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Posts by Christian Rees

Word From the Big House (Excerpts from a Daily Rikers Journal)

This entry is formatted as a creative, non-fiction essay synthesized from notes taken during my first day volunteering at Rikers Island on January 22nd, 2013. None of the included events are fabricated; all the inmates and guards are currently working or serving time on Rikers Island, therefore no names have been included. The material is drawn from my own sensory experience, conversations with inmates, and outside research. The final product is my blow-by-blow recollection and reflection on a day of first impressions.

The island is mostly chain-link fences tinseled 

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Tunes and Time: Excerpts & Poems from a Daily Rikers Journal

"The song remained; Kino knew them, but no new songs were added. That does not mean that there were no personal songs. In Kino's head there was a song now, clear and soft, and if he had been able to speak of it, he would have called it the Song of the Family." —The Pearl, John Steinbeck

I read this passage from The Pearl while waiting for the Count to be made and the inmates to be led in a thin trickle to our closet-sized library. Time to wait and contemplate 

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