Between In- and Out-Side: Transmission Under The Carceral State

Incarceration, by design, seeks to starve a most basic human need: our ability to connect to one another. This workshop is an invitation to consider transmission under the caceral state. It will be an activation to “open the airwaves” to writers that were/are creating while in captivity. We will explore how that transmission back and forth from outside to inside, is never fully severed, and ask how we might amplify, uplift and build kinship with our fellow writers. In partnership with The Fortune Society and Words Uncaged, we will distribute poems and prose created by writers who are currently incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison in California. During the session, we will generate our own writing and reflections in response. The work will ultimately be shared with the men inside. With writing and radical love as our central tools, we will climb the walls – and turn the radio up.  

In addition to the work of the writers of Calipatria, we may also read poems from Reginald Dwayne Betts, Stanley Eldridge, Elizabeth Hawes, Etheridge Knight, and Matthew Mendoza, as well as commentary by Danielle Sered on dismantling mass incarceration and the road to repair.

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This Dis/Course meeting will be co-facilitated by Jamie Maleszka and Mersadez Lillian George in partnership with The Fortune Society and Unlock Tomorrow/Words Uncaged

Mersadez Lillian George

Mersadez Lillian George is an artivist who uses a variety of art forms to create positive change, and a proud member of The Fortune Society community.

Jamie Maleszka

Jamie Maleszka is a writer, editor and advocate invested in the transformative and restorative powers of creativity. She facilitates writing and storytelling workshops in alternatives to incarceration and reentry settings, and correctional facilities. Since 2016, Jamie has been the Creative Writing Teacher at The Fortune Society.