• Yardlit

On the Road and Over the Wall

Welcome! Thank you for finding your way to Yardtime Literary Program. We want to hip you to the method that is our world. As stated in the homepage kicker, yes it’s 800 miles a week of freeways and back roads as we barnstorm our way to five prisons weekly to conduct our weekly creative writing class, Finding Your Voice on the Page.

We teach writing in five CDCR “joints,” if you will. CHCF in Stockton, a HUGE prison hospital complex. DVI in Tracy, an older establishment with a student roster that’s no less than absolutely stellar. Then there’s CCWF aka Chowchilla, one of two women’s institutions that we visit very week. The other women’s prison is FWF, Folsom Women’s Facility, just a stone's throw away from the famous stone walls of Folsom Prison. There’s also CMF in Vacaville, another medical institution, again with a stellar roster of writing students. We’ll be adding another prison in May, so stay tuned.

Each writing class is unique. Like every prison in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (known heretofore as CDCR), each class is as different as their environments and regions. Over the weeks and months on this blog, we’ll be taking you to each of these places, on the road and over the walls, so to speak. We’ll tell you stories, both inside and out, about what it’s like to hang out with some extraordinary folks. We’ll also include stories and poems written inside as well as our observations of the road. Prison reform is a top priority, and California is at the absolute forefront of it.

So hang onto your hats, and check back every so often for some wild and ofttimes wonderful tales. May the road rise!

Kent Zimmerman