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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.



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