The Brave Six
Just this week Tom wrote me with a new batch of questions from both his persuasive and argumentative writing classes. Because of the lockdown, I cannot contact my students, so I answered all the questions myself and sent them in.
The Brave Six projects started when my friend Margot, from Switzerland, sent me a printed-out copy of Tom Kerr’s web page and his address. She wondered why, though I had many projects going on with people in Europe (mentoring students as well as film, book and song writing projects) I had few in the USA and she suggested I write Professor Kerr. I read that Tom had worked with well-known writers on Death Row at San Quentin and that he saw them as human beings. I felt there must be some realness there inside Tom, some courage – an honest appreciation for the power of words, forgiveness, love, service, redemption, change, education and growth.
I pondered Tom’s information for about a year and then sent him my articles, “Speaking in Poems” and “Shining in Darkness.” I had no expectations and figured he might enjoy the articles, but that I would not hear anything back.
Weeks later I received a letter from Tom telling me how the two articles had inspired and primed him... Read the whole essay at ALT/space published June 12.