Judith has taught poetry in prisons across the United States and intensively at San Quentin and other California prisons through Arts-in-Corrections. We asked Judith to do a writing workshop for us. Prison Poetry Workshop has asked poets from across the country to record a special workshop for our listeners. Feel free to play this series for incarcerated, or formerly incarcerated youth and adults and ask them to write their own poetry in response and send them to us. Responses may be posted on the Prison Poetry Workshop website and shared with our listening audience.
You can be sure that most Americans have been affected by the prison system in some way.
The Orleans Parish Prison — despite the name, it’s a county jail — took a beating during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and many prisoners had to be moved to tents, where some still live, on the grounds of the prison. Others live in cells. A new facility is under construction, and nearing completion.
“Died in Korea from a shrapnel wound and narcotics resurrected me. I died in 1960 from a prison sentence and poetry brought me back to life.” —Etheridge Knight