May 14

Deborah Appleman Presents her Book: Words No Bars Can Hold - POSTPONED

Thursday, May 14th, 2020
7:00 – 8:30 pm / Content Bookstore
map of Deborah Appleman Presents her Book: Words No Bars Can Hold - POSTPONED

314 Division Street S. Northfield, MN 55057

Cannon Valley Carls
invite you to a

 Reading by Professor Deborah Appleman from her New Book:
Words No Bars Can Hold
: Literacy Learning in Prison

Thursday, May 14, 2020
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.


Content Bookstore
314 Division Street
Northfield, MN 55057

Join Deborah Appleman as she discusses her new book Words No Bars Can Hold: Literacy Learning in Prison, in which she shares her experiences teaching creative writing to high-security prisoners.

Words No Bars Can Hold provides a rare glimpse into literacy learning under the most dehumanizing conditions. Deborah Appleman chronicles her work teaching college-level classes at a high-security prison for men, most of whom are serving life sentences. Through narrative, poetry, memoir, and fiction, the students in Appleman's classes attempt to write themselves back into a society that has erased their lived histories.

“The author writes not only lucidly, but also with great elegance and power. Her position is based on her profound experience as an instructor and a lover of literature―she has taught 150 incarcerated men. The writing samples she provides are simply extraordinary, not only because of their philosophical and poetical quality, but also because of the insights the writers demonstrate into their lamentable plights. Appleman does more than argue that these men, many of whom have committed heinous crimes and will never be released, are still human beings capable of moral redemption: she shows readers this through their writing. Moreover, the author makes a convincing case for the power of stories, not just to entertain and distract, but also to reimagine the writers’ very selves and supply the sources for inspiration that sometimes life itself refuses. An affecting meditation on the ability of literature to empower inmates who are too often dismissively diminished by society.”Kirkus Review

Deborah Appleman lives in Minnesota and is the Hollis L. Caswell Professor of Educational Studies and director of the summer writing program at Carleton College. Since 2007, she has taught language, literature, and creative writing courses at a high-security prison for men in the upper Midwest.

Cost: Free

No RSVPs needed.

Questions? Contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or 800-729-2586.

Deborah Appleman Words No Bars Can Hold 

Sponsored by Regional Carls. Contact: Krista Herbstrith