Book Discussion Groups
CPO supports book discussion groups at MCI Concord, Sousa Baranouski Correctional Center, and Old Colony Correctional Center.
Some books recently read include: White Fang by Jack London, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Becket, Huck Finn by Mark Twain, Romeo and Juliet by Wm Shakespeare, short stories by Hemingway, Harlem Renaissance poetry, et. al.
The Changing Lives Through Literature group focuses on presenting poetry, novels, plays, and short stories that satisfy our criteria of being good writing, accessible (though many times requiring a little work), and enduring. Sometimes readings are chosen around an organizing theme such as survival, leadership, friendship, aging, father-son relationships, fables, etc. All readings are selected with an eye toward expanding both the leaders’ and the inmates’ understanding of literature and the what it means to be human.
Participants have repeatedly stated their enjoyment in learning more about what is contained in a given poem or story that comes from careful reading and discussion together. We have heard a number of men say that the group is the highlight of their week. One man in his 60’s expressed his appreciation and satisfaction in discovering that poetry has something to offer him. Another admitted that he could barely decode when he started the group &, having been told as youngster that he was just stupid, he had never picked up a book; now after several months he knows he can read — and enjoy it — and that he is not stupid.
Books in storage for use by Book Discussion Groups