Deep, Rich, Wide & Timeless [2013 ALT/space Retrospective]

ALT/space is about the work of artists who teach in schools, communities and prisons. ALT/space contributors advance the teaching artist field by writing specific, concrete, and powerfully personal stories about what they do and how they do it. 2013 on ALT/space gave us a deep, rich, wide, and timeless swath of stories about teaching artist […]

The Well-Told Story: Celebrating Two Years of ALT/space!

Not everyone who contributes to ALT/space is a writer by trade, nor do they need to be.  Writing about our work and the things we are thinking, focusing on, wondering about and struggling with while we teach is a valuable process, whether or not we think of ourselves as writers.  The kind of writing that […]

Color Theory for Writing Teachers | Anna Plemons

By grace and serendipity I recently had the chance to visit the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, Germany.  In looking through some of the color studies by Johannes Itten and Paul Klee I was shocked to discover something new to me—albeit embarrassingly elementary—about how colors work in conversation with each other.  I realize that in sharing […]

The Teacher’s Chair | Anna Plemons

In my last ALT/space post I wrote about the young musician who questioned the open-ended teaching style that I use with incarcerated writers.  I wrote the post, sent it in, felt uneasy about how my story as a teacher was tangled with the intimate witnessing of another man’s tears, argued with myself over the breach […]

The “Worst” Teacher Ever | Anna Plemons

At the prison where I am a guest TA, writing classes exist (for the moment) through two different administrative/funding streams – federally mandated mental health services and inmate self-help programs. Six months ago, Jim Carlson, the recreational therapist at CSP-Sac who is also my escort, suggested that we try to add a writing group for […]

Working in Impossible Places | Anna Plemons

This past March, I met with Spoon Jackson at the far end of the cellblock dining hall.  Jim Carlson, the artist facilitator turned recreational therapist (who established the Arts in Corrections program at CSP-Sac) had called-and-knocked his way up the chain of command to authorize the meeting.  I had been in the cellblock during a […]