robin storey dunn
Raised by German immigrants, I grew up hearing “Hitler was right on the race issue" at the dinner table. At sixteen I ran away and was homeless, queer, and half-feral when an all-Black spiritualist church rescued me. They called themselves saints and I believed them. For the next ten years I lived a cloistered, communal life with the church, trying and failing to be a saint. When it became impossible to stay, I had to find my way in a world where I hadn’t yet learned to live.
My writing has appeared in Gertrude, Perfect Sound Forever, Pidgeonholes, The Windhover, and Rue Scribe, and received honorable mention in the 2020 Tusculum Review Nonfiction Prize contest. In the early eighties I put out a punk fanzine, New Musical Excess, bits of which exist online (here, here, here, and here).
Kindness is a lost and found story of the soul, a picaresque yet poetic tale of how punk rock, street corner religion and queer identity can save a life. In language so spare it feels more like breath than words, Robin Storey Dunn relates what it’s like to grow up alienated from family, history, language, community and even landscape. She finds belonging in an arcane religious cult only to discover she must rescue herself from the very kindness that saved her.
—Donna M. Johnson
Author of Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir
Lamont Thomas (Obnox, This Moment in Black History)