Court-Appointed Poetry

As reported by (South Florida), Broward Circuit Judge Merrilee Ehrlich has begun offering young offenders the opportunity to shave hours off their community-service sentences by writing original poetry to be recited in her courtroom. She means to offer a positive alternative to incarceration, “something to turn the atrophied muscle at the top of their head into a working brain.”

Check out the video, in which Judge Ehrlich performs her own poem/rap in a black hoodie, each stanza ending in the refrain, “Choice, choice, choice.”

As John is a English instructor for a living, he will begin balancing the scales by assigning minor amounts of jail time to students who fail to write Elizabethan sonnets after reading the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet.

About poetsguide

A former altar boy and a former U.S. Army interrogator, respectively, John F. Buckley and Martin Ott were born and raised in Michigan, meeting each other at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor before separately migrating to California in the early 1990s to attend graduate schools, their friendship evolving into a writing collaboration – what they refer to as poetic volleyball. They both currently live in Southern California, John with his wife, Martin with his wife and two children. John teaches English composition at several local colleges, while Martin works as a marketing strategist for a global company. John still affects a strange piety; Martin still finds himself asking a lot of questions. Individually and together, their writing has appeared in over 150 periodicals and anthologies, garnering three Pushcart Prize nominations for Martin’s poems “India Ivy” and “When Bridges Fall” (available in his collection Children of Interrogation, which has been a finalist or semi-finalist in eighteen poetry prizes) and John’s “Poem for Christy’s Daughter” (available in his collection Kinks in the Hose). Martin has also optioned three screenplays. His chapbook Misery Loves was published on Red Dancefloor Press. John’s chapbook Breach Birth was published on Propaganda Press.
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