"For three hours a week, I am not in prison, I am not a product of a dysfunctional family, I’m not from the projects. I’m anything I want to be."
RTA MEMBER, BEDFORD HILLS
RTA began working at Bedford Hills, New York State’s only maximum security prison for women, in 2008. The response has been beyond our expectations. From first protesting, “But I can’t draw” or “I’m so bad at this!” to tackling Shakespearean female archetypes, RTA is guiding the women of Bedford Hills in a profound process of self-discovery.
It was losing mama that really
put the needle on the record of my blues.
Too soon for dervishes
of camel spiders to spin in my mind
the hard part hadn't begun
and I was already singing a dirge.
The color guard too sounded flat
as the grim reaper saluted
for the fifth time in my year.
Of course by this time ma couldn't hear it
and sis couldn't buy the mixtape
if this experience was sold on the black market.
RTA member, Bedford Hills