Steven Pryce

Making it

West · Downtown · Poetry

My dad encouraged me
to go into sales
So I worked for free
at his growing company
It was cheaper than
a master’s degree

I saw it as a path to white collar work
I had never even been a sales clerk
But I jumped in the game
And tried to make a name for myself

I sent out my marketing letters
But commission salesman wanted to do better
I was left with whatever

It still looked good for an internship
And I landed a job in downtown Cleveland
It was a daily one-hour trip

The office was in the Galleria Tower
My boss had a polite, southern accent
I was sure he was transferred
That it meant success

Within months, I was paranoid and depressed
I couldn’t control what I was thinking
My career was surely sinking
So I quit, as my dad would suggest

I returned to Cleveland for treatment
So I could still work locally
I still like to think about what I could be

Steven Pryce

Steven Pryce has always liked writing and won The Ambler Literary Award from Hillsdale College. He has also had brief jobs as a journalist. Currently, he is a member of Literary Cleveland and The Writers Group in Akron.


Neighborhood Voices is a city-wide creative writing project designed by Literary Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library to engage writers across Cleveland, allowing residents to connect with neighbors, share stories of their community, and draft new writing about what makes their neighborhood unique.


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325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Project Created By Literary Cleveland

Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization and creative writing center that empowers people to explore other voices and discover their own. Through an expanding roster of multi-level classes, workshops and events, Literary Cleveland assists writers and readers at all stages of development, promotes new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advances Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.

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Founded in 1869, Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit