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Interview by Elizabeth Maria Falcón
Richard Shelton is the author of numerous books of poetry and nonfiction, including Crossing the Yard: Thirty Years as a Prison Volunteer (2007), and The Last Person to Hear Your Voice (2007). In 1974 Shelton founded the Creative Writing Workshops at the Arizona State Prison, which is still serving prisoners and which has since served as the model for many other prison writing programs. He is an emeritus Regents' Professor of English at the University of Arizona and has been associated with the Poetry Center since its founding. Richard Shelton will give a poetry reading at the Poetry Center on Thursday, September 2, at 8:00 p.m.
Elizabeth: So before we start talking about your work in the prisons, what brought you into the profession of teaching?
Richard: I guess I always wanted to be a teacher. I think I always knew.