Doug Levitt’s Greyhound Diaries: An Everlasting Odyssey of Self-Realization and Social Awareness

The Greyhound Diaries is Doug Levitt’s artistic expression of poverty in the United States. The “Diaries” collection includes an EP from 2007, a book published in 2008, images, videos and stage performances. Doug draws inspiration for his music and writing from his travels across the United States on Greyhound buses. Over the last decade, Doug Levitt travelled over 120,000 miles of America’s highways, swapping stories and interacting with a diverse class of society. His novel, Greyhound Diaries: Eastbound Edition, reflects an image of life below the poverty level, and his songs express the pain and fear of those who struggle through the uncertainties of life with little more than a duffle bag, some hope, and a bus ticket to a new start somewhere down the highway.

Over the years, Doug performed his music and displayed his photographs for audiences at the Kennedy Center, Walter Reed Military Hospital, Woody Guthrie Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, and at numerous homeless shelters and soup kitchens from Los Angeles to New York City. He worked with famed producer David Henry, and collaborated with Steve Bowman from Counting Crows and Craig Wright, a drummer for Steve Earle and Eric Church.

Doug was born in Washington, D.C. in 1972. His mother, Carol Schwartz, was a city council member and candidate for mayor. His father, David Schwartz, committed suicide when Doug was 16. Despite the profound effect of his father’s death, Doug graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and studied at Cornell University before earning his Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics on a Fulbright Scholarship. He began his career in journalism as a foreign correspondent for ABC, CNN and MSNBC. Based out of London, he filed dispatches from Iran, Rwanda, and Bosnia and learn more about Doug.

The inspiration for Greyhound Diaries came to Doug when he was traveling on the Get-Out-The-Vote tour promoting voter registration. In support of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, Doug traveled from small town to small town and encountered a side of the country he had never seen before. He was fascinated by what he saw and it moved him to create something from it. According to Doug, travelling by Greyhound bus provided a prospective of every strain of America at its widest angle.

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