Poetry. In these poems, the poet examines liminal moments in history, science, philosophy, and personal experience. He is deeply interested in the tension that exists at the threshold between outside and inside, in how boundaries or frames are established, in their purposes, particularly in their ambiguities. Many of these poems come from the poet's time and experiences teaching poetry and literature in medium- and maximum-security Alabama state prisons with the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project. It was imperative to him that he not exploit his students or the gifts they shared in class, that he not trivialize what it meant to be a teacher, poet, and human being going into prison. Teaching "inside" creates a powerful gestalt: One cannot help but see these men as prisoners; yet they so earnestly lay claim to writing and so completely create a studio out of a chapel or an annex or a trailer, one cannot help but know them as Poets. The poet's poems are the constant flips of this gestalt.
Ryan J. Browne holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Alabama and a B.A. in English from Creighton University. While in Alabama, he taught poetry and literature classes in medium- and maximum-security prisons with the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project. His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, The Journal, Spoon River Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He was born and raised in Colorado and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and dog. He is the author of the award-winning poetry collection OUTSIDE COME IN (Bright Hill Press, 2012). Author City: MADISON, WI USA