SECTION OF DISAPPROVED BOOKS, Minneapolis Central Library. Image courtesy of the artist
Do you ever wonder what section of the library you should go to to find the hottest titles in computer programming, sex, political theory, linguistics, history, art, graphic novels, child development, craft instruction manuals …all in one location? Look no further than the “Section of Disapproved Books” at the Minneapolis Central Library, where the artist Daniel McCarthy Clifford gathered titles that were banned from American prisons.
Prison environments suppress the diversity of all it can control – which is eventually, nearly everything beyond the body. Whatever inmates have or used to have in common with each other in the outside world is stripped off to give rise to the homogeneous and manageable prison routine. The commonality based on shared interests, histories, and cultures gives way to the reinforced commonality of denied access and prescribed behavior. Little illustrates this imposed commonality better than a bookshelf with publications having little in common except being subjected to an opaque and arbitrary process of prison censorship.
Friday, June 15 at 9:30PM: Disapproved Knowledge
Panel discussion on causes and consequences of knowledge censorship in correctional facilities.
Daniel McCarthy Clifford, Northern Spark artist of Section of Disapproved Books
Leiloni Ivey, poet, iron worker, and graduate of the Woman’s Writing Program at Ramsey County Correctional Facility
Rebecca Shlafer, Assistant Professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Pediatrics, and the Research Director at the Minnesota Prison Doula Project.
Ingrid Nuttall, Enterprise Systems Manager at the University of Minnesota and the Chair of the Board of Directors of the We Are All Criminals project.
Boris Oicherman, Cindy and Jay Ihlenfeld Curator for Creative Collaboration, Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota
Saturday, June 16 at 9:30PM: Incarcerated Flesh of Free Words
Poetry reading by the graduates of the Women’s Writing Program at Ramsey County Correctional Facility
Shanquita Pruitt, also known as “Dezire Flyy”, is an aspiring singer from Milwaukee residing in Minneapolis. She is a writer of songs, poems, and short stories. After being incarcerated in a prison overseas, she decided to write a book series about all of her experiences. Shanquita dreams of becoming a successful novelist, singer, and entrepreneur.
Leiloni Ivey: Embodying Agape Love
and the Soul,
Randi L. Jenkins, Born in Minneapolis, MN, a member of the Leech Lake Reservation, the mother of five beautiful children; Dominic ‘Dom,’ Jelicia ‘J-Bug,’ Xavier ‘X-Man,’ Aiden ‘Fat-Head’ and Jay ‘Jay-Z Boy.’, also known to be a “Very Strong Ojibwe Ogithchidaag (Warrior)”. “The Key To A Mother’s Heart Is Her Children”.
Sade (Sha-day) Robinson has seen a lot and has lived in the most interesting cities from the murder city of Detroit, Michigan to the party city of Las Vegas, Nevada. She now resides in Eagan, MN: the calmest of them all. Sade is new to the world of writing but confident in her words.
Pamela (Beeb’s) Scharmer, Dakota and Ojibwe, is enrolled at Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (SD). Pam grew up in St. Paul, where she now resides with her three children, Rayette 26, Evan 21 and Owen 15 and Shadow: their 10 year old female Siberian Husky. Pam loves Bruno Mars, all types of music and her pen collection.
Women’s Writing Program is a poetry writing workshop taught by Marcie Rendon and Diego Vázquez Jr. in correctional facilities in Ramsey, Sherburne and Washington counties. More than 200 imprisoned women took part in the workshop since the establishment in 2012, and more than 30 anthologies of poetry have been published.
Incarcerated Flesh of Free Words is a poem title by Leiloni Ivey.
Daniel McCarthy Clifford earned a BFA in Sculpture and a BA in Art History from the University of New Mexico in 2014. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. His interdisciplinary works have been effectively censored and confiscated by prison officials across the country.