Cell Count

Cell Count

eBook - 1997
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In 1996, 1.2 million citizens were incarcerated in U.S. prisons for violent crimes and other felonies. By the year 2000, that number is expected to exceed 2 million. In response to this crisis, throughout the nation, programs built largely on the work of volunteers have risen to challenge traditional concepts about the prison system and rehabilitation, and to engender a new awareness of possibilities. Cell Count, an eloquent and sensitive collection of poems, is the product of one such program. Cell Count’s teacher-persona struggles to come to terms with his inmate-students who are tragically much more than the sum of their crimes. ?Cell Count is not a book for Sunday afternoon reading. Innocently, I stepped across the line into Christopher Bursk’s world. An iron gate clanged shut, and I was alone, a red beam. . .aimed straight into my eyes, ?digging a tunnel into my brain./I had to stare into the center of that burning/till it was all I could see.’ ?Cell Count is not just a book about the prison system. When the guard-tower floodlights snap on, trapped in its crossbeams is the book’s persona?a college instructor engaged in directing a poetry workshop in a reconverted storage closet in jail or counseling individual inmates in an interview room more cramped than a cell. He is teacher, poet, political activist, a man committed to making a difference in the lives of his students, yet he doesn’t seem certain why he feels compelled to do so; he is not entirely sure he wants to try this hard. Cell Count details the life-quest of this activist who, despite his fears, his hatred of evil, his repugnance for violence, his despair at what may be a hopeless endeavor, still acts, still takes a stand.” ?Robert A. Fink

In 1996, 1.2 million citizens were incarcerated in U.S. prisons for violent crimes and other felonies. By the year 2000, that number is expected to exceed 2 million. In response to this crisis, throughout the nation, programs built largely on the work of volunteers have risen to challenge traditional concepts about the prison system and rehabilitation, and to engender a new awareness of possibilities. Cell Count, an eloquent and sensitive collection of poems, is the product of one such program. Cell Count’s teacher-persona struggles to come to terms with his inmate-students who are tragically much more than the sum of their crimes. ?Cell Count is not a book for Sunday afternoon reading. Innocently, I stepped across the line into Christopher Bursk’s world. An iron gate clanged shut, and I was alone, a red beam. . .aimed straight into my eyes, ?digging a tunnel into my brain./I had to stare into the center of that burning/till it was all I could see.’ ?Cell Count is not just a book about the prison system. When the guard-tower floodlights snap on, trapped in its crossbeams is the book’s persona?a college instructor engaged in directing a poetry workshop in a reconverted storage closet in jail or counseling individual inmates in an interview room more cramped than a cell. He is teacher, poet, political activist, a man committed to making a difference in the lives of his students, yet he doesn’t seem certain why he feels compelled to do so; he is not entirely sure he wants to try this hard. Cell Count details the life-quest of this activist who, despite his fears, his hatred of evil, his repugnance for violence, his despair at what may be a hopeless endeavor, still acts, still takes a stand.” ?Robert A. Fink


Publisher: Lubbock, Tex. : Texas Tech University Press, ©1997
ISBN: 9780585378053
0585378053
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xii, 90 pages)

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