This essay describes a prison-university writing exchange that culminated in the collection of audio and written essays “Why I Write” (http://www.whyi- write.com) and offers “writing to listen” as a strategy for communicating and listening across institutional and social boundaries. I argue that sound reveals the material conditions of speaking and writing; in our writing exchange, it reduced the anonymity at the heart of the project while also revealing the places and sounds that shape us as writers. I suggest that writing to listen also provides a framework for community listening that is inclusive of the many additional, intentional actions involved in making sure all participants in a partnership are being heard.
Hinshaw, Wendy. “Writing to Listen: Why I Write Across Prison Walls.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 13, no. 1, 2019, pp. 55-70. doi:10.25148/clj.13.1.009090.