Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop is an organization that uses the literary arts, workforce development, and violence prevention to connect incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and adults to their own voices, their purpose, and the wider community.
On December 2nd, from 1:30 – 3:00, Free Minds will host a session called “Write Night: On the Same Page” for Village members. We will have the opportunity to read poems written by incarcerated poets and give them some feedback. After reading the poem, you can write a short note to the poet, a note that lets them know that you have read their work and you have heard what they are saying. You may want to add words of support and encouragement. We will write with colorful pens, addressing the poet by name and signing our first name. These will be mailed back to the poets who find it tremendously encouraging to know that their work is being read.
At the beginning of the session, we will hear from some of Free Minds’ Poet Ambassadors. These are returning citizens who have been involved in the program while incarcerated and are still involved in Free Minds’ re-entry programs. They talk about their goals and their dreams and about what the organization has meant to them.
Here is what one Free Minds member says about this program: “I was so surprised the first time I saw the comments! I didn’t know people out there cared. When you come in here and you see you’ve been on the news, you figure people must be scared of you and no longer care about you. When I read what the people at Write Night wrote on my poetry, I saw that they didn’t think I was an animal, but just a human being who made a bad choice. It made me want to keep on writing!”