Poets and Writers - - Letters - DAN GROTE

I’m writ­ing in re­sponse to “Rays of Hope,” a letter writ­ten by Everett Schell and fea­tured in the July/Au­gust 2017 Let­ters sec­tion. Like Schell I am cur­rently in­car­cer­ated, was gifted a Po­ets & Writ­ers Mag­a­zine sub­scrip­tion by a gen­er­ous in­di­vid­ual (poet Mary Rue­fle), and have thor­oughly en­joyed every is­sue I’ve re­ceived. Though I had no writ­ing or teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence prior to prison, I ended up teach­ing a cre­ative writ­ing course here. I view this par­tic­u­lar prison as the world’s worst writ­ers re­treat, but in the long run, it’s what made me pick up a pen. It has been a long and ar­du­ous jour­ney, from ad­dict to bank rob­ber to writer, and the jour­ney still has some miles left. I’ve as­sem­bled a mod­est amount of pub­lish­ing cred­its and ac­quired a few un­likely friend­ships with mem­bers of the lit­er­ary com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing Don­ald Hall and Mary Rue­fle. Great lit­er­a­ture al­lows peo­ple to ac­cess corners of life they might be too timid to ex­plore or lucky to have not per­son­ally vis­ited. There are plenty of tal­ented word­smiths be­hind walls and locked doors. I love your mag­a­zine. Thanks for your time.

United States Pen­i­ten­tiary, Canaan

Way­mart, Penn­syl­va­nia

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