Women on the Inside 2002-2004
Women on the Inside was a creative writing/storytelling/literature project funded by Humanities Iowa in 2002. I spent 2 years going to the prison every week to work with an amazing group of 10 women. The first part of the time we spent reading and discussing the autobiographies of various women from around the world. We read roughly 14. Prairie Lights Bookstore and Paul Ingram were instrumental in helping us choose what to read and making sure we had enough copies. Paul even came to the prison a few times to join our circle. We had visiting artists come to talk about writing like Barbara Robinette Moss and Mary Swander. Finally, we spent most of the last year writing and sharing our own stories. We wrote fiction and non-fiction and creative non-fiction and poetry. The final product was a small booklet printed and bound with the help of Matthew Hopson-Walker. The book included a CD where the voices of the women were mixed with music and engineered by Kristian D. Ball and me. We distributed copies to libraries throughout Iowa, our families and friends and also to other people who work with incarcerated people all over the US.