Better Man writes from the outside

Posted: April 29, 2009 in prison, general, prisoner writing, story, The Hero's Journey Workshop
Tags: , , ,

I’ve added a new page to the blog (see the column to the right). There I will post journal entries sent to me by a former member of our Hero’s Journey Writing Group up at Monroe. He has served his prison time and is now embarking on the next step of his sentence — probation.

He and I have discussed that he is taking a risk by posting here. While overwhelmingly readers of this blog are considerate in their opinions even if they disagree with me, I recognize that allowing an inmate to speak for himself might be difficult for some. Without me to filter the experience of being up at Monroe, what you are left with is the raw reality — what it is like on the inside and the outside. Better Man, as he’ll go by here, will chronicle, for as long as he feels up to it, what life is like for an inmate recently released from prison. Given that his crime requires he now register as a sex offender, you can imagine that the “outside” is not the easiest place to be. I note that he is a registered sex offender here in this posting because I am sensitive to the fact that some readers might want to choose to not read Better Man’s postings. That said, I hope most readers will choose to read on as I think you will be surprised and intrigued by the story he has to tell.

Posting Better Man’s writings here is in many ways the ultimate goal of my work at Monroe — to bring the stories of those on the outside and the stories of those who are serving or who have served time together. We don’t have to forgive Better Man, or even have sympathy for him, but we can read his postings and try to understand a little better, try to expand our own thinking, question our own beliefs, check in with ourselves when we find his words troubling. He is an honest writer, one of the best writers we had in the group.

I’ll be monitoring comments left on Better Man’s postings and will allow most to post, even if they disagree or take issue with something he has written. I will not however, allow hateful, intimidating or unnecessarily explicit comments. He is here to tell his story, and the only battle I want him to worry about winning is building a safe and productive life for himself. Questions? Ask them. Stories of your own to tell? Tell them. I will also, at times, write my own responses to things Better Man writes. This is how we come to understand one another — by talking.

That said, welcome, Better Man. I, for one, am glad you are here to add to this conversation. And thank you to my readers for taking this risk with me and him.

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Comments
  1. kollmans says:

    I have read what has already been posted. And I will continue to read the posts. I think its very cool.

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