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Poetry in Prison: The Unlocked Project Michael Riley & Noreen Pang "I came for the rap. I stayed for the poetry." - inmate, Unlocked workshop Key Acknowledgements:

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Presentation on theme: "Poetry in Prison: The Unlocked Project Michael Riley & Noreen Pang "I came for the rap. I stayed for the poetry." - inmate, Unlocked workshop Key Acknowledgements:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Poetry in Prison: The Unlocked Project Michael Riley & Noreen Pang "I came for the rap. I stayed for the poetry." - inmate, Unlocked workshop Key Acknowledgements: Rob Osborne Jo Featherstone Gareth Jenkins

2 What is Poetry? Definition: Writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound and rhythm. Websters dictionary 2013 Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people. Adrian MitchellAdrian Mitchell.

3 A key objective in adult education is to foster creative and flexible teaching methodologies that encourage participants to understand and apply tangible abstract thought To experience and appreciate this unique form of self expression which would improve their thinking ability and also discover more about themselves and subsequently others “ Learning is not a consequence of being taught; learning is not a consequence of listening; learning is a consequence of thinking’’

4 What connection does Poetry have with the rehabilitation of offenders? To discover self expression in a way that can be inclusive yet creative and individualistic

5 Involuntary membership Resistance issues that were overcome by discerning communication practice: Stereotyped views about Poetry and Poets Lack of trust in facilitators (and the system) Viewed as a form of elitism Perceive themselves as illiterate or uneducated Concerned about malicious gossip or ridicule for actively engaging in this project Scared and intimidated!

6 How did it work? One important rule applied throughout the process – there are no rules Be creative! Be curious! Be adventurous!

7 The Structure Teaching staff – Logistics, scheduling, maintaining security protocols and active learning mentors 3 Guest poets – Shared personal life experiences and the process they applied when producing their own works, Sharing their published works, challenges of being a poet and why they loved this art 4 Poet facilitators – Providing a structure to the formulation of self expression within this vehicle of literature, various poetry methodologies such as sonnets, limericks >>>> the mindset required for poetry formulation, practical demonstrations

8 limericks sonnets ODES Theatrical poetry Singing poetry Iambic pentameter Heike Japanese poetry A variety of Strategies

9 Outcomes Six completed anthologies Published articles in SMH 8 Workshops in 7 NSW Correctional Centres have facilitated the program Continued rollout of the program amongst numerous Correctional Centres in NSW, some Centres have facilitated the program on 3 occasions Included in the Sydney Writers Festival program Regular segment in the CRC Community Radio production 2SERFM Presented at the Australian Correctional Education Annual Conference 2013 Most importantly: Hundreds of completed poetry pieces which have inspired and strengthened the resolve of offenders to capitalise on their learning opportunities, whilst incarcerated.

10 Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. Lou Holtz.

11 Strategies… The only lifelong, reliable motivations are those that come from within, and one of the strongest of those is the joy and pride that grow from knowing that you've just done something as well as you can do it.The only lifelong, reliable motivations are those that come from within, and one of the strongest of those is the joy and pride that grow from knowing that you've just done something as well as you can do it. L.Dobyns and C.Crawford-Mason.

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13 When the Pen Hits the Paper by Amy When the pen hits paper When the words start to pass When the poetry starts to happen The day will slowly begin

14 Lustrous by C.L. Waller When the soul soars the flowers will open and explosions of life will whisper their secrets by C.L. Waller

15 Cracks by Leander The cracks on the bricks, the dirty old street the cold winters air the road at our feet I stand safe and sound with the man of my dreams forget what’s around think of beautiful streams think of leather and lace our hearts side by side a light sits above he’s the groom I’m the bride

16 Darling by Leander Darling that thought of our first meeting underneath the vast night sky, our shoulders brushed, fireworks shooting stars explosion of light inside us both pulling us together magnetically then now and tomorrow.

17 Thank you!! Poetry Booklets available


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