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This edited collection of essays, poems, plays, and visual art foregrounds the voices of formerly and currently incarcerated individuals. In these chapters, you will read about the role of literacy before, during, and after incarceration. These powerful narratives humanize the complexities of lives impacted by mass incarceration policies and practices. As you encounter these poignant testimonies of the ways the written word transforms and liberates, we invite you to reflect on your preconceptions and beliefs about the role of carceral institutions in a just society


Flying Kites is a perfect title for this soaring collection of writing and art from prison. The writers and artists in this beautiful volume provide both heartbreaking and heart-healing evidence that the creativity and resiliency of the human spirit rise above the dehumanizing conditions of incarceration. The editors provide a thoughtfully nuanced organization to this inspirational and notably diverse collection of the talent that burgeons behind bars.


Deborah Appleman, Ph.D. Hollis L. Caswell Professor of Educational Studies Carleton College


In Flying Kites the voices of the incarcerated soar across the firmament, bearing witness to the grave injustices of the prison industrial complex. This powerful anthology reveals the hope and promise that quality literacy education offers to society, especially those who are ensepulchred in the dark alchemy of our prisons and youth detention centers. It is a book that needs to make its way into the hands of educators everywhere as a testament to the human spirit and the triumph of self and social transformation towards a compassionate and justice-seeking greater good. 


Peter McLaren, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor in Critical Studies 

The Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies, Chapman University


Flying Kites

  • Mikel W. Cole, Ph.D. in Literacy, Language, and Culture from Vanderbilt University. Currently an Associate Professor of Bilingual/ESL Education at the University of Houston

    Stephanie M. Madison, Ph.D. in Literacy, Language, and Culture from Clemson University

    Adam Henze, Ph.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education from Indiana University 

    Jim Sosnowski, Ph.D. in Language and Literacy from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

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