The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world; there are hundreds and hundreds of prisons across the country and, as of 2007, these institutions housed more than 2,300,000 inmates—70% of whom are non-white. Nearly 1 million of those in prison are serving time for committing non-violent crimes. Sadly, the situation is not improving.
The second-annual Prison Writing Benefit Reading will help to raise much-needed funds to enable this important program to continue into the future, but also to help the prisoners see themselves in a new way: as writers.
The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC Presents
BREAKOUT: VOICES FROM INSIDE
A partnership between PEN’s Prison Writing Program and WNYC’s The Greene Space
Presented as part of “The NEXT New York Conversation” Series
John Turturro, Lemon Andersen, Mary Gaitskill, Eric Bogosian, Jamal Joseph, and Sean Wilsey among others to read works authored by participants of PEN’s Prison Writing Program
Monday, November 9th, 2009 at 7pm
For more than 30 years, PEN’s Prison Writing Program has been dedicated to helping make the harsh realities of American imprisonment part of our social justice dialogue. PEN’s program has also been on the front-lines of prison reform, helping inmates in federal, state and local penitentiaries cope with life behind bars, gain skills and have a voice while they are there. The Prison Writing Program accomplishes all this through mentorships and an annual writing competition that receives between 20-30 entries per day from local, state and federal prisons—including from prisoners on death row.
On Monday, November 9, 2009 at 7pm, WNYC Radio’s The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space’s monthly dialogue series, “The NEXT New York Conversation” partners with PEN to present BREAKOUT: VOICES FROM THE INSIDE, a night of literature and conversation. Luminaries from the New York cultural landscape – writers Mary Gaitskill, Eric Bogosian and Patricia Smith, along with actor John Turturro and writer/performer Lemon Andersen, among others–will read pieces chosen from the best of the winning manuscripts of the Prison Writing Contest, and from the extraordinarily moving diaries that men and women have written as part of PEN’s collaboration with the Anne Frank Center, USA.
Proceeds from the evening will benefit PEN’s Prison Writing Program. The event will be streamed live on the web at www.wnyc.org/thegreenespace
The NEXT New York Conversation, sponsored by HSBC, “The World’s Local Bank,” is WNYC’s The Greene Space’s multiplatform dialogue series featuring a collective of changemakers, newsmakers, tastemakers and New Yorkers, sharing their values about interesting topics that are reshaping, redefining, and re-imagining our world in the 21st century.
Monday, November 9, 2009 at 07:00 PM
Duration: 2 hours
Tickets can be purchased at Ovation Tix (https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/7631135)
Collaborator ticket covers the expenses of one-on-one mentoring services between a PEN member and an incarcerated man or woman for one year. This premier ticket includes the best views and a reception following the program.
Friend ticket covers the postage and printing costs to provide eight incarcerated men and women with a free copy PEN’s Handbooks for Writers in Prison. This ticket includes a reception following the program.
WNYC Radio is New York's premier public radio station, comprising WNYC 93.9 FM, WNYC AM 820 and www.wnyc.org. As America's most listened-to AM/FM public radio stations, reaching more than one million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City's cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and presents the best national offerings from networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting. In addition, WNYC produces content for live, radio and web audiences from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station’s street-level multipurpose, multiplatform broadcast studio and performance space. For more information about WNYC, visit www.wnyc.org.