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Through the process of creating—specifically of shaping new worlds of possibility through poetry and the performance of it—the arts may offer gaps in the punishment of incarceration and attempt the reclamation or claiming of individual expression. But what are the limits of artistic expression in a highly monitored and surveilled location? This reflective essay explores a performance of slam poetry by ten inmates inside Arizona's Eyman State Prison for an audience of twenty-five prisoners. Using Keoni Watson’s winning poem as a frame, Rocchio questions the reported impacts of the slam and the larger culpability of arts-in-corrections in simultaneously supporting and undermining the existing carceral and state power structures in control over the bodies and souls of prisoners.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.



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