on OpenLab.

When you post on OpenLab, you must add a category or it won’t let you post. The category for this assignment is “Gilyard” Categories are on the right side of the page in a column. Directions for writing a post can be found at the very top of this entry.