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UW-Eau Claire news release

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Poet and advocate Ryan Browne to present reading in May

April 10, 2012
 RJ Browne
Ryan J. Browne
EAU CLAIRE — Poet and prison-education advocate Ryan J. Browne will present a reading at 4 p.m. May 3 in the penthouse of Hibbard Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Browne's reading will celebrate the release of his book of poetry, "Outside Come In," winner the 2011 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Competition. His work has been featured in The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, The Journal and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Browne holds a bachelor's degree from Creighton University and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Alabama. While in Alabama, he began teaching poetry and literature courses in state prisons and realized he had never been in classes where poetry was as devoured or as savored as it was in prison. Since 2007 he has been an instructor of poetry and literature in medium- and maximum-security prisons throughout Alabama. Browne said he has witnessed firsthand the inequities within the United States' prison system.

 RJ Browne's
RJ Browne's "Outside Come In"
His experience as a National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored program assistant for the Alabama Prison Arts+Education Project has given him a platform from which to speak about the often obfuscated aspects of modern incarceration, prison education and victimization, Browne said. Much of his poetry explores his experiences within prisons, providing a poetic and pragmatic look at the justice system, he said.

During his visit to campus, Browne will read from his recent work. He also will answer questions about prison education.

The May 3 reading is free and open to the public.

The event is sponsored by the Visiting Minority Scholars Program, which is funded by UW-Eau Claire's Affirmative Action Office and is committed to hosting guest speakers from underrepresented groups or addressing issues affecting underrepresented groups.

For more information about Browne, visit his website. For details about the reading, contact B.J. Hollars, UW-Eau Claire assistant professor of English, at 715-836-2667 or hollarb@uwec.edu.

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