Author George Pelecanos Visits Book Club

On a recent Thursday afternoon, the Free Minds Book Club was thrilled to host a visit from best-selling crime writer, George Pelecanos. The young book club members who gathered in the Correctional Treatment Facility’s chapel had just finished reading Pelecanos’ new release, The Way Home – a story set in the familiar streets of Washington, DC. Read More

Free Minds Poets Present at Conference: “Understanding and Responding to Violence”

On November 9, 2010, nearly 400 District court judges, prosecutors, court personnel, and community leaders gathered at the Washington Convention Center to examine issues of violence in the city. When the time came to discuss solutions, they turned to five Free Minds poets for advice.

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Former Sudanese Child Soldier visits Free Minds

Read about it at The Washington Post!

On October 4th, international hip-hop star Emmanuel Jal visited Free Minds members in the DC Jail as our book club’s special guest author. Mr. Jal’s book, War Child, as well as the documentary of the same name, have been a favorite of our members, and they relished the opportunity to meet him.

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Best-selling Author Jonathan Franzen Visits Book Club at DC Jail

Award-winning author Jonathan Franzen visited the DC Jail last month for a special Book Club session with the Free Minds members as part of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s Writers in Schools program. Prepared with a long list of insightful questions for their guest, the young men on the juvenile unit discussed a range of topics with Mr. Franzen including overcoming writers’ block, the grief of losing loved ones, and pursuing your future.

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Delonte

Delonte was just 16 years old in 2004 when he was arrested and charged as an adult for robbery. Before his incarceration, Delonte had stopped attending high school on a regular basis. He was raised by his grandmother since his mother and father were not a part of his life. He liked reading and writing, but his classes just didn’t hold his interest. While he was locked up, he was introduced to Free Minds and relished the opportunity to occupy his time with books and creative writing. “Free Minds were friends when I needed them. They sent me books that I liked to read, and taught me how to express myself through poetry.”

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