Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, Volume Six: The Sky is On Fire, After All

First, I must speak those dread words “I’m sorry for the lack of posting. I’m gonna get myself together in the next week or so, and I have big plans for this blog!” We all know that those words are almost always a death sentence, the last or next-to-last new post ever to appear on what soon becomes yet another Internet fossil, the social-media equivalent of a minor horror-movie character who says “I’m going to go get help!” [Skips merrily off.] [Sudden crunching noise.]

However, assuming those words aren’t actually cursed, I will do my best to make them true. The next book in the library that I thought I ought to blog about happens to be The Archaeology of Knowledge by Michel Foucault, and you can’t just toss that off (much as you may want to toss the book itself all sorts of places while you’re reading it).

Also, I have been very occupied with The Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, Volume Six: The Sky is On Fire, After All. This is the first issue of the Review that I’ve edited. It’s a product of the Prison Creative Arts Project, which my wife runs. Till now, it was edited entirely by student and community volunteers: high-achieving college kids, recently graduated PCAPpers, local writers, ex-prisoners returned home, local writers who are also ex-prisoners returned home, U of M staff with a literary bent, an experimental poet, a soccer enthusiast, a kindly chiropractor, and anyone else who wanted to pitch in. It’s still basically that, but I pretend I’m in charge. It makes me feel important.

Actually, the real glue this year was Leigh Sugar, my co-editor, who worked on the journal as a student and told me what the hell I was supposed to do at literally every step. She got paid nothing. (Neither did I, but she did more of the grunt work.) She combines the pleasant, nonthreatening, laid-back affect of a vegan restauranteur with razor-sharp organizational skills. She is a thoroughly good egg, and will make some nonprofit very happy very soon.

Leigh and I talked to Cynthia Canty from the Michigan Public Radio show Stateside last week. “I’m going to be on the radio. My mom will be thrilled,” I told Cynthia. The program will air on Wednesday, March 12, at 3PM and 10PM. It will appear on the show’s web page soon after that: http://michiganradio.org/programs/stateside-cynthia-canty

(I hope they include the part where I dis Louis Althusser.)

Also, for anybody who lives near Ann Arbor or Detroit, we’re doing two readings. I went to last year’s. They’re pretty moving, because we try to recruit family members or friends of our incarcerated writers to read those folks’ work. (By “we recruit” I, again, basically mean “Leigh recruits.”) They’re free and open to the public.

They take place:

Ann Arbor
Saturday, March 15th 3:30 pm
Location: Pendleton Room, University of Michigan Union

Saturday, April 5th  8 pm
Location: 1515 Broadway, Detroit, MI 48226

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