Voices from Inside writers Daisy Hernandez and Tara McNamara will join Lois Ahrens, founder of The Real Cost of Prisons Project, and the activist and poet Kempis Songster and the oral historian Revan Schendler at an event at Forbes Library in Northampton, MA, on December 7, 2016.
As part of a year-long exploration of incarceration at the Forbes and Five Colleges, we welcome five prison writers and activists who will read from their work and discuss what writing can bring to those who have been or are in prison -- and what the formerly and currently incarcerated can bring to us through their writing.
"My walls are small next to yours, yet you all comforted me in the consolation of the spoken word. Break those walls down brick by brick," wrote one audience member, after our Voices Carry event at Elms College last week.
Another audience member said, "Thank you for sharing your beautiful words. This week has been difficult, and your work has given me hope and light. We are all in this together."
One particular piece that resonated was "Dear Ex-Husband," by Tara McNamara. "'Dear Ex-Husband' was amazing!" an audience member exclaimed.
The assembled performers
Tara McNamara, center
VFI IN THE News
VFI's Tara McNamara organized the "Breaking Free" poetry reading in Greenfield--read about it in this Greenfield Recorder story.
An excerpt from Voices Carry's performance at Forbes Library is available for viewing on Youtube, here.
VFI writer Daisy Diaz read a poem to open Hampshire Art Museum's exhibition "Made in America: Unfree Labor in an Age of Mass Incarceration." The exhibit runs through March 10. Check out photos in the February 7 post, to the left.
VFI writer Tara McNamara's poem "Dear Ex-Husband" is featured in the October 29, 2016, issue of the Write Angles Journal. See the poem on our Writing& Prompts page.
WWLP's Ashley Kohl interviews VFI board members about upcoming fundraisers for VFI, April 27, 2016.
From the Heart: VFI Poets interviewed in the Greenfield Recorder, February 12, 2016
Hampshire Gazette Reports on VFI Performance at Lander-Grinspoon Academy, February 7, 2016
Interview with VFI Poets on the Bill Newman Show, February 3, 2016
Loud and Clear: VFI at Holyoke Community College, November 18, 2015
Women Share Stories While in Jail, June 18, 2015