First Think-Tank Interactive Workshop at Hazelton

Fourteen men at Hazelton Correctional Center prepared a 3-hour interactive workshop for the sixteen students in my graduate prison studies class last night (ENGL 631). As always with a large group, there were a million logistical challenges, clearances and concerns about dress code, a caravan of cars, exhaustion. Once we were there, none of that mattered. Within minutes an ice breaker had everyone laughing and deep in conversation. The two facilitators read a poem, a poem written by a woman in another prison, and asked us this question, “how do you live life without detaching yourself from reality.” In pairs, groups of 4, then larger groups, we went round & round this question, debating what constitutes reality, detachment, and living life. I’m so grateful to the men in the Hazelton Think Tank, to staff who stayed late to make this happen, to my open-hearted students who are already changing the world, to APBP which has supported the book clubs, and without the book clubs, both of them, this beautiful workshop would not have happened.  –katy ryan

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