Iron House: Stories from the Yard

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9780679764052: Iron House: Stories from the Yard
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A series of vignettes depicting life behind bars in America's prisons offers a witness' view of a dehumanizing system

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From the Inside Flap:

In telling the story of the forgotten men in America's prisons, Jerome Washington reveals the root of our national delusion: a shortsighted view of security that has led to violence and desperation on the streets and in the prisons. Men behind bars pass the time by engaging in hopeless fantasies, humiliating power plays, and sheer cruelty. Washington shows us that the line between their lives and ours is nonexistent. With humor by turns gentle and biting, he portrays the confusion and indifference that have brought us to regard the imprisoned as the disposable trash of a throwaway society.

While incarcerated in the New York State prison system, Jerome Washington received a fellowship from The New York Foundation for the Arts for his play The Boys in Cellblock "C." Jerome was a member of PEN American Center's Prison Writing Committee and Poets and Writers, and served on the boards of directors of the Coalition for the Creative Arts and the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (Western Region). Iron House was his fourth book.

From Booklist:

Washington was an organizing force behind the popular revolt at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Imprisoned from 1972 to 1989, Washington continued to write, publishing two books and a number of plays, and won the initial First Amendment victory of a prisoner against prison officials. Iron House is Washington's fifth book, winner of the 1994 Western States Arts Federation Book Award for creative nonfiction, and one of the clearest and most visceral accounts of day-to-day prison life ever written. In a series of rigorously styled vignettes, the book reveals the ghastly ineptitude of American "prison reform." But most important, it depicts prisoners and guards alike simply as the human beings they are, people who must face, every day, often violently, one of the most inhuman and corrupt communities in history, where individuals are driven necessarily to brutality, insanity, and death as well as to desperate brotherhood and savage enlightenment. Beautifully moving, painfully honest to its heart, and often darkly comic, Iron House deserves to be read by every citizen of the U.S., which boasts the largest prison population in the world. In Washington's words, "Those of us who are in prison have been convicted. Everyone else is still on trial." Greg Burkman

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9780936609331: Iron House: Stories from the Yard

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ISBN 10:  0936609338 ISBN 13:  9780936609331
Publisher: Q E D Press, 1994
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