From 2009 until the pandemic of 2020, author Chris Belden ran a weekly creative writing workshop at Garner Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Newtown, Connecticut. Dozens of incarcerated men and one trans woman cycled through the workshop over those years, producing stories, essays, and poems that explored their shattered pasts, their uncertain futures, and the ever-changing meaning of “doing time.” Impressed by the quality and importance of the work, Belden started publishing annual chapbooks to be distributed throughout the prison. Collecting the best of the writing in those chapbooks, CLOSER TO FREEDOM presents a unique and deeply moving look into the world of life behind bars.
Join Chris Belden for a reading from, and discussion of, CLOSER TO FREEDOM. Also in attendance will be contributors to the book who have recently been released.