I haven’t been writing poems because I’ve been working on a novel, but I got asked to take part in a collaborative project for the University of Rochester’s Decarceration Research Initiative. So I made one. The entire project was interdisciplinary, with bits of text on the photos that were the triggers for the work printed on flags hung up in the windows of downtown Rochester, and other performative components.
The premise of the creative component was to use photos of the sky taken within close proximity to a number of correctional facilities in Western New York as prompts. The resultant art hopes to focus attention on the rampant carceral state the US has become. The project culminated in a public symposium, with panels convened on supporting those who’ve been incarcerated upon release and envisioning a Rochester without prisons.
I want to thank Evelyne Leblanc-Roberge for inviting me to take part and the good work she is doing with the RDRI. Here is a link to the home page of the website for the project. Below is the photo I used as prompt, taken of the sky above Auburn Correctional Facility. My poem is title EYE IN THE SKY.