Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-5-2017

Embargo Period


Event Date

October 5, 2017


MDOCS, Documentary, Storytelling, Event, Showcase, States of Incarceration, Poetry Lab, Workshop


POETRY LAB with Cara Benson, Sean Dalpiaz, and Johnny Perez Thursday, October 5, 7 p.m., Atrium

Join Cara Benson, a Skidmore graduate who offered poetry classes at Mount McGregor for eight years, for an evening of poetry-making and sharing. Former students Sean Dalpiaz and Johnny Perez join her.

Benson earned an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College and teaches creative writing in the graduate program at Prescott College and is program manager for the Millay Colony for the Arts. She has been a visiting writer for the New York State Writers Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Evergreen College, Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, Stonecoast MFA, and Toronto New School of Writing. Her stories, poems, essays, and book reviews have been published in the New York Times, Boston Review, Best American Poetry, the Brooklyn Rail, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. Benson is at work on her second book, an autofiction set in late capitalism. See for more information.

Perez is the Urban Justice Center's Mental Health Project safe reentry advocate and was appointed to the New York State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The advisory committee investigates civil rights concerns in the state and reports to the commission, which then issues recommendations to the U.S. Department of Justice for further action. Perez experienced solitary confinement firsthand, spending three years of a 13-year sentence in solitary. In spite of his incarceration, he completed two years toward his bachelor’s degree while in prison before his release in 2013. He continued his education while working full-time since March 2041 for the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project, assisting people with mental illness who are reentering the community from jail or prison to obtain benefits and services for successful reentry.