Jay Stevens


Jay Stevens lives in Erie with his wife and two children.

Born and raised in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, Jay has lived in Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Germany, Russia, and Montana. He’s traveled extensively and had wicked adventures.

He’s waited tables, washed dishes, dug ditches, worked on a telephone bank, taught elementary education and college composition, painted a waste treatment plant, was a tall ship sailor, ski instructor, and a summer junior counselor at a nature camp, he worked as a proofreader, copy editor, technical writer, and software tester in the computer industry, and once spent six joyless weeks behind the counter at UPS during a Christmas rush. He worked as a political campaign manager, and was a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He played baseball, soccer, and rugby, pole vaulted in high school, and was a downhill ski racer starting at age seven. He plays guitar badly and hikes when he can. He is an avid Red Sox fan.

But most of all, Jay is a writer. He earned an MFA from The University of Montana. His two Montana-based political blogs – 4&20 blackbirds and Left in the West – won a number of accolades. He’s written political commentary for the American Prospect and UK Guardian, and book reviews and news articles for alt-weeklies and local papers. Jay currently writes his weekly “Soapbox” column for the Erie Reader, as well as occasional cover stories.

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Jay Stevens bids farewell to a city like no other.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 at 8:25 AM

Are we obsessed with how the world ends? Probably. But why?

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 at 5:15 PM

Lifting the ban on marijuana is easy; legalizing it isn’t – and it isn’t because of the War on Drugs. 

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 at 4:15 AM

According to Jay Stevens, Mad Max: Fury Road does have a kick-ass lead, but it's still a long way from treating its female characters as, well, people.

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 at 4:15 AM

The real problem of travel baseball isn't the helicopter parents; it's the money.

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 at 6:23 AM

Hindsight’s 20/20, but Jeb Bush’s vision of the invasion of Iraq may be blurred by bad intelligence seen through rose-tinted glasses.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 at 6:45 AM

The distracting joke of Jade Helm 15 doesn't have us laughing as the Patriot Act's renewal seems inevitable. 

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 at 9:30 AM

Another black man killed by police. Another media circus. Another news story about the same thing.

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 at 7:15 AM

What we see is what we get - and that's exactly what we may need. 

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 5:00 AM

Ted Cruz's take on climate change and the role of mainstream media in scientific verification. 

Erie Reader: Vol. 6, No. 21
Now Available — Pick It Up Today


HBO's newest series as viewed through the lens of the Serial Gamer

Your 2016 Election Day preview 

Curious creatures at home and abroad 

The dollars and sense of lakeshore wind power 

A meeting of the minds to move Erie forward


Your 2016 Election Day preview 

Curious creatures at home and abroad 

The dollars and sense of lakeshore wind power 

A meeting of the minds to move Erie forward

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Local cups compete to benefit the St. Martin Center.

 Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem’s American Spiritual will satisfy those corners of the soul.

It’s impossible to overstate how perfectly Return to Love opens.

Public health and the health of local budgets are both at stake throughout Pennsylvania.  

Drew Farrell: artist