Posts Tagged: prison

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Conversations with Literary Ex-Cons #9: Vickie Stringer

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Vickie Stringer talks about her first novel Let That Be the Reason, her Triple Crown Publishing venture, life in prison, and making hip-hop literature. ...more

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Making a Murderer and “Bad” Families

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There were “good” families and “bad” families, and even I, an outsider, was quickly apprised of which was which. ...more

On Refugees, and Refusing to Be Scared

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The news that governors are suddenly deciding that they don’t want to welcome Syrian refugees has really driven home to me just how cowardly much of this country is. We talk tough, mind you, but when we’re asked to really open ourselves up to something, we refuse.

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with Reginald Dwayne Betts

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club chats with Reginald Dwayne Betts about his new book Bastards of the Reagan Era. ...more

This Week in Indie Bookstores

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New York City bookstore The Strand has started selling “Make America Read Again” hats that mock The Donald’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Toledo-area bookstore J’s Book Shelf is helping local inmates get access to reading material, donating 22,000 books.

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The Rumpus Interview with Adam Johnson

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Pulitzer Prize–winning author Adam Johnson talks about his new book, Fortune Smiles, fiction and voice, veterans and defectors, solar-powered robots and self-driving cars, and infrared baseball caps that can blind security cameras. ...more

Imperiled Across Both the Deep and Immediate Past

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At the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates unflinchingly analyzes and condemns the history of mass incarceration in America and its disproportionately devastating effect on black families:

The blacks incarcerated in this country are not like the majority of Americans. They do not merely hail from poor communities—they hail from communities that have been imperiled across both the deep and immediate past, and continue to be imperiled today.

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Books That Save Lives

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For the GuardianErwin James reflects on his experience reading while in prison, and how books like David Levering’s Prisoners of Honor reshaped his life:

I was without skills or abilities, but I could read. I’m sure the six books a week I was allowed from the prison library helped to keep me alive during that uncertain year, unlike the man in the cell above mine who hanged himself during my first Christmas inside.

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The Rumpus Interview with Ottessa Moshfegh

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Ottessa Moshfegh discusses her first full-length novel, Eileen, betrayal, self-aware narrators, and the catalytic properties of friendship. ...more

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Conversations with Literary Ex-Cons #8: Jack Gantos

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Jack Gantos discusses the sense of “delusional invincibility” he had in 1970s New York that led him to prison—and then on to a career as an award-winning children’s book author. ...more

Writing in Prison

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Drugs and petty crime landed Daniel Genis in prison for ten years. He spent his term reading and working on his three-hundred page novel—but only after dropping $375 on a clear plastic typewriter, the only model he was allowed. Genis spoke with The Airship, describing what it was like writing from prison:

A typewriter contains enough metal rods and plastic shards to murder a fair amount of people, so one would think that this would be an issue.

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The Rumpus Interview with Daniel Alarcón

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Daniel Alarcón talks about his latest novel, At Night We Walk in Circles, drawing inspiration from Bolaño and Chekhov, the writer's place of privilege, and the questions that arise from an imagined life that easily could have been. ...more

When Schools Use the Police Station as a Principal’s Office

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In Meridian, when schools want to discipline children, they do much more than just send them to the principal’s office. They call the police, who show up to arrest children who are as young as 10 years old. Arrests, the Department of Justice says, happen automatically, regardless of whether the police officer knows exactly what kind of offense the child has committed or whether that offense is even worthy of an arrest.

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A Close Look at Solitary Confinement

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Mother Jones features a gripping story by Shane Bauer, who in 2009 was apprehended on the Iraqi border and imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison in Iran for 26 months, 4 of which were spent in solitary.

Using his experience as reference, he probes American prison policies on solitary confinement, particularly the processes of California’s Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Units, or SHUs.

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