We look forward to seeing you this September at &Now: Points of Convergence!
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Friday, September 20 • 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Poetry, Pedagogy, and Prison Abolition

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This panel will discuss work currently emerging in and around the Poetry Workshop at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility (WHV) in Michigan. All three presentations will illustrate a critical relationship between aesthetics and the production of resistance literatures inside a repressive state institution. In addition, we will consider the potential for poetry to usher new forms of consciousness into being as part of the work to transform our social relations. The prison may be the most explicit manifestation of the logic of empire within the national border and one of our most occluded sites of relation. It is in this very occlusion and separation from the public sphere that the prison structures and defines what it means to be a “free citizen.” Through poetry—the commons of language—writers writing under the most inhospitable conditions find one another along various lines of flight: care and affection, healing and resistance. It is with this assumption that our panel will consider the role of poetry and fugitive language in disrupting the logic of the carceral state. For us “out here,” the poems from the Poetry Workshop break the official register of the carceral state and organize our senses with the hope of abolishing the prison all together. In short, this panel will reflect on the role of critical literatures to index and disrupt the logics of racial capitalism and mass-incarceration but will also speak to the radical affection and care opened by poets writing inside. Our panel will include: “Sabotage, State Language and Poems from inside WHV” (Megan Stockton); “The Leper Colony in Michelle Cliff's Free Enterprise as Abolitionist Figure for Poetry ‘Inside’ (Adam Malinowski); and, “‘Mute Opposable Evidence’: Toward a Counter-Forensic Poetics for Abolition” (Rob Halpern). We also hope to present audio of work read by incarcerated poets themselves.


Rob Halpern

Rob Halpern lives between San Francisco and Ypsilanti where he teaches at Eastern Michigan University and Huron Valley Women’s Prison. He's the author of five collections of poetry, including Music for Porn (Nightboat Books 2012), Common Place (Ugly Duckling Presse 2015), and most... Read More →

Adam Malinowski

Adam Malinowski is a poet who lives in Detroit. They hold an M.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University and facilitate a poetry workshop at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, MI. Their work can be found at Poets Reading the News, Philosophical... Read More →
avatar for Rosie Stockton

Rosie Stockton

Writer's Block Facilitator at the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility
Rosie Stockton is a poet based in Detroit, Michigan. They recently received their M.A. in Creative Writing at Eastern Michigan University and edited BathHouse Journal and Weekday Journal. Their writing has been published by Publication Studio, Monster House Press, BigBig Wednesday... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 1:15pm - 2:30pm PDT