Nancy Miller Gomez entered Salinas Valley State Prison with a backpack of poems and a fear of being caught in a lockdown. What she discovered was compassion and human connection. The poems and essays in this collection, Gomezs first, were inspired by her experience teaching writing workshops in jails and prisons. Punishment explores the stories of people serving time in the criminal justice system. It demonstrates the ways creative expression can mend emotional wounds, bridge differences, and reconnect us to our humanity. Punishment is a moving tribute to the redemptive power of poetry.Praise:If poetry is, at its essence, a way for humans to see and touch each other, then Nancy Miller Gomezs carefully observed, finely crafted poems are doing the work of poetry. In these times when the divide between people so often seems too great to be crossed, when hatred and prejudice are state-sponsored, when the intersection of race, justice, and imprisonment has led to the United States having the largest incarceration rate of any country in the world, these poems are an important and necessary voice. Im grateful to Nancy Miller Gomez for Punishment.Ellen Bass, author of The Courage to Heal...
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One of Rattle's 2018 chapbook contest winners about a woman teaching poetry in prison. As always, Rattle gives its subscribers so much for the cost of a subscription.
This collection came with my issue of Rattle and I loved it. It is a pretty quick read, but worth rereading a few times.
The language and images are clear and accessible but never simplistic. It's a very cohesive collection that paints a beautiful (and sometimes heartbreaking) portrait of humanity and vulnerability in the last place you would expect.
With humor and humility, Ms. Gomez manages to avoid telling the standard story of finding redemption through teaching the irredeemable, and sheds an ...more
"These men had discovered that the pain and hurt and anger they'd carried throughout their lives could be placed onto the page and shared with others. And that sharing of stories cut through our differences and loneliness, connecting us in a way that mattered."
This chapbook is an observation on life in prison, and the power of poetry on the lives of these prisoner. Each one of these poems tugged at my heart in a different way.
All of the chapbooks Rattle publishes are great, but this one may be ...more
Absolutely phenomenal! Jarring and honest and beautiful!