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1 Burnside Poetry- A to Z

Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin

by

Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Tannenbaum reminds readers not only that men and women behind bars are human, and therefore deserving of our respect and compassion, but that they have much to tell us about our propensity for both barbarism and beauty." — Booklist

Synopsis:

When Judith Tannenbaum last met with her poetry writing class at San Quentin prison, one of the students commented, Now I'm going to give you an assignment: write about these past four years from your point of view; tell your story; let us know what you learned. This beautifully crafted memoir is the fulfillment of that assignment.

In stirring and intimate prose, Tannenbaum details the challenges, rewards, and paradoxes of teaching poetry to maximum-security inmates convicted of capital crimes. Recounting how she and her students shared profound and complicated lessons about humanity and life both inside and outside San Quentin's walls, Tannenbaum tells provocative stories of obsession, racism, betrayal, despair, courage, and beauty. Contrary to the growing public perception of prisoners as demons, the men in this poetry class-Angel, Coties, Elmo, Glenn, Richard, Spoon-emerge not as beasts or heroes but as human beings with expressive voices, thoughts, and feelings strikingly similar to the free.

Tannenbaum provides revealing views of conditions in the cellblocks and shows how the realities of prison life often paralleled her own life experiences. She also relates such events as visits to her group by prominent poets (including Nobel Prize-winner Czeslaw Milosz); a prison production of Waiting for Godot sponsored by Samuel Beckett himself; and the presentation of her students' work to a class of sixth and eighth graders, who connected to the prisoners' words by writing their own poems to the inmates.

Synopsis:

This honest, unbiased account of how one woman artist came to share purpose and inspiration with the prisoners at San Quentin demonstrates the power of human bonds and the power of poetry and other art forms as a means of self-expression and communication within and beyond locked cells.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781555534523
Author:
Tannenbaum, Judith
Publisher:
Northeastern University Press
Location:
Boston :
Subject:
Educators
Subject:
Education
Subject:
Criminology
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Family/Interpersonal Memoir
Subject:
Prisoners
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Poetry -- Study and teaching.
Subject:
Prisoners -- Education -- California.
Subject:
Biography-Educators
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 201-217).
Series Volume:
Abt. VIII, Bd. 3
Publication Date:
20000931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
199
Dimensions:
8.46x5.54x.72 in. .71 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Educators
Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism

Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin Used Trade Paper
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Product details 199 pages Northeastern University Press - English 9781555534523 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , When Judith Tannenbaum last met with her poetry writing class at San Quentin prison, one of the students commented, Now I'm going to give you an assignment: write about these past four years from your point of view; tell your story; let us know what you learned. This beautifully crafted memoir is the fulfillment of that assignment.

In stirring and intimate prose, Tannenbaum details the challenges, rewards, and paradoxes of teaching poetry to maximum-security inmates convicted of capital crimes. Recounting how she and her students shared profound and complicated lessons about humanity and life both inside and outside San Quentin's walls, Tannenbaum tells provocative stories of obsession, racism, betrayal, despair, courage, and beauty. Contrary to the growing public perception of prisoners as demons, the men in this poetry class-Angel, Coties, Elmo, Glenn, Richard, Spoon-emerge not as beasts or heroes but as human beings with expressive voices, thoughts, and feelings strikingly similar to the free.

Tannenbaum provides revealing views of conditions in the cellblocks and shows how the realities of prison life often paralleled her own life experiences. She also relates such events as visits to her group by prominent poets (including Nobel Prize-winner Czeslaw Milosz); a prison production of Waiting for Godot sponsored by Samuel Beckett himself; and the presentation of her students' work to a class of sixth and eighth graders, who connected to the prisoners' words by writing their own poems to the inmates.

"Synopsis" by , This honest, unbiased account of how one woman artist came to share purpose and inspiration with the prisoners at San Quentin demonstrates the power of human bonds and the power of poetry and other art forms as a means of self-expression and communication within and beyond locked cells.
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