In this new year

Happy new year, from Kentucky. Well, our holiday call in show went very well. It was exciting to be part of such a cool event. We received over 200 calls from across the country from a great variety of people: mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, community activists, members of the religious community, and many others. It was both inspiring and kind of saddening. All these families broken up during the holiday season. All these people who can't see or talk to their loved ones. I mean, this isn't new to me, but hearing 200 calls of it was intense.

Right before Christmas vacation I was interviewed for the local CBS station about the project, which was really cool. They said they'd post the video online, but haven't yet. But here's the write-up from their website:
My first TV interview! I was thankful for the training I've had in other projects I've worked for to be able to answer the hard questions I was asked about why prisoners deserve to have such programs.

Now in this new year I'm continuing my work on our StoryLine project on our website, adding new calls as they come in on our Skype line and making connections with community poetry leaders to record prisoner poems. I will also aide in our campaign with the Virgin Islands Prison Project to bring the 130 male prisoners who are now housed in Virignia back to the VI. I'll be doing the research and outreach for this next campaign.

I also continue my work facilitating a poetry workshop at the local women's prison. I hope to produce a CD of them reading their work at the end of this workshop. I think that would be a cool addition to the anthology we had decided on producing, and it will make my work in this prison even more focused to the work I do at Appalshop.

We got a grant from Dorris Duke, too, which is really exciting. Some big ones are about to be submitted as well. Keep your fingers crossed for us!