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Lecture, Jill McDonough, College Behind Bars: a Witter Bynner Reading

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

College Behind Bars: a Witter Bynner ReadingImage courtesy of Josey Packard.

Lecture in conjunction with the Library of Congress and Massachusetts Center For the Book

The notion of life behind bars is unfamiliar—and frightening—to most of us, and yet there are more than two million inmates in America’s prison population, or roughly one prisoner for every 142 Americans living on the outside. 

Tonight we'll hear poems by currently incarcerated student writers and their professor, Witter Bynner fellow Jill McDonough.  McDonough will be joined by Lanny Kutakoff, Executive Director of Partakers, a nonprofit dedicated to providing mentoring and education behind bars: Kutakoff and volunteers from Partakers will read the prisoners' poems.  John Y. Cole, Director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, will open the program with remarks about the Library and the Witter Bynner Fellowships. 

Jill McDonough, a 2010 Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellow, has also been awarded a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from NEA, Fine Arts Work Center, Stanford University's Wallace Stegner Program, and the Cullman Center. Her poems appear in The Threepenny Review, Poetry, The New Republic, and Slate. Habeas Corpus, her first book of poems, comprises fifty sonnets about executions throughout American history. She has been teaching in Massachusetts prisons since 1999.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required, but cannot be accepted until Tuesday, October 26. Please call the Athenæum’s events reservation line, (617) 720-7600.