Friday, July 8, 2016

Conversation from Death Row: Keith LaMar speaks with Jack Schuler

Listen to the recording here.

Topic: What's it like to write about the world when your world is the size of a closet?

On Tuesday July 12th, 8:00 Eastern, folks across the country are invited to listen in on an interactive phone call with Ohio death row inmate Keith LaMar. Author Jack Shuler, American literature and narrative nonfiction writing professor at Denison University in Ohio, will be on the call with Keith. Their talk will focus on writing about the natural world while being completely cut off from it, as well as the significance of meditation in the memory process, particularly as it relates to recaling traumatic experiences.

Listeners are invited to join the conversation as a telephone audience for the hour-long call and also to send in live questions. Here's how:

• Listen in on your own via streaming audio online at-

• If you can't get online, use this call-in number: 641-715-3580, access code: 583063. The number of callers at once is limited. You will be muted during the call.

• During the call, questions can be communicated to Keith by sending them via email to: or to the page "Justice for Keith LaMar" on Facebook.

• You can also follow and participate in the conversation via Twitter through @FreeKeithLaMar.

About Jack Shuler

Jack Shuler is an author, independent journalist, and essayist. He is the author of three books, including The Thirteenth Turn: A History of the Noose (Public Affairs, 2014). His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, The Christian Science Monitor, and Truthout, among others. He teaches American literature and narrative nonfiction writing at Denison University.

Read Articles Jack Shuler has written about Keith LaMar:

“Man in Solitary Goes on Hunger Strike after Ohio Prison Limits Access to Books, Music,” Truthout, November 13, 2015.

“There’s So Much Life Here: A Death Row Prisoner Looks Back on Over Twenty Years of Solitary,” Truthout, March 7, 2015.

Learn more about this month's interviewer at :
About Keith LaMar:

Inspired by Richard Wright, Ohio death row inmate Keith LaMar taught himself how to write from prison. Keith recalls that he has read a section of Wright's book, Black Boy, every day for years now. Though never formally taught to write well, Keith studied the complexity of Wright’s sentences, modeling semicolons and subordinate clauses (without knowing they were called that) after his favorite author’s.

In 2013, Keith published his own story, Condemned: the whole story (, wherein he aims to explain how he not only ended up in prison, but ultimately would be placed onto Ohio’s death row. More importantly, Condemned talks about how Keith found himself even from the darkness of solitary confinement. Besides the love of friends and family, it has been literacy that has provided him a ticket to go places in his mind, ones that would ultimately teach him how to cope with hardship, to read stories of hope, and to see himself in the bigger sociological picture.

The Ohio prison system has systematically made Keith’s life unbearable, holding him indefinitely in a sensory deprivation cell for some 23 years now, in spite of having no justification to do so. He was unable to touch his family for 18 years, until he eventually gained the right to (semi) contact visits after embarking on a hunger strike in 2011. Keith recently lost his federal appeal and was denied the right to be heard by the US Supreme Court. He awaits the assignment of his execution date.

The Campaign for Justice for Keith LaMar continues to fight side by side with Keith and asks others to join us. Keith will be calling in from the Super­max penitentiary in Youngstown, Ohio. All are welcome to join the call, listen in, ask questions, and show their solidarity.

More info at:
Facebook: Justice for Keith LaMar
Twitter: @FREEKeithLaMar
Documentary on Keith:

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