Check out these prison poets!
Recently a sixteen week course covering the fundamental concepts of poetry composition, artistic structure and delivery provided a group of men at Federal Correctional Institution McKean in Pennsylvania the opportunity to look deep within themselves, and then gave them a vehicle to express their innermost thoughts. The course concluded with a "Poetry Slam" contest that was attended by over 60 individuals including "inside students," their guests, and various staff members who were invited by course participants.
The Poetry Slam was judged by course facilitators Dr. Danni Webber, Director of the Writing Lab at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, her teaching assistant Ardonna, Connor Stevens, and Marcus Bey. First prize was awarded to my man Keith MAURICE James, Sr. The first Runner Up was awarded to Christopher Clemons (aka Clinton French). And second Runner Up was awarded to Angel Cordero. ALL of the Slam participants did an amazing job composing and delivering the multiple works each of them presented. (Side note: All three winners are also leaders within the FCI McKean Life Coaching Program) We hope to make the Poetry Slam an annual event and have already begun coordinating the next course.
If you would like to hear samples that two of the poets provided for my Mother's Day gift, click the video below.
I'm definitely NOT just your average guy that's doin' time...According to the Federal Bureau Of Prisons I still owe them a couple more centuries before they'll let me outta here. Despite my current predicament I've decided to fully embrace the immortal words of my man, the O.G. of Cool, Mr. James Dean who said to "Dream as if you'll live forever and live as if you'll die today". I may be stuck physically here in prison but I sure as hell ain't dead yet...in fact I figure that I'm still about 60 to 70 years away from my final day but that won't make me change the way I'm living today. This blog is my window out into the world and while I'm looking out you may just catch a glimpse inside mine. Let me know if you like what you see... and if you don't, feel free to disagree and let me know what's really on your mind.