Stephen Hartnett merges the evocative power of poetry with scholarly research to produce both a genre-bending critique of the prison industrial complex and an innovative new method of qualitative research. Based on ten years of teaching in, writing about, and protesting at prisons across America, Harnett weaves together the hopes of prisoners, their families, and friends with the stories of activist communities struggling against the death penalty, the war on drugs, and a culture that treats prisoners as commodities. Full of materials from philosophers, poets, and historians, rich in personal detail, and written as a passionate and urgent call for justice, Incarceration Nation shows the power of ethnographic poetry to give voice to the hopes and horrors of a generation confronted by the mass-production of criminality.
Stephen John Hartnett is assistant professor of communication at Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, as well as a poet, musician, and prison activist.
Chapter 1 Introduction: A Reader's Guide to Investigative Prison Poetry Chapter 2 Pendleton Poems Chapter 3 "Do Right and Fear Not!" : Five Meditations on San Quentin Chapter 4 Perhaps Some Grace Chapter 5 Emptiness Doesn't Take Notice: Supermax Poems Chapter 6 Transcending Schelling's Lament Chapter 7 About the Same as Commercial Fishing Chapter 8 Love and Death in California Chapter 9 Visiting Mario Chapter 10 Karina's Question Chapter 11 Notes