All the World’s a Stage: Shakespearean actors bring theater to the DC Jail

“Hope!”
“Tears!”
“Pain!”

These are just some of the words shouted out by more than 20 orange-clad men crowded onto the floor of a tiny basketball court inside the DC Jail on recent Thursday. Members of Free Minds Book Club, they were responding to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29, “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes.” Read More

David Barclay Moore Speaks to DC Jail Book Club

Before David Barclay Moore, author of his debut young adult novel Stars Beneath Our Feet, even got a chance to introduce himself, he was peppered with questions and opinions about his novel from the high-spirited and inquisitive teenagers comprising the Free Minds juvenile unit book club at the DC Jail that meets every Tuesday. Read More

Free Minds Goes to Philadelphia

In October, the Free Minds team (staff and Poet Ambassadors Terrell, Roderick, and Nokomis) hit the road to participate in a conference in Philadelphia, PA, and share their poetry and personal stories with Philadelphia students.Read More

Baltimore Author D. Watkins Speaks to DC Jail Book Club

On a Thursday afternoon at the DC Jail, a group of men arranged chairs in a circle on the floor of the unit, surrounded on all sides by cell doors. They gathered in the circle to eagerly welcome their guest, author D. Watkins (The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir, The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America). The young men had been reading and discussing Watkins’s memoir, The Cook Up, in preparation for this visit. Read More

Authors Coe Booth and Patricia McCormick Share Their Stories at the DC Jail

By Mbachur Mbenga

This spring, teenagers in our Book Club at the DC Jail had the incredible opportunity to learn from two talented and generous authors, Patricia McCormick and Coe Booth.

D.C. native and two-time National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick visited the jail to discuss her young adult novel Sold. This was followed by Coe Booth, a long-time favorite of the Book Club, who traveled from New York to talk to the teenagers about her novel Bronxwood. DC Councilmember David Grosso (Chair of the Committee on Education) also attended the session with Bronxwood author Coe Booth. Read More