University Press of Kansas to host talk with Brian Daldorph about teaching creative writing to inmates

LAWRENCE — As part of an ongoing series, the University Press of Kansas and the Winter School will host a discussion with Brian Daldorph, senior lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Kansas.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. April 9 at Winter School No. 70, 744 North 1800 Road, Lecompton.

Daldorph will discuss his book "Words Is a Powerful Thing: Twenty Years of Teaching Creative Writing at Douglas County Jail," which documents his work teaching creative writing to inmates at the Douglas County Jail.

Daldorph first entered the Douglas County Jail classroom in Lawrence to teach a writing class on Christmas Eve 2001. "Words Is a Powerful Thing" is Daldorph’s record of teaching at the jail between 2001 and 2020, showing how the lives of everyone involved in the class — but especially the inmates who came to class week after week — benefited from what happened every Thursday afternoon in that jail classroom, where for two hours inmates and instructor became a circle of ink and blood, writing together, reciting their poems, telling stories and having a few good laughs.

The historic Winter School was a one-room schoolhouse that served approximately 20 families and functioned for 75 years. After construction to preserve the building, which started in 2019, the building is open as a community center and museum in Douglas County.

In addition to meaningful dialogue, beer donated by Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence will be provided. The event is free to attend and does not require registration. 

The University Press of Kansas publishes scholarly books that advance knowledge and regional books that contribute to the understanding of Kansas, the Great Plains and the Midwest. More information about the work of the press is available here.

Thu, 04/04/2024


Derek Helms

Media Contacts

Derek Helms

University Press of Kansas