Radio Times

Saturday, October 25

Jayne Thompson’s “Letters to My Younger Self: An Anthology of Writings by Incarcerated Men at S.C.I. Graterford”

Guest: Jayne Thompson

In February of 2011, JAYNE THOMPSON, a creative writing and English instructor at Widener University, began running a workshop for the Prison Literacy Project at S.C.I. Graterford. The workshop, inspired in part by her experiences teaching at Chester High School, is comprised of twenty men who are inmates. In one exercise, she had the men write to and about their younger selves. What followed were pieces of deep introspection, revealing past regrets, fears, and many painful experiences. In this hour of Radio Times, Thompson discusses Letters to My Younger Self: An Anthology of Writings by Incarcerated Men at S.C.I. Graterford and a Writing Workbook, the result of the men’s creative writing projects. We’ll play a selection of recordings that the inmates made of their poems and essays.

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Ammon Shea’s “Bad English”

Guest: Ammon Shea

[From the Radio Times archive] Are you a stickler for syntax or pedantic about pronouns? Have you been criticized for poor grammar? Or do you play around with language, inventing words and fiddling with phrases, like a modern-day Shakespeare? For hundreds of years, people have scolded others for the way they use English. Today, Twitter and instant messaging have added new layers to those arguments. Author AMMON SHEA’s new book, Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation, delves into the fluid, changeable mess that is the English language. Shea picks apart arguments over what constitutes “good English”, and explores how slang and mistakes enrich our language. A dictionary collector, Shea previously devoted an entire year to reading the Oxford English Dictionary, writing a book about the experience: Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages. Marty spoke with Shea this June.

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