Testimonials

"I think of a concrete sidewalk where you still have the grass growing up through the cracks despite the conditions. These guys keep showing up."

Bill Breen, MPWW Instructor

"As a teacher, I felt that I was having an impact, both on the inmates' writing skills and on thoughtful perspectives on their lives, past and present. As a person who seeks to bring light into dark places, it was gratifying on many levels: heart-breakingly poignant, inspiring, thought provoking, powerful stories were written and read. It was empowering for both myself and for the inmates to have their voices heard as writers."

Wendy Brown-Baez, MPWW Instructor

"My students were polite, eager and engaged. They took risks, worked hard, and wasted not one second of the opportunity they'd been given. They surprised themselves time and again with their work; they surprised me too. They compiled a journal, gave a reading, and most importantly, they found worth and reward through writing and learning. They reminded me that words have power and radiance can be found anywhere."

Jennifer Bowen Hicks, MPWW Founder and Artistic Director

"I could not have been more impressed with the writing presented by these men."

George Kimball, Director of Adult Education

"It has been my experience that there are many creative men in our prisons. Creative writing is one way for them to not only express their creativity, but also their life experiences. This process can be very therapeutic for the individual, and when shared with others, affect them profoundly. The men are so appreciative of these teachers’ gifts, as am I."

Patricia Pawlak, Education Director, MCF – Stillwater

"Your class will be something these guys will remember forever. They look for anything or anyone who seems to care about them and their quest for personal redemption or growth. We are in the redemption business, so I will keep supporting people who can bring the type of positive programming that you do. If one guy doesn't come back to prison or one guy's life is changed, it is worth it."

John King, Assistant Commissioner of Corrections

"This program has changed my life."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"While incarceration is often voiceless, MPWW gives us the opportunity to have a voice. Writing gives value to our lives and allows us to see we are bigger and brighter than one felony."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"I believe healing begins when a person can express their stories. Writing is like a laundromat for my soul."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"The thought that something I write could have a positive impact on other people gives me a sense of a life purpose, a reason to get out of bed and get moving for another day."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"An MPWW class can give you an outlet. It can give you a break from the super special stupid of the daily madness. It can give you the agency of art. It can help you discover your voice, maybe for the first time."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"Writing is the only time I can acknowledge my own mishaps. I write not to correct my wrongs, not to pretty my past, not to be famous, but to reflect and let it serve as a reminder to do the right thing and to live differently."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"We prisoners are often remembered for the negative things we have done, but who we were before that fatal moment - that 17-year-old boy, the caring son or loving husband and father - is always forgotten. You have helped me remove a fear of being forgotten."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"That one or two kids I reach with my story may have the chance to live the dream I, so unfortunately, shattered."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"I spent many years of my life with no voice. No way of saying what I needed to say or think that what I had to say had any merit. Through writing I’ve found a way to give voice to my thoughts, ideas, and feelings. What comes out in my writing is what I struggle to say with my own mouth."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"I honestly believe that I have something to offer, something to contribute to the world; and that gift was given to me during your class the written word."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"If prison is a place where man loses himself, then writing is the means by which his reconnection is accomplished. Your class has been instrumental in that reconciliation."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"This class saved my life. BTW: Not lip service."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"Writing has glued my shattered life back together into a functional piece again. It has imbued my new life with meaning and purpose. Miraculously, this is happening in prison."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"Thank you for helping me to remember I matter, if not to anyone else, to myself."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"No one ever told me books are where people hide all the answers."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"Writing and sharing my story has given me the opportunity to rediscover who I really am, who I was meant to be, and to finally begin realizing my potential."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"As a person who has spent the vast majority of his adult life caught up in a cycle of crime, drug addiction, and prison, writing has been the one thing that has allowed me to reconnect with a part of myself that I lost sight of a long, long time ago."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

"This class has done more for me than I ever would have imagined, not just as a writer, but as a human being. It opened up my scope of empathy."

Student, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop