writing

When we think of prison, most of us don’t think of it as a place where people go to get an education or to learn how to express themselves. But the arts have been part of the California prison system since 1977. Even though state funding for these programs was completely cut in 2003, nonprofits have kept some of the programs alive. One of those programs is Brothers in Pen--a creative writing class for San Quentin inmates, taught by Zoe Mullery.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user ROSS HONG KONG

The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto is not a grotto, really. A grotto is a cave … or, something like a cave. This is just a floor in a nondescript office building: 31 offices surrounding a conference room, where a few dozen people can sit somewhat comfortably. From the hallways, each office door looks about the same. What makes this place special, though, is what’s behind each door.

KALW's Ben Trefny spoke with members of the SF Writers' Grotto for a recent story. Listen to full interviews with the writers below.