"This place is like sinking into a big bathtub. I thought I wouldn't be able to live remotely, but this place has spirit and energy that has allowed me to focus on my project."
excerpt "I watched the orange tinted moon rise in the yard, illuminating the bamboo grove. The sweetness of being awake, outside in the warm night air, was a gift. I felt it again, the preciousness of my freedom. Silently, I repeated their names: Machelle, Kimberly, Nicole, U’Dreka, Laisha, Kenya, Jennifer, Justeen, Sheena, Roxanne.
Since launching this project interviewing women around the country sentenced as teenagers to die in prison, that sudden awareness has stricken me, occasionally, at odd moments—when I opened a refrigerator or sautéed garlic in a pan, when I put on brightly colored clothing or got up at midnight to pee. Freedom is tenuous, a privilege so many are routinely denied.
I set off on the road nearly a year ago, in lieu of permanent residence to have the logistic mobility to really delve into this project. The work has been a great teacher as my relationship with each woman moves from an initial letter, to phone calls, and in-person conversations our paths becoming intricately entwined."