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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Etan Thomas Leads Series of Writing Workshops

“They brought a tall man to my cell!” one Free Minds member told his mother on the phone, so excited he momentarily forgot the name of his visitor. “We talked about poetry.” Already a prolific writer, the youth has been writing even more extensively since his encounter with 6’10’’ NBA Wizards player Etan Thomas.

Read More

The Community Hears Free Minds Poets! Hear Us Out! 2009

Nearly 500 people came to downtown Washington, DC to hear the words of incarcerated youth at the 6th Annual Free Minds Poetry Reading. The 6th & I Historic Synagogue was filled almost to capacity with family members, attorneys, judges, writers, artists, business people, schoolchildren, activists, neighbors, and regular DC residents who came to see what all the excitement was about. Read More