It's hard to believe this will be my fifth formal reading. This semester was plagued with a series of setbacks that led to many classes being cancelled, but since my class followed a more routine high school schedule, the juvenile class still had plenty of work to submit to the chapbook. Since we spent a large portion of the class writing about freedom, I asked them to submit potential chapbook covers that would encapsulate the creative work inside.
The top photo was created by two classmates. The first student created the bubble letters, and the second student had the brilliant idea of making both o's into broken handcuffs. (Don't worry, we photoshopped the apostrophe error!)
The second submission was less informative and much more artistic, done by another student:
I'm never surprised by the talents of my students. Honestly, they are much more creative than I ever was in high school. Seeing the fruits of their creative labor always gives me mixed emotions. It's such a treat to see them express themselves, but I am often saddened by the fact that their minds are constantly in a state of stress, that their opportunities for creative expression are limited, and confined within the walls of the jail. One of the best things about this program is our power to take the work of our students and share it with communities beyond the jail. It's such an honor to carry our student work, to flash chapbooks at literary events and conferences, and read their words in places our students could never have imagined.