Sunday, September, 9, 2018: Minneapolis-based Poetry Asylum and the Weisman Art Museum (WAM) are teaming up with PEN America to present BreakOut: Voices From the Inside as part of a nationwide activation in commemoration of the 1971 Attica prison uprising––honoring the struggle for free expression in prison, and underscoring the importance of writing as an act of creative resistance and triumph.
In concert with artist Daniel McCarthy-Clifford’s “Section of Disapproved Books” project at WAM, Poetry Asylum is teaming up with PEN America and WAM to host a three-pronged event bringing marginalized voices affected personally and/or culturally by mass incarceration, activists, and scholars into the historically white space of an art museum. This event seeks to disrupt traditional privileged contexts while generating critical dialogue around futurism, abolition, and art as catalyst to healing, justice, and peace.
Two panels will feature ten distinguished local members of All Square, MN Prison Doula Project, MN Prison Writing Workshop, unPrison Project, Voices for Racial Justice, and We Are All Criminals, among others––in open conversation, moderated by Sun Yung Shin and Michael Kleber-Diggs. Then a special pre-release screening of “Cell Watch: Strip Cell,” (Motionpoem by filmmaker Jane Morledge and poet Susannah Nevison) will be capped off with the PEN Prison & Justice Program’s poetry reading from seven notable poets to celebrate and amplify the voices of incarcerated writers by connecting their work with the public, hosted by Su Hwang.