Teaching artist spotlight: Hakim Bellamy

Hakim Bellamy was the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque (2012-14) and facilitates youth writing workshops for schools, jails, churches, prisons and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond. JAC: How have your students impacted your teaching practices and even your own art? HB: Good teachers are comfortable at the front of the room talking. Better …

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The Stories We Save May Include Our Own

by Matt Malyon   I. Birdwatching Late night on Watson Bridge—a span across the Skagit River in Northern Washington—a trumpeter swan flies into a light pole.  The pole reverberates with sound. The bird drops onto the highway and stands in the amber light filtering from the large bulb above.  No—it reels, dizzy in the vibration …

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Kudos For Memoir About Teaching the Arts in a California Men’s Prison

In her unforgettable memoir, HUMMINGBIRD IN UNDERWORLD, released this week by She Writes Press, Deborah Tobola intertwines the story of her rowdy family and occasionally tumultuous childhood with the story of her nine-year stint as a teacher of arts and creative writing at the California Men’s Colony, a prison in San Luis Obispo, California.

As the End Comes (a tribute to Alice Walker)

by Mardie Swartz Mardie Swartz has spent 29 years behind bars in Texas. This poem is about the time approaching when she will finally be beyond bars. I remember beginnings – The first time I was molested Sold, abandoned, raped The first drink, snort, shot of Whatever would numb some of the pain. The first …

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Meeting the Woman, Not the Crime

by Peggy Lamb About the guest blogger: Peggy Lamb organizes Truth Be Told’s Exploring Creativity program. Truth Be Told is an Austin, TX based non-profit organization that provides transformational programs for women who are or have been incarcerated. Exploring Creativity classes use expressive arts to enlarge the women’s sense of themselves, release pain and express despair …

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