Monday, June 24, 2013

Creative Writing in Prison

The New York Times takes a look between the bars.

From the piece...

Write about a toy or game you played with as a child, revealing something important about your experience.
One speaks of playing with the Lone Ranger and Tonto on his bedspread, enacting dramas of power and race. Another remembers the toy backhoe, a miniature version of the one his father drove on a chain gang down South. One recalls playing checkers with his granny while she schooled him about life. And one seems almost free again as he talks about riding his yellow bicycle into the wind, away from the safety and constraints of home. 

Write about when you ceased to be a child.
One was claimed at age 13 by the streets, as one parent succumbed to mental illness and the other disappeared. Another left boyhood behind at 12, when the only way to fulfill his duty as the eldest child — to bring home the items on his mother’s grocery list — was to switch supermarket price tags. Some were initiated by drinking, drugs or sex; others tie the shift to the right to drive, or vote. For one, the lynching of an uncle signaled the passage from boy to man.

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