Abe Streep attended Blue School from second through sixth grade, during the time we had students from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. Following high school, he studied literature and creative writing, which inspired him to enter the world of journalism. He began his career by interning at Atlantic Monthly and is now a contributing editor at Outside and at The California Sunday Magazine. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, WIRED, The Atavist, Men’s Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, NewYorker.com, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. Abe has covered rodeo, coal miners, disaster response, environmental issues, refugee resettlement, public lands conflicts, minor-league baseball and high school basketball. His writing has been included in Best American Sports Writing and noted in Best American Essays and Best American Science and Nature Writing.
This past February he was named one of two 2019 recipients of the American Mosaic Journalism Prize. The Heising-Simons Foundation, based in Los Altos, Calif., initiated the Mosaic prize in 2018 for freelancers displaying “excellence in long-form, narrative or deep reporting about underrepresented and/or misrepresented groups in the American landscape,” says a news release. Recipients were chosen by a panel representing major news organizations, universities and freelance journalism.
Abe Streep was recognized for his New York Times Magazine feature titled “What the Arlee Warriors Were Playing For,” focused on a high school basketball team from the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, and “The Last Best Place,” a Harper’s feature about a Syrian refugee family, also in Montana.
We asked him how Blue Rock School influenced him.
I feel lucky to have attended Blue Rock. It was a formative time and I remember being outside a lot: sitting in the woods and canoeing at Piermont Marsh. At Blue Rock there was a strong emphasis on the arts and reading and writing. I remember reading the Redwall books, preparing for the solstice celebrations, and dissecting fish. There was an idealism at the school.
As a journalist, I try to write about complex issues in a way that gets close to the essence of things. That doesn’t necessarily mean finding or providing answers, but rather just saying how things are without reducing them so that the subjects can recognize the story and the reader might question some assumptions.