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Writing Our Way Out

David Coogan and Antonio Garcia (Virginia Commonwealth University)

David Coogan is the editor of “Writing Our Way Out” written by former jail inmates, exploring the conditions, traps and turning points on their paths to imprisonment, as well as the redemptive power of writing. Jazz musician Antonio Garcia composed a musical piece “Open Minds: Music that Mends,” that reflects the book’s themes of social justice, healing, self-reflection and redemption.   Music performed by the VCU Commonwealth Singers, directed by Dr. Erin Freeman.

18 mins

Literature Incarcerated

Josh Iddings (Virginia Military Institute)

Josh Iddings looks at the history of writings from prison and how prison literature can humanize the image of the prisoner.

10 mins

The Lost Art of the Ballad

Cece Conway (Virginia Humanities Fellow)

When the first settlers came to America from England and Scotland they brought with them a rich tradition of ballad-singing.  Cece Conway traces the singing families and their songs from the UK to the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, where they influenced modern performers from Joan Baez to the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

24 mins

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