May 5, 2010

Guilty of Poetry

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As the end of the semester approaches, there is one last lovely literary thing to look forward to (in fact, there’s probably many — don’t hold me to one). A brand new literary journal called Writer’s Bloc, written by, about and for, inmates at the Auburn Correctional Facility.   Through the Cornell Prison Education Program I have TA-ed English and writing courses at the maximum security prison for the last year and a half, and it has been, by far, one of the most educational, interesting and rewarding experiences of my Cornell career (which is, ahhhh, about to come to an end). If you are not a senior, and you believe in the rehabilitation of prisoners, I highly, highly encourage you to get involved. OR (yaaay) you can read our journal.  Rahul Desai ’10 and myself founded the journal this year, with a lot of logistical and financial support from CPEP itself, and are incredibly excited to announce that the physical product will be available on campus later this week. Please stop by the CPEP office in McGraw Hall, look for copies in the various campus cafés or check one out on reserve from the libraries.   Writer’s Bloc contains the essays, short stories and poetry of 20-plus inmates at Auburn, all of whom take classes through the CPEP program. They, and all of us, are incredibly proud of their work, and they have so much they want to share with you. Please, be the audience they crave for their writing, their outlet. I bet you’ll be surprised and impressed with a lot of what you find in the pages of Writer’s Bloc. Here’s a taste from one student’s poem: “Words are nothing more than relentless selfishness / Incapable of conveying life’s irrefutable beauty which lies secluded / In distant corners buried by remote preservation.”

Original Author: Julia Woodward