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Women, Writing and Incarceration Project records

Identifier: DPUA0001

Scope and Contents

The Women, Writing and Incarceration Project records contain poetry and other writings created by women experiencing incarceration in various Illinois correctional facilities as part of DePaul University's Women, Writing and Incarceration Project. This collection also contains grant proposals, planning documents, course materials, and publicity related to the class, as well as writings by Ann Folwell Stanford, the professor who founded and taught the class.

Some personally identifying information has been redacted to protect confidentiality, including addresses, social security numbers, and student names. Prior to each anthology's publication, Stanford collected permission forms from authors stating that their work may be used anonymously in excerpted or whole form for educational purposes (e.g., in classes, published articles, or presentations). Whenever possible, these permissions have been matched to their anthologies within the collection.


  • 1995-2005
  • 1902


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

The Women, Writing and Incarceration Project (WWIP) began as a class taught by Professor Ann Folwell Stanford in DePaul University's School for New Learning. The class developed from the "Windows to Freedom" library program at Cook County Jail, which was established by community activists in 1996. Stanford conducted creative writing workshops with this program from its inception, and occasionally brought students to volunteer with her. From this, Stanford developed the idea for the WWIP class at DePaul, which she proposed in 2001. The class was intended to be experiential. By bringing students into the prisons to conduct poetry writing workshops with women experiencing incarceration, the WWIP sought to introduce students to the realities of imprisonment for women in the United States, as well as to offer these women a way to "interrupt the official discourse" about them. The class was one quarter long, taught three times per year, and set up as a larger project so that interested students could become "Project Associates" and activists. The class was offered from 2001 to 2005.


2.5 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized into six series: 1. Administrative; 2. Ann Folwell Stanford; 3. Anthologies; 4. Class Activities; 5. Publications; 6. Reference Files. Most series are arranged alphabetically by topic; See series-level descriptions for individual arrangement details.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession 2008.11

Processing Information

EB 2009

Guide to Women, Writing and Incarceration Project records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the DePaul Special Collections and Archives Repository

John T. Richardson Library
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Room 314
Chicago Illinois 60614