Greetings Beat lovers. It’s an incredible honor to Though I now understand how to deal with what sometimes have this sixty-page publication in your hands and these words being read by you today/tonight. It is hard to believe this is issue 19.45/46! Wow, what a fabulous issue to share with you all too. There are so many solid contributions to read and be inspired by, as well as pieces that simply strike a nerve of sadness and pain. We cannot thank you contributors enough for the love you share with us each week in our workshops and those of you who write to us independently, how fortunate we are to have you in our circle. We appreciate you, thank you.
This editor is struggling with guilt, given the backlog of writings and letters sent, in need of a response this past year. Time is not working on our side. This tiny little program, that may appear to some to be a big ol’ organization, does so much beyond our resources, but in the end, it is never enough. One thing for sure, we certainly wish we could keep up with all the requests. Speaking of requests, tonight as we were working on this latest issue, this amazing letter, which was typed early in 2014 came to our attention. The sad part, the person who wrote this letter, we no longer have his address. Ugh. No, we do not have his CDC # either. The address and original writings were lost, but we are determined to find an address for this writer.
Given we are knee-deep into November, it’s Veteran’s Day, can we say, what a year, or shall we wait until we are a few days into December? First off, this editor and we hope the whole Beat team is quite proud of all of our accomplishments this past year, despite having to yet again rebirth our program. A year ago at this time, we were not too sure what was going to transpire with the program’s workshops and the publication, but we persevered and as we are writing this editorial note, find ourselves in an even better place than we were in the last few years.
This year so far, we have conducted well over 40 plus workshops striving for 50, and as you see on this publication, we are publishing issues 19.43 and 19.44 for 2014! If all goes as planned we will be publishing issues 19.49 and 19.50 the week of December 22. Given we are volunteer driven, we continue to hold monthly orientations for those interested in leading workshops inside juvenile hall. Daily, we strive to build our network of friends and supporters, open to partner and share in the good work. You all know, it’s so much easier to do this good work with others than to be in your own silo. Plus, most importantly, we must always find time to fundraise and seek support to sustain the work.
If you are an old reader or a newbie, we welcome you readers of The Beat Within. As is every issue and the many-many pieces that we type, edit and respond to, it is certainly a pleasure to produce and print this amazing priceless double issue, 19.41/42, of writing and art that you are holding in your hands.
Yes, each issue of The Beat Within is costly and we do the best we can to make sure as many people can receive a copy, but it is never enough. The work is relentless to get this publication funded. We certainly wish we had an angel who would support our efforts, but that is not the case, so we work tirelessly in sharing the good work we all do, including you writers and artists who so courageously share your stories each week.
We want to commend and praise our Beat facilitators who take precious valuable time out of their lives to join us for Beat workshops each week. Many facilitators come to us simply with heart and a desire to help make a difference and not much experience to lead workshops, but over time if they hang with us long enough, their courage and confidence as a facilitator grows from the weekly experience of going inside the units each week, in our efforts to create a safe place to write, talk and create. We’re sure if you asked each facilitator what the secret is to being a successful facilitator/mentor, most of us would have different answers. We think the one common answer to being a good facilitator is to be a respectful listener, ask good questions and to treat our young writers and artists like the way we all want to be treated, like human beings.
Greetings readers of The Beat Within! Welcome to our latest double issue, 19.39/40, of writing and art from inside juvenile hall and beyond. We are thrilled to share the many-many stories and poems coming out of this fabulous one-of-a-kind issue, from the youngsters we meet each week in our weekly writing workshops, to our BWO contributors from all over the USA.
This past Sunday this editor and a few colleagues had the privilege to lead The Beat Within writing workshops inside San Quentin State Prison. Talk about a treat and an unforgettable experience! Thanks to our colleague and friend, Karin Drucker, we were introduced to Kid C.A.T. (Creating Awareness Together) this past summer. Kid C.A.T. is a group of incredibly gifted men who committed their crimes during their youth and are now serving life sentences. The men of Kid C.A.T. seek to make amends for their past actions through restorative practices and making a positive impact on the society they once harmed by sharing their writings with us at The Beat.
A Publication of Writing and Art from the Inside