As promised, I'm here to tell you all about my evening with Wally Lamb. Well, actually there were about 150 of us who spent the evening with him. We gathered at the Wherehouse on Water Street in Milwaukee. Water was the word of the evening. It rained, and rained and rained until Milwaukee's deep tunnel popped it cork and literally blew the lids off the manholes. While it was raining outside the Wherehouse, it was also raining inside. It seems the roof of the beautifully remodeled 100 year plus machine shop had a few holes in it and the warm rain sprinkled down on our heads flooding the floor. But it didn't dampen our spirits. We were there to hear our favorite author Wally Lamb. We were not disappointed.
The evening was hosted by The Benedict Center, an interfaith, nonprofit criminal justice agency. This wonderful organization works with victims, offenders and the community to achieve equal justice for all individuals. Guests were warmly greeted by volunteer members and residents of the Benedict Center who mingled with the crowd and made us feel ever so welcome. As an added bonus, the program booklet included personal stories written by clients of the center.
Mr. Lamb is a warm and engaging speaker who spent time meeting personally with visitors both before and after his presentation. He told humorous stories of his experiences including what it was like to be called, at home, by Oprah Winfrey when she just wanted to tell him how much she enjoyed his first novel, She's Come Undone.
The main topic of the evening was Lamb's work with women at the York Correctional Institution in Connecticut where he has taught creative writing classes for the past 11 years. His passion for this project led to the publication of two books Couldn't Keep It To Myself and I'll Fly Away. Both are collections of stories written by his students.
Wally Lambs dedication to the women of York Correctional Institution has resulted in greater public awareness of the needs of incarcerated women and the inequality of the criminal justice system.
Thank you Mr. Lamb and The Benedict Center for a wonderful evening!
* * * *
For more information about women in prison and prison ministry visit: http://www.TheWomenOfBlock12.com.