A conversation with Gwendolyn Brooks

While in prison Etheridge Knight corresponded with the revered poet Gwendolyn Brooks. In this 1986 talk with Alan Jabbour, director of the Library of Congress’ American Folklore division, and E. Ethelbert Miller, poet and director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University Brook’s shares some background on her … Continue reading

Junot Diaz Junot Diaz on Prison Poetry

“You can be sure that most Americans have been affected by the prison system in some way.” Continue reading

Poems from Prison

We visited both Etheridge Knight’s archival collections at both the University of Toledo and Butler University and looked through his papers. The publication “Poems from Prison” by Broadside Press was a turning point in Knight’s life as a poet. Continue reading

We Real Cool

Waiting for Etheridge Knight when he was released from prison was poet Gwendolen Brooks. Here we share with you the essential Brooks with “We Real Cool.” Continue reading

Write Night

Every month Free Minds hosts a Write Night where community members in D.C. gather to provide feedback on the writing of their Book Club members still incarcerated. Poems are read and multiple comments are written onto each poem and then mailed by to the writer. Continue reading

Bus Boys and Poets

PPW went to the amazing D.C. venue Bus Boys and Poets and recorded Free Minds Book Club performing their work along with with writer and former NBA basketball player Etan Thomas. The room was packed and the response felt like a homecoming. Continue reading

Free Minds Book Club

PWP was in Washington, DC learning about the most incredible book club: “Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop: Free Minds uses books and creative writing to empower young inmates to transform their lives.” Continue reading

Carl Hines

We headed up to Indianapolis to discover Etheridge Knight’s story and found a rich community of poets, jazz musicians, and artists where still today keep arts alive and kicking. Carl Hines, poet and jazz musician, let us spend a morning listening to him play and recorded some poems for us. Continue reading

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