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By Heart : Poetry, Prison, and Two Lives
"A boy with no one to listen becomes a man in prison for life and discovers his mind can be free. A woman enters prison to teach and becomes his first listener. And so begins a twenty-five year friendship between two gifted writers and poets. The result is By Heart-- a book that will anger you, give you hope, and break your heart."--Gloria Steinem
For most of their adult lives, since meeting as teacher and pupil at San Quentin State Prison, Judith Tannenbaum and Spoon Jackson have conferred, corresponded, and sometimes collaborated, producing very different bodies of work resting on the same understanding: that human beings have one foot in darkness, another in light. Moving stories of their childhoods and adult creative lives reveal both tragedy and beauty.
In alternating chapters--part memoir, part essay--By Heart reveals painful truths about prison, education, and which children our world nurtures and which it shuns. At its core are two stories that speak for human imagination, spirit, and expression.
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New Village Press
March 31, 2010
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