|Granite Amit, Jan Beatty
printed images on lenticular lens
25" x 33"
every woman breathing
every woman breathing is a woman in prison
in prison every woman is
prison is a woman breathing
is breathing prison
prison is woman
prison is breathing
Artist Granite Amit and Poet Jan Beatty
Classifieds, a collaborative piece by artist Granite Amit and poet Jan Beatty, reflects on a
broader socio-economic phenomenon known as the Prison Industry Complex, as well as with re-
entry issues of previously incarcerated people.
These issues include the difficulty of re-entry into the job market and into society at large;
dealing with being permanently stigmatized and suffering with a wide continuum of negative
responses because of this (ranging from not being able to vote in some cases to personal
rejection); and dealing with the ignorance of the social causes of incarceration in the United
States. Both Amit and Beatty have worked as artists and clinicians with incarcerated and
previously incarcerated people.
As a poet, Jan Beatty responded to the notion of imprisonment after speaking with Amit about
their common experience, and wrote in response to some images of previously incarcerated
women shared by Amit. Beatty also responded in terms of form, working with only 8 words, the
number of struggle. She attempted to enact limitation in the writing, to approach the feeling of
pulling and stopping in the lines of the poem.
Granite Amit also responded to their conversations, and was influenced by her recent work with
inmates at Career Advancement Network, a non-profit organization. Amit devised the idea of
using classified ads as a way to include the text of the poem in the “daily conversation” of the
Chicago paper, The Reader, foregrounding a range of services and imagining a reader coming
upon a poem as service, a poem as part of the everyday fabric of our lives. This is imagined in
parallel to the sense of re-entry: person as displaced/poem as displaced.