Main Street Rag just published their latest issue, and in it is my review of Nancy Miller Gomez’s chapbook Punishment.
I’ve had a lot of friends who have taught in prisons around the country, and so when I heard her collection was based on her own experiences teaching poetry writing in a prison, I eagerly signed up to review it.
Here is a copy of my review (starts halfway down the page). Click on the image to read more closely.
Punishment is a Rattle Chapbook Series selection, and you can find links to poems and how to purchase the chapbook here:
I’ll leave you with the first and title poem in the book.
22 responses to “My Review of Punishment in Main Street Rag”
Congratulations on the publication of your review.
Thank you, Sally!
That’s quite something, Luanne, both chapbook and review. I’m reminded that literacy can free slaves. To read and write poetry is a particular kind of literacy….I can’t put it into a couple of words. But that a prisoner wants poetry writing for his descendants gets at it.
Yes, good point about literacy. I was so touched by reading that about the prisoner wanting his children to learn poetry. Our culture is making a mistake by ignoring poetry.
I can’t imagine anything more redemptive than learning to write poetry. Well done Luanne and Nancy.
Isn’t it exciting to think of prisoners teaching their children to write poetry?!
I know right?
Nicely done, Luanne. The author must be very happy with this review.
I really hope she is. I think her work is so important.
Congratulations on your published review which I loved reading! The Chapbook looks good too – I thought ‘Punishment’ so very moving.
Yes, the whole collection really is moving. Short, and also with the two essays, but each poem has an urgent message.
I love your piece, Luanne. Beautiful words. Congratulations!
Thank you, Jennie!
You’re welcome, Luanne!
Congratulations on the published review. (It’s a lovely review, by the way.) Gomez’s work makes me wonder how many men and women would not be incarcerated if they had been taught poetry at an early, if their words had been valued. I’m grateful there are people like Gomez doing such important work, but it breaks my heart that so many people don’t get the resources they need until they are in prison.
I think poetry can save lives. I know it has been a big help to me, although I didn’t have the sorts of disadvantages so many of the prison population have had.
No, they don’t. As an example, I am hoping more police departments will start to take drug offenders to rehabs, but gosh, I guess we need a LOT more that are low or no cost to them because rehab can be so costly. Don’t get me started on this . . . .
I know. For a time I worked with women who were in prison for killing their abusers. Not only don’t people get the resources they need, but the gender inequity as well as racial and ethnic is outrageous. (Yeah, don’t get me started either 🙂)
I find this to be heartbreaking…truly difficult to comprehend. Scary, too.
Look at the power of poetry, if only she could be unleashed by those in “charge.”
Hi Luanne! Such good timing. I just ran across an intriguing TED talk involving poetry in prisons, from a Brazilian poet. I found myself in tears at the end… here’s a link; in case you have a few minutes to look it over! (I know you don’t have a lot of spare time theses days. Maybe Perry will enjoy the sound of her Portuguese voice!) https://www.ted.com/talks/cristina_domenech_poetry_that_frees_the_soul
Oops! Argentinian port. My bad.