Nancy Miller Gomez entered Salinas Valley State Prison with a backpack of poems and a fear of being caught in a lockdown. What she discovered was compassion and human connection. The poems and essays in this collection, Gomezs first, were inspired by her experience teaching writing workshops in jails and prisons. Punishment explores the stories of people serving time in the criminal justice system. It demonstrates the ways creative expression can mend emotional wounds, bridge differences, and reconnect us to our humanity. Punishment is a moving tribute to the redemptive power of poetry.Praise:If poetry is, at its essence, a way for humans to see and touch each other, then Nancy Miller Gomezs carefully observed, finely crafted poems are doing the work of poetry. In these times when the divide between people so often seems too great to be crossed, when hatred and prejudice are state-sponsored, when the intersection of race, justice, and imprisonment has led to the United States having the largest incarceration rate of any country in the world, these poems are an important and necessary voice. Im grateful to Nancy Miller Gomez for Punishment.Ellen Bass, author of The Courage to Heal...
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"These men had discovered that the pain and hurt and anger they'd carried throughout their lives could be placed onto the page and shared with others. And that sharing of stories cut through our differences and loneliness, connecting us in a way that mattered."
This chapbook is an observation on life in prison, and the power of poetry on the lives of these prisoner. Each one of these poems tugged at my heart in a different way.
All of the chapbooks Rattle publishes are great, but this one may be ...more
Absolutely phenomenal! Jarring and honest and beautiful!
Whenever I begin to read a collection of poetry, I hope for that feeling of a wind in my chest, that the “top if my head is taken off.” This small collection by Nancy Miller Gomez did that for me.
At only 9 poems and 2 short autobiographical prose pieces, “Punishment” has more power than many other, much longer collections. Gomez has translated her experiences teaching poetry in prison into vital, living verse, without in any way betraying or making maudlin the essential reality of those incarcer ...more
This is an amazing poetry collection. Punishment is was chosen as one of the winners in the Rattle Chapbook Prize contest and it is deserving. The poems are about the authors experience teaching poetry to inmates in prison.