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 […]

Small Victories and Sustaining Positivity | Amelia Hutchison

The last time I posted to ALT/space I felt very uncertain where I stood as a teacher. I didn’t know if I wanted to go back into the prisons at all.  It helped that before the assault in August I had written out a very clear vision statement for what I wanted my year of […]

An Extraordinary Beginning | Amelia Hutchison

I received an email from my supervisor at the Baltimore City Detention Center updating me on my students’ progress since I returned home to Canada for summer two months ago. He said, “I wanted to let you know that even with all the comings and goings of guys on the tier, the artwork on the walls […]