Poems from Inside: A Creative Writing and Publishing Program at ACF April 2012
Residents will learn about different forms of poetry and be exposed to new writers from a variety of multicultural backgrounds. Reading A Place to Stand and hearing Mr. Baca share his story will reinforce the idea that positive change during and after incarceration is possible. Results measured by program evaluations after each workshop to determine what residents learned about writing.
Residents will have an opportunity to write, revise and publish a poem. At least one poem published by each participant in the poetry book depending on the number of submissions.
Residents will learn about community and library resources and programs to help with their writing.
Residents will receive a copy of the poetry book with their poem. Based on previously similar programs, becoming a published author has had a very positive effect on residents’ self-esteem and sense of pride/accomplishment. Results measured by a follow-up evaluation after participants receive their copy of the book.
Reduce social distance by creating an opportunity for community members to learn more about the residents and perhaps what led to their incarceration. For example, HCL Outreach received the following comments in a letter from a library customer who had read several previously published poetry books with work by ACF residents:
“In reading the poetry in these three books, I was struck by the level of pain that these writers have experienced in their lives. They seem to have had hardships dealing with poverty, abuse, chemical dependency and mental health issues. Yet there is often a thread of hope and survivorship present in their poetry. Developing a spirit of hope seems necessary for change and for a successful transformation to the outside world.”“…Creating poetry may allow a writer to reflect upon or express some things which cannot yet be spoken. Sharing what has been written can be a step toward self-awareness, forgiveness, healing, and change. The affirmation and dignity that comes when one feels that they have been given a voice and have been heard or understood is important to us all.”
- Ann K., HCL customer
These outcomes are for programs held in January-March:
Attendees of Bao Phi's workshop were surveyed:
50% said the program made them think about poetry in a new way.
80% said the program inspired them to think about their lives.
60% said that the program inspired them to w
65% said they learned about an author and wriSelected comment, "From his words, I view the world differently."
Attendees at Sarah Fox's workshop were surveyed:
77% said the program made them think about poetry in a new way.
54% said the program inspired them to think about their lives.
31% said that the program inspired them to write.
62% said they learned about an author and writing.
Attendees of Steve Healey's workshops were surveyed:
94% said they workshops were excellent/good.
84% said they would use what they learned.
Selected comment, "It was refreshing to be able to participate in an activity and not just get lectured to."
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