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19.41/42 Editor’s Note

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. read more

Menace To My Heart by Lexii

Well, summer break was about to end and hecka new kids moved to the neighborhood (a lot of dudes) and I found out that the middle school I was going to was going to be turned into 9th grade academy and it was going to be lots new kids.

Our relationship went down hill from there because when I went to the orientation at the 9th grade academy I seen so many fine dudes that were there and they was all my age.  What!

So I called Mat later that night and told him I don’t think we can be together anymore.  He asked me why. I told him because with school starting back and all these fine dudes around I might cheat on him if we stayed together. He was pissed but later he respected my honesty.

‘Till this day he still don’t know the full truth: that I broke up with him because I already had somebody else on my mind.  I lost his number and we stopped talking for awhile. After a while I became miserable because I had no one to talk to about things.  Mat actually understood how I felt and actually gave me advice. I had quite a few dudes on me, but I came to find none of them filled the hole Mat left. read more

Volume 19.40/41 Topics

19.39 Topics

1. I was wrong –  Can you tell us of a time you did something wrong? What made it wrong? Was it an action? A conversation? An argument? What?  When did you know you were wrong? In whose eyes were you wrong? Did you think you were wrong?  Was it easy for you to admit you were wrong or, are you one to never admit such an act? Tell us your thoughts on the topic, have you ever been wrong?

2. I am proud  –  What and/or who are you proud of? Tell us of that special person that makes you proud to know him or her. Tell us of a moment that you were proud of yourself?  What did you do?  Think about the things you have done, or others have done, that make you proud of yourself or of them.  I am proud…

3. Raising a child –  From your experiences, this week we want you to tell us how you would raise a child?  Would you raise your child the same way as your family raised you? What would you do differently? Break it down, how you would raise a child if you were the mother or father. read more

19.40/42 Editor’s Note

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. read more