on apples not falling far from trees
Deborah Appleman was an inspiring public school teacher at Henry Sibley Senior High, whose poetry class blew our young minds to kingdom come. Today I read that she's a Carleton professor with a new book, based on her work at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater. So I went right to Amazon, of course, and ordered the anthology: From the Inside Out: Letters to Young Men and Other Writings Poetry and Prose from Prison.
If anybody wonders why a sociologist and criminologist like me wants to write poetry posts (prison poetry posts, no less) or edit magazines, it probably started with the teacher we called "Apple." She pushed and nurtured and cajoled and cultivated creative writing and dangerous thinking. And she was tough. If I'm remembering right, I got a B+ on my final project -- a full album of angsty original love songs, recorded on a four-track reel-to-reel. The songs sucked, of course, but c'mon! I'd never worked so hard in my life. I'd like to think she was just as tough on the guys at Stillwater -- and that maybe she'll have the same long-term impact on their lives.