Susanne Paola Antonetta, who works with Underground Writing, a group that offers workshops with the incarcerated, the undocumented (undocumented teenagers particularly), and other at-risk groups in Washington State’s Skagit County, approached us and asked if we might be interested in creating broadsides with her students’ poems.
We loved the idea, and thought there might be an opportunity to bring other voices into conversation, too. We reached out to Broadsided Poet George Franklin, who teaches poetry in a prison in Florida, to see if he might have students who would like to participate.
The result is this folio of four poems from incarcerated writers accompanied by visual responses from four Broadsided artists.
Teaching writers George and Susanne also created lesson plans to share with others who teach in prisons and jails:
We’d ALSO like to highlight the resources Jill McDonough has compiled for teachers. Jill is a poet and professor who has worked in prison, jail, and juvenile facilities for more than twenty years. With her MFA students at UMass Boston, Jill offers College Reading and Writing in two Boston jails. They post their weekly exercises/lesson plans/handouts on this blog; most of them are based on Bullets into Bells, an anthology of poetry on gun violence and responses to the poems by survivors: Jail McDonough
We consider these four broadsides the seeds of a larger collection that will grow over time. If you teach writing to incarcerated people and would like to approach us about adding their work here, please email “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Our goal is to add one or two broadsides every year, over time growing this folio to speak to the diversity of voices writing from “inside.”