Bars from Afar Reply

  • Do you consider yourself a writer, why or why not? If so, when did you realize you were a writer? If not, what about writing interests you?
  • What kind of things do you write about?
  • What interests you most about writing?
  • What are your expectations of this workshop/project? What are you excited, nervous, confused, and or in the dark about?
  • What would you most like to learn about poetry?
  • What do you hope to learn about yourself?
  • What do you think you will learn about others?
  • How old are you? What is your ethnicity? What “Campus” are you participating in the JustWrite Program from?

MA – Questionnaire Responses – Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility, Las Cruces, NM

  • I do consider myself a true writer/poet/rapper whatever.  I can’t say when or from whom this was gifted to me.  It’s my Life’s path.  The conclusion of me putting words together will one day explain the situations I’ve come through.
  • Things that deserve my attention and mean something to me.
  • The dialogue.
  • I’m an artist, I would put my work out there for the sport but I hope I can get the recognition I need to open some doors for me.  No more locked doors!   Gracías.
  • How to build something real with it.
  • I have no expectations.
  • No expectations.
  • I am 34, Chicano, Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

PLR – Questionnaire Responses – Hobbs, NM

  • Yes, because I’ve learned to express my true feelings on paper.  I don’t believe you need anymore experience than that.  When I was 27 i started writing.  In my 30s I felt I could make something out of it.  I want to touch bases with people.
  • Life, sex, government, the world, prison, freedom, whatever I set my mind to write about.
  • Only meaningful writings really interest me.  I pretty much like all writings, but I’m more interested in a verse, or a chapter that can benefit to a person’s well-being.
  • I really want to make my contribution to society with my writings.  I’m excited about making productive use of my writings rather than let them be unknown.
  • My writings are pretty good, but I would like to make them better.  I’m really my only critic.  I need more opinions.
  • If I can be better in the arts.
  • Anything that I may be allowed.
  • 41 years of age, I’m black, I am incarcerated at the L.C.C.F. prison on the downside of a 20 year sentence for trafficking Cocaine.

DLN – Questionnaire Responses – Los Lunas, NM

  • Yes, I consider myself somewhat a writer.  When I was 14 years old I struggled with feelings I had, towards life, family, love, and other things like anger and loneliness.  And what interests me about writing is the fact that ones words can be powerful when they’re put together right.
  • I write about love and God, as well as different feelings and emotions that we obtain in life through loss, struggle, and trials.
  • That it gives you a chance to express what you feel in a manner that can help others and oneself to deal with pain that can change and light to other.
  • To help me and others understand that words can change a person’s life.  As well as open doors to change and many opportunities.
  • I would like to learn different types of poetry, due to the fact, poetry could be used in life’s struggle and success.
  • That I am a man with the God gift and talent to make a difference in others and life and myself.  I’m also hoping to learn and express how to love again.
  • I think others will show me how to love, and to cherish one’s feelings with man and woman as well.
  • I’m 35 years old, I’m African American.  I’m in CNMCF.

MO – Questionnaire Responses – Los Lunas, NM

  • I do consider myself a writer because it is something I have always enjoyed, although I haven’t always made the time or effort necessary to make it a regular thing.  I was in honors English classes in school, but my grandmother always encouraged me to write because she enjoyed the letters I wrote to her.  I think it hit me when I was called into my English professors office at university, and thinking I botched an assignment, was told that I should write more often.
  • I have written about personal experiences both good and bad, but I also write fictional short stories, some poetry, and observations.
  • I tend to say very little unless I really feel something is important.  Writing allows me to “blow the carbon out” while still maintaining that persona.
  • I am hoping that by participating in this project, I’ll be able to hone my skills, clear some of the cobwebs by putting pen to paper, pass the time while doing something creative and productive, as well as read or listen to what other writers have done.  I am nervous about my situation because I am new to the system and my charges carry a terrible stereotype that is, to some degree, unfair and inaccurate.
  • I would like to learn more about the different forms of poetry that exist.
  • I hope to learn that my thoughts and feelings regarding my situation are not entirely unique or off the wall, but they will perhaps educate others, maybe open some eyes and even aide in the healing process.
  • I think I will learn what makes others tick and how a creative outlet helps each person cope with their situation.
  • I am 36 years old. I am half asian, half caucasian.  I am currently at RDC in Los Lunas awaiting classification.

FG – Questionnaire Responses – Santa Fe, NM

  • I do not consider myself a writer because I have nothing published.  I do enjoy writing poems and short stories though.  I enjoy expressing myself and watching the expression of reactions people have at times to my works.
  • My feelings, life experiences, my loves, likes and fears.
  • My mother is a published author and I’m convinced that my life is more interesting than hers, so I want to write a memoir and have it published.
  • I have none other than the need and want to obtain more experience through the sharing of knowledge.
  • A formula or structured way of writing my own poems, so that I wouldn’t need anyone to help edit my work.
  • Whether or not I have the potential to keep people’s interest through my writings, and also if others feel as I do.
  • Well this is kind of messed up but I often wonder if others go through life as I have.
  • I am 34, I am Italian American from Long Island, New York and I am in Santa Fe Adult Detention Facility.

JOW II – Questionnaire Responses – Los Lunas, NM

  • Yes, I consider myself a writer.  I believe I’m a writer because if I have paper and pen close to me, when I’m going through something, I’ll rhyme it out.
  • My interests are in poetry and music.  I write about anger, pain, frustration, love, feelings.  Sometimes I write just to vent and keep myself from getting in trouble.
  • I’d like to learn more about the musical composition side of things, coming up with hooks etc…
  • I really have no expectations, as of yet, since I really don’t know what’s out there.  I’m excited about communicating and collaborating with other writers who maybe share and work in some of the same areas of interest.
  • Maybe different techniques for brainstorming and forming ballads, stanzas, etc… Proper formatting.
  • More about my spirituality.   That is a very involved question.  I think I could answer that a little better, a little bit at a time, over a span of time.
  • The things I pay attention to.  The things they choose to share, and the things I piece together over time, acquired knowledge.
  • I’m forty years old.  As far as my ethnicity, that’s an involved question.  My father was adopted in Philadelphia, PA to a very esteemed couple from strict upbringings.  I only got to know my grandmother.  However, my father believed he was Armenian.  My full name is Scottish.  My mother’s side is Scottish, Mescalero, Apache, Spaniard, and Irish.  I read, speak, and write English, Spanish, most of Italian and French and have a way around Latin.  As far as what campus I’m participating from, I’m in State Prison waiting to go to my regular unit.  I met a guy named RW, he put me in touch with you guys.

MR – Questionnaire Responses – Los Lunas, NM

  • Yes, because writing is one of my joys.  I realized I was a writer at 10 years old.
  • Religion and poetry.
  • The joy and education it inputs into others.
  • I expect this workshop to give me the forum to write and show my writing skills.  I’m excited that this club will introduce me to other writers.
  • The different types of poetry there are.
  • I hope to learn the limitations of my writing skills.
  • How they put things together.
  • 33 years old African American.  I am currently in prison at CMRU Los Lunas Level Two.

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