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Covers of books by ASU's Cynthia Hogue, Tara Ison, and Joe Lockard and Sherry Rankins-Robertson

Happy ‘pub’ days: Hogue, Ison, Lockard and Rankins-Robertson


Kristen LaRue-Sandler

Three Department of English faculty members and one alumna announce recent and forthcoming books of French poetry in translation, a Kindle version of Alcatraz island fiction, and pedagogy for teaching in prisons.

Joan Darc by Nathalie Quintane (Fence Books/La Press, 2018)

Cynthia Hogue and Sylvain Gallais collaborated to translate experimental poetry by Nathalie Quintane from the French. From the description on Small Press Distribution (the book is available on

Scuffing up the surface of history by scuffing up that of language, Nathalie Quintane manages to get at the myth of Joan of Arc from the inside, turning it from myth to immediate life and evoking the paradoxes and nuances that made Joan's life a double one—warrior on the surface and austere virgin underneath. Quintane works this into a metaphor for contemporary feminist self-performance that creates ways of subverting dominant narratives, transforming the image of woman-as-pawn to woman-as-power, with that power rooted in her capacity for self-determination.

Hogue is professor emeritus of English and the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at ASU. She has published thirteen books, most recently Revenance. With Sylvain Gallais, Hogue co-translated Fortino Sámano (The overflowing of the poem), by Virginie Lalucq and philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, which won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award.


A Child out of Alcatraz (Faber and Faber, 2018)

Tara Ison’s first novel—a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize—is re-released for Kindle. From

A little girl lives with her family in a picturesque seaside community near San Francisco. An American neighborhood like any other, sheltered in the seeming tranquility of the 1950s. Except it exists on the island of Alcatraz, the Rock, where a looming cellhouse imprisons the most vicious and irredeemable of America's criminals.

Olivia grows up here and watches as her family slowly falls apart, trapped in its own prison rules and silences. She watches the disintegration of her mother, a brilliant woman isolated in a role that closes in on her as inexorably as the metallic crash of any cell door. Olivia can only watch, and retreat into herself, for she's only a little girl; there's no escape for her from the island she calls home.

Ison is professor of English (creative writing) at ASU. She is the author of three novels: The List, A Child out of Alcatraz, and Rockaway. Ball, a short story collection, was published in 2015, and her collection of essays, Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love, and Die at the Movies, was the 2015 PEN Southwest Book Award winner for Creative Nonfiction.


Prison Pedagogies: Learning and Teaching with Imprisoned Writers (Syracuse University Press, 2018)

Joe Lockard and alumna Sherry Rankins-Robertson (PhD English 2011) co-edit this collection of essays on the prison teaching. From the publisher:

In a time of increasing mass incarceration, US prisons and jails are becoming a major source of literary production. Prisoners write for themselves, fellow prisoners, family members, and teachers. However, too few write for college credit. In the dearth of well-organized higher education in US prisons, noncredit programs established by colleges and universities have served as a leading means of informal learning in these settings. Thousands of teachers have entered prisons, many teaching writing or relying on writing practices when teaching other subjects. Yet these teachers have few pedagogical resources. This groundbreaking collection of essays provides such a resource and establishes a framework upon which to develop prison writing programs.

Prison Pedagogies does not champion any one prescriptive approach to writing education but instead recognizes a wide range of possibilities. Essay subjects include working-class consciousness and prison education; community and literature writing at different security levels in prisons; organized writing classes in jails and juvenile halls; cultural resistance through writing education; prison newspapers and writing archives as pedagogical resources; dialogical approaches to teaching prison writing classes; and more. The contributors within this volume share a belief that writing represents a form of intellectual and expressive self-development in prison, one whose pursuit has transformative potential.

Lockard is associate professor of English (literature) at ASU. He is also the author of Iraq War Cultures (2011), with Cynthia Fuchs; Watching Slavery: Witness Texts and Travel Reports (2008); and Brave New Classrooms: Democratic Education and the Internet (2006).

Rankins-Robertson is associate professor of rhetoric and writing at University of Arkansas in Little Rock.