Dumpster Diving Essay Text

Lars Eighner (born November 25, 1948)[1] is the author of Travels with Lizbeth, a memoir of homelessness in the American Southwest during the late 1980s;[2] the included essay "On Dumpster Diving,"[3] which is widely anthologized both at full length[4][5][6][7] and in abridged form under the title "My Daily Dives in the Dumpster";[8][9][10]Pawn to Queen Four, a novel; Lavender Blue: How to Write and Sell Gay Men's Erotica,[11] also published as Elements of Arousal[12] (an early edition includes an introduction by noted erotica author John Preston[13]); Gay Cosmos, a work of gay theory; and numerous short works of gay men's erotica,[14] collected under various titles.

Lars Eighner was born Laurence Vail Eighner in Corpus Christi, Texas, the son of Alice Elizabeth Vail Eighner (later Harlow[15]) and Lawrence Clifton Eighner, and the grandson[16] of the Texas poets Alice Ewing Vail[17] (The Big Thicket[18]) and John Arthur Vail (John Vail Ballads[19]). He grew up in Houston, Texas, and was graduated from Lamar High School in 1966. He studied creative writing under George Williams of Rice University at the Corpus Christi Fine Arts Colony, and attended the University of Texas at Austin, doing major work in ethnic studies. Lars Eighner became homeless in 1988 after leaving a job he had held for ten years as an attendant at a state hospital in Austin, Texas. On July 5, 2015, Eighner was married[20] to the man called Clint in his memoir, with whom he had lived for nearly 28 years. In 2017, he assumed his husband's surname and his legal name became Laurence Eighner Hexamer.

Eighner began writing for publication in the early 1980s. By that time he was generally known as Lars, the result of having worked in a small office with two Larrys. Because in early writing attempts he had been confused with Black Mountain poet Larry Eigner, Eighner used 'Lars' for writing. His first book was a collection of short stories, Bayou Boy and Other Stories (Gay Sunshine Press, 1985).[21] In the late 1980s, he and his dog Lizbeth became homeless, and his experiences as a homeless person in Austin, Texas; Los Angeles, and places in between are the subject of Travels with Lizbeth.[22] Eighner was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters[23] in 1994.


  1. ^Nueces Co. Births, 1948[dead link]
  2. ^The New York Times on the Web Books
  3. ^Eighner, Lars (1992). "On Dumpster Diving". New England Journal of Public Policy. 8 (1). 
  4. ^"''The Norton Reader'' contents". Books.wwnorton.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  5. ^"''75 Readings'' contents". Highered.mcgraw-hill.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  6. ^"''Hiding in Plain Sight'' contents". Threepennyreview.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  7. ^"contents of ''The Pushcart Prize XVII". Catalog.dclibrary.org. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  8. ^"''Prentice Hall Reader'' chapter guide". Prenhall.com. December 7, 1997. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  9. ^Joseph F. Trimmer & Maxine C. Hairston. "''The Riverside Reader, 7th ed.'' web links". College.cengage.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  10. ^"''Harper's Magazine'' archive". Harpers.org. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ISBN 0-938743-01-5
  12. ^ISBN 1-56333-230-2
  13. ^[1]. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  14. ^Eighner, Lars (September 8, 2005). ""Why I Write Gay Erotica" Lars Eighner". Larseighner.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  15. ^Marriage license no. 342757, Harris County (Texas) Clerk, issued 19670630, returned 19670701
  16. ^"Tarrant Co. TX births 1927". Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  17. ^Hill, Billy Bob (2002). "Coons in the Corn" include in "Texas in poetry 2". Google Books. TCU Press. ISBN 0-87565-267-0. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  18. ^issued prior to ISBN, Published by Naylor Co, 1952, Amazon product no. ASIN: B0007EFZPE
  19. ^Nortex Press, no other details known.
  20. ^http://deed.co.travis.tx.us/ords/f?p=105:30:0::NO::P30_MARRIAGE_ID,P31_INSTRUMENT_NUMBER,P30_LICENSE_STATUS:540324,01-05416-2015,Returned
  21. ^ISBN 0-917342-06-2
  22. ^Eighner, Lars (September 8, 2005). ""About ''Travels with Lizbeth''" Lars Eighner". Larseighner.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  23. ^"Texas Institute of Letters members". Texasinstituteofletters.org. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 

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