In the Building

This is a chapter from my memoir about teaching incarcerated high school students on Rikers Island in NYC that was published in the literary magazine, J Journal. The memoir is titled The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island (published in 2019 by Deerbrook Editions): https://www.jjournal.org/post/in-the-building In the Sprungs, I had grown completely comfortable with my … Continue reading In the Building

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Rikers: A Bright Green Future for a Dark Place?

One day, Rikers could be a source of light, in the form of solar power. Plus, Lee Zeldin’s efforts to avoid positions some New Yorkers consider unenlightened. By James Barron Nov. 2, 2022 You're reading the New York Today newsletter.  Local reporting on the stories that define the city. Plus weather, upcoming events, Metropolitan Diary and more. Get … Continue reading Rikers: A Bright Green Future for a Dark Place?

Seventh in a Series of Readings from The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRr6GvznsiM&t=1s Reading from The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island “The New Plantation takes us into the chaos of Rikers Island, giving us the vivid voices of young men–kids, really–caught in the unrelenting grip of institutional racism. I found it riveting.” –Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys, Ernie’s Ark, and One-in-a-Million Boy “It’s easy to forget … Continue reading Seventh in a Series of Readings from The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island

Violence at Rikers at an ‘All-Time High’ Despite City’s Promise to Curb It

A federal monitor found that the number of times guards at the jail complex used force against inmates rose 54 percent, even as its population shrank. Mayor Bill de Blasio and leaders in the City Council have already agreed to close Rikers Island, one of the country’s largest urban prisons.Credit...Dave Sanders for The New York … Continue reading Violence at Rikers at an ‘All-Time High’ Despite City’s Promise to Curb It

Reading of the Preface of The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A7oJB0CaEE0 The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island was published by Deerbrook Editions. "The New Plantation takes us into the chaos of Rikers Island, giving us the vivid voices of young men--kids, really--caught in the unrelenting grip of institutional racism. I found it riveting." --Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys, Ernie's Ark, … Continue reading Reading of the Preface of The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island

Virus Raged at City Jails, Leaving 1,259 Guards Infected and 6 Dead

Correction officers in New York City live in fear of bringing the virus home to families. They say the city has not protected them. From The New York Times By Jan Ransom May 20, 2020 For one Rikers Island correction officer, the low point came when he and his wife were both extremely sick with the … Continue reading Virus Raged at City Jails, Leaving 1,259 Guards Infected and 6 Dead

Coronavirus Cases Are Spreading Rapidly on Rikers Island

Soap and space are still in short supply as at least 231 incarcerated people and 223 staff members test positive for COVID-19. By JULIA CRAVEN - APRIL 02, 2020 - for SLATE An aerial view of the Rikers Island prison in New York City.Debra L. Rothenberg/WireImage Between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning, 47 more incarcerated people … Continue reading Coronavirus Cases Are Spreading Rapidly on Rikers Island

“In the Building,” a chapter from my memoir, “The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island” that was adapted by “J Journal–New Writing on Social Justice”

In the Sprungs, I had grown completely comfortable with my job. I assumed the experience I had gained would be an asset in the Building. I was a little nervous that first day, but I was only nervous the way I always am when I meet a new group of students. If I had known … Continue reading “In the Building,” a chapter from my memoir, “The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island” that was adapted by “J Journal–New Writing on Social Justice”

A conversation with author Jason Trask (with David Daniel)

Back in December as part of our Literary Lowell series, we profiled local author David Daniel, author of the Alex Rasmussen detective series and a number of other books. Now it’s David’s turn to contribute a new author profile to the blog. He recently caught up with Jason Trask who now lives in Maine but who spent … Continue reading A conversation with author Jason Trask (with David Daniel)