This was a surprisingly good book. Shakespeare still holds up... even in prison, Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2017. "Shakespeare Saved My Life" to restart your heart. We meet a literature prof with the allegedly most hardened incarcerated convicts. And that realization is empowering!

She created the world’s first Shakespeare program in Supermax—the long-term solitary confinement unit. Now we have received unprecedented permission to work together, alone, unsupervised, to create a series of Shakespeare workbooks for prisoners. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. The video was taken very soon after Larry was released after, remember, 10 years of isolation, and his nervousness in front of the video camera is very evident. Laura Bates: The Bard Is Still Saving Lives. Send questions and comments about this story to She wasn't there to stay, of course, but went to volunteer, beginning work that’s lasted several decades. She obviously could answer this question as well. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. The unorthodox bonding of a Shakespeare instructor and a convicted murderer. So part of my teaching assignment included going into some of the prisons, including Wabash Valley, and teaching college credit courses face-to-face.

Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Shakespeare absolutely, after 449 years, does continue to speak to us. In fact, Laura studied the conduct records of twenty of the most long-standing and active participants in the program and found that their combined conduct history accounted for more than 600 violent or Class A offenses, including weapons charges and assaults, in the years before the Shakespeare program.

So literally, he saved my life.”. translated by RELEASE DATE: Jan. 16, 2006. Still, what he has to say is profound and moving.

Beacon: Your book focuses on Larry Newton, a prisoner you worked with for a decade while he was in solitary confinement. She had come walking through these segregation units, asking if any of us would be interested in studying Shakespeare, and I was at the crossroads of my life where I wasn’t sure if I could find the courage to stay where I was or find the courage to go beyond where I was, so it was the right moment for me to be introduced to Shakespeare. Larry was not a prisoner Laura thought she could work with, until she read his written response to a Shakespeare assignment she distributed to segregated prisoners as a way of screening prospective participants. I have mixed feelings. I did enjoy and read over two days.

Connect with Karen on the Web, Facebook, and Twitter. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. In solitary confinement, with little else to fill the days, mental illness or purposeful meaning through education are two choices explored. The ipso facto valorization of transgression, of murder?”. Prisoner 5: At the age of 16, I was arrested for two counts of murder and sentenced to 80 years in prison. The match is compelling.

Prisoner 1: Shakespeare wrote this play 400 years ago, but it still applies to teenagers today. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. "Shakespeare Saved My Life" also reveals many important truths ... about the meaning of empathy in our dealings with others"―Finger Lake Times, "Opening the mind's prison proves enormously gratifying, not to mention effective ... brave, groundbreaking work"―Publishers Weekly, "An eye-opening study reiterating the perennial power of books, self-discipline, and the Bard of Avon. Please try again. Romeo: Oh, I am fortune’s fool. While volunteering to teach Shakespeare to maximum-security prisoners, she forms an unlikely friendship with Larry Newton, a lifer in solitary confinement, and overcomes her fear of boats.