Education Justice Project Poets (First Installment)

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The mission of the Education Justice project is to build a model college-in-prison program that demonstrates the positive impacts of higher education upon incarcerated people, their families, the communities from which they come, and society as a whole.  We  provide upper-division college courses and a variety of academic resources to incarcerated individuals at Danville Correctional Center, host activities for their family members in Chicago, and produce critical scholarship about our work.
When The Public i informed us it was seeking submissions, EJP students began writing feverishly excited to share their voices in the wider community. After many weeks of reflection and revision, EJP students submitted moving narratives on enduring themes: the joys and challenges of parenthood; finding and sustaining faith; strengthening family relationships; and the creative power of song and reflection. We hope you enjoy this opportunity to learn and gain an alternative artistic perspective – we know our students cherish the opportunity to share their voices with you.
Please visit to learn more about our students and the work we do.
R.B. Swami
Time is a finite construction and a boundless source.
My cell window frames the morning sun’s arc announcing another 24 hour load for me to bear until Morpheus relives me of my burden.
In quiescent contemplation, imbibing the immensity of the Un-manifested, I can escape the constraints of linear time.
I shun the labor of assembling the component minutes into hours and hours into days and days into years of my sentence.
After all, I am powerless to affect the tempo of the pendulum swings.
I can, however, choose to dance with their rhythm.
I have this singular lifetime of opportunity to whirl with abandon beginning in this present moment right now,
And now,
And now.
Emmett K. Sanders
UntitledIt is no small feat
to feel each stone distinctly
as it is turned from the earth
to soften seedbeds.Displaced by Agriculture.
Cast from fresh furrows
by this upstart usurper
–geologically speaking—
to make way for wheat.As if this hole had not been home,
had not from its creation cradled
this sleepy little stone
as it dreamt itself a mountain
waiting to born.Or a robin’s egg.

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