"I was so surprised the first time I saw the comments! I didn't know people out there cared. When you come in here and you see you've been on the news, you figure people must be scared of you and no longer care about you. When I read what the people at Write Night wrote on my poetry, I saw that they didn't think I was an animal, but just a human being who made a bad choice. It made me want to keep on writing!"
By recognizing our shared humanity, we can build stronger, safer and better communities.
We all just need to get On the Same Page.
Free Minds hosts a monthly On the Same Page: Write Night where community volunteers gather alongside Free Minds Poet Ambassadors home from prison to provide feedback on the writing of Book Club members still incarcerated. It is a simple and powerful way to support members’ processes of self-awareness and change, as well as read great writing and meet other volunteers!
Write Night is held at two locations: Seekers Church in Takoma Park and Western Presbyterian Church in Foggy Bottom. Anyone is welcome to attend.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Write Night events are held virtually. Click here to learn how to use the Miro system to share comments on poems during virtual Write Nights.
Host as On the Same Page Event
In addition to our regular Write Nights, we now do mobile events with local businesses or organizations that reach out to us. If you are interested in hosting, please contact us through our event form. If you choose to host an event, we will provide a selection of poems for the attendees to read and comment on. As with our regular Write Nights, all feedback will be mailed to the incarcerated poets!
Launch On The Same Page Write Nights in Your Community
In July 2015, Free Minds won the first annual Aspen Ideas Award, a prize of $25,000, for On the Same Page UNITED, which replicates on a national level an extremely low-cost/high impact model that has proven hugely successful since 2011 in Washington, DC.
As part of a pilot project, On the Same Page UNITED teams launched in seven communities: Brooklyn, NY; Arlington, VA; Takoma Park, MD; Denver, CO; Louisville, KY; San Francisco, CA; and Portland, OR.
If you are interested in assembling a team to create connections between incarcerated writers and their communities in your state, please contact us at OTSPU@freemindsbookclub.org. We will provide a complete replication kit so you can get started!