Author Elizabeth Copeland visited BCFI's Dorchester book club on June 7th, 2017. Read about her experience here!
I am the author of the novella, 'JAZZ - Nature's Improvisation', a coming of age story about a young East Indian trans male, published by Quattro Books / Toronto. The book has received critical acclaim, providing a jump-off point for conversation around the issues facing trans folks in our society.
Recently, I was invited to do a reading of 'JAZZ' at Dorchester Prison (N.B.) via an outreach program through Mount Allison University and Book Clubs for Inmates. I was totally knocked off my feet by what I experienced. Around the table was a group of men who had clearly read and studied the book. They were open-minded and brought relevant questions and observations to the table. Several of them had trans family members , and they were eager to discuss their personal experiences.
I was deeply moved. I do not know why they are in prison, however I do know that their level of self-awareness tells me that they have indeed used their time to do some deep self-reflection.
I write in gratitude that you are doing this work. I was honoured to be part of your program and would do it again in a heartbeat. Not only did I feel that I gave something of value, but came away with my own humanity enriched.