Chandra Bozelko and Justin PichéJul 21, 2022
Thinking (and Writing) about Incarceration
New Books Network 2022
I can point you to mountains of research about prisons. I can also recommend at least a dozen Netflix documentaries, and highlight a handful of radical activists and scholars. There’s a lot of intellectual work done about prison. But what about intellectual work done in prison?
As part of this week’s “ideas in strange places” theme, we want to play you this episode from right near when we started Darts and Letters, where we ask what kind of radical thought can come from the extreme oppression prisoners endure.
We’ll be back with brand new episodes on September 18th, until then we’re replaying the best of our catalogue with a different theme each week.
In Prison Notebooks…
- First, in the opening essay, host Gordon Katic discusses the long history of radical prison writing. From Thoreau to Gramsci, MLK, Oscar Wilde, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, and even Wittgenstein.
- Next (@5:36), Chandra Bozelko served 6 years, three months, and 11 days in a women’s prison in Connecticut. While inside, she started an award-winning newspaper column. She tells us what writing did for her while inside, and what everyday prison intellectualism really looks like.
- Then (@42:30), Justin Piché edits one of the most amazing academic journals you will ever come across. It’s called the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons. It has been around for over thirty years. In each and every edition, you will see brilliant scholarly work—it just so happens that this work is written by prisoners themselves
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This episode of Darts and Letters was produced by Jay Cockburn. Research and support from David Moscrop and Addye Susnick. Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, and our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop.