Since 1999, Voices from Inside (VFI) has been helping women who are currently or formerly incarcerated find their voices, return to their communities with success, and become leaders in their communities through creative writing workshops. In the past sixteen years, VFI has reached over 1600 women in Western Massachusetts. Voices from Inside also offers workshops for girls and women who are at risk for incarceration.
In addition, we bring the women we work with into the community for conversations, presentations and performances so that they can share their writing and interact with the community.
VFI offers ongoing writing workshops using the Amherst Writers and Artists method developed by Pat Schneider and described in her book, Writing Alone and with Others. In VFI writing workshops, participants receive encouragement and support for their writing, gain self-confidence as they strengthen their literacy and communication skills, and begin to imagine new possibilities for themselves.
VFI also trains previously incarcerated women to become writing group leaders themselves. Many of them have led writing groups in correctional institutions or in community programs for women at risk of incarceration or re-incarceration, providing them with valuable leadership experience and skills.
Voices Carry brings the work of VFI writers to the public through presentations at schools, colleges, houses of worship, and community groups. At Voices Carry events, women read and perform their writing individually and as an ensemble. They have the opportunity to interact with a wide range of people from the community. At the same time, community members gain an understanding of the challenges facing women who have been incarcerated as they work to rebuild their lives.
Since 1999, Voices from Inside (VFI) has been helping women who are currently or formerly incarcerated find their voices, return to their communities with success, and become leaders in their communities through creative writing workshops…