This creative writing class is taught by Brendan Mulligan; he is sponsored by the Riverside Arts Council. During this session, each student read aloud a story they had written, then together they read and analyzed poetry by Sylvia Plath and by Shakespeare. In discussing Plath’s references to suicide, one student spoke passionately and movingly about his own experiences on that topic.

At the far end of the room, a noisy HVAC system kept the air in the room fresh—and its low roar competed with the softer voices in the class. The classroom is also a mess hall, and occasionally loud clattering from the kitchen interrupted a discussion. In spite of these distractions, the students remained focused on their work; several took notes when Mr. Mulligan gave background on Plath and Shakespeare. There was a good deal of class participation, and of respectful listening.

The class is part of Arts in Corrections; funding for these photographs was provided by the California Arts Council.

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