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The Peculiar Patriot

The Peculiar Patriot (OCT 17-28) is amazing audiences throughout its Boston debut. Liza Jessie Peterson’s poetry and command of the stage communicate a story beyond the walls of any theatre and imparts on us a story often hidden below the surface. As we continue discussing mass incarceration, both nationally and within our state, it was important to discuss how ArtsEmerson and Emerson College are working to break down barriers and foster community. The Emerson Prison Initiative,…

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  In interviews, Liza Jessie Peterson often talks about The Peculiar Patriot as a love story. Her heroine, she points out, was modeled on the people she would see waiting in long lines in the middle of the night on Manhattan’s Columbus Circle for the buses that were going to take them to see their incarcerated loved ones in upstate New York prisons. They would travel through the night, some as much as eight hours,…

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Not only is Liza Jessie Peterson a remarkable playwright, performer, and activist, but she is also an accomplished author in the genres of spoken word poetry and non-fiction. Peterson published her first book All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids At Rikers Island in April 2017 which details Peterson’s experiences at Rikers Island Academy where she taught a GED class to young inmates Peterson’s dedication and activism surrounding mass incarceration has…

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