This February, two Art for Justice grantees – Clint Smith and Mahogany Browne – are involved in unique projects for Poets.org that focus on the issue of mass incarceration.
From February 18 through February 22, Clint Smith, who is the February guest editor of Poem-a-Day, will curate a week of poetry written by incarcerated individuals. The project stems from a partnership with Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, an organization based in Washington, D.C. that amplifies the voices of those directly impacted by the prison system.
“Prisons, as an institution, are predicated on both physical and social isolation – on removing people from the world, said Smith. “So when people become incarcerated, we often lose their voices, and because we lose their voices, we lose a sense of the fact that these are people with stories far more complicated than the two-dimensional narratives about them would have you believe.”
Mahogany Browne, in a separate endeavor, will be writing a monthly series of essays that, through writing and poetry, highlight the harm that mass incarceration inflicts on communities, especially women and children. She will also curate poems from other authors that compliment her themes.
Both of their work can be found at Poets.org.