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Prison Poetry Workshop

Series produced by Nick Szuberla

Caption: Prison Poetry Workshop
Prison Poetry Workshop 

Sending radio waves through prison walls we reach an audience with content that may change their life. The Prison Poetry Workshop is the only national radio series linking prisoners to the outside world through the power of poetry. Each program has an interactive writing exercise lead by a nationally renowned poet that invites all listeners to submit a poem to the Prison Poetry Workshop.

Sit in any prison classroom or recreation room and ask: How many writers are in the room? How many people are writing rhymes or poems? Carefully-folded pieces of paper come out of pockets – words written in tightly stylized hand-writing. As we listen to these poems we realize they hold a deep significance to our understanding of American culture and its tradition of democratic arts.

Prison Poetry Workshop is a public radio show, hosted by Rend Smith, that travels across the country exploring the history and stories connected to the prison poetry literary form.

Each hour-long program focuses on a geographic location, exploring the prison poetry and poets who live there through interviews, commentary, recordings, workshops, and listener-generated content.


8 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Etheridge Knight
We travel to Indianapolis, IN to explore the story of literary great Etheridge Knight, who published his first book, the soulful 1968 masterpiece ...

Bought by WLPR and KFOK-LPFM


  • Added: Jan 27, 2014
  • Length: 54:09
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Dwayne Betts
For D.C. youths who get caught up in the adult system, prison isn’t just an experience, it’s a journey. Because it’s not a full-fledged state, the ...

Bought by KFOK-LPFM


  • Added: Jan 28, 2014
  • Length: 54:24
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project , Credit: The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project
John Lomax and his son Alan toured the South in the 1930s gathering music for the Library of Congress. Life then, and now, can be pretty tough in ...

Bought by Troy Public Radio and KFOK-LPFM


  • Added: Jan 28, 2014
  • Length: 54:18
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Lead Belly, Credit: Lead Belly Foundation
We take to the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana to ask folks about their connection to the criminal justice system. In the state of Louisiana, ...

Bought by KFOK-LPFM


  • Added: Jan 28, 2014
  • Length: 50:03
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Voices UnBroken, Credit: Voices UnBroken
A poet famous for writing about the civil rights movement and for epitomizing black arts movement feminism, Sonia Sanchez passed through Attica’s g...

Bought by KFOK-LPFM


  • Added: Jan 27, 2014
  • Length: 54:52
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Dudley Randall
Michigan has always been home to a number of bustling American enterprises, including the prison industry. Each year, the state's correctional faci...

Bought by KFOK-LPFM


  • Added: Jan 27, 2014
  • Length: 54:27
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Spoon Jackson at New Folsom Prison
Long before the term La Vida Loca became a song hook for early-aught pop star Ricky Martin, in Los Angeles California, it denoted a lifestyle.The c...

Bought by KFOK-LPFM


  • Added: Jan 28, 2014
  • Length: 53:04
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Sit in any prison classroom or recreation room in any prison in the country and ask yourself: How many writers are in the room. How many people ar...

Bought by KUNM and KFOK-LPFM


  • Added: Apr 10, 2014
  • Length: 54:35
  • Purchases: 2