Learn more about David Coogan and the project: Writing Your Way into New Life in Jail
David Coogan is an associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University where he teaches courses in writing and the teaching of writing. He is the founder and co-director of Open Minds: Shared Inquiries, Shared Hope, a program that enables college students and prisoners at the Richmond City Jail to take courses in the Humanities together. His essays on writing, teaching and social change have appeared in the journals College Composition and Communication, College English, and Community Literacy, and in the book, Active Voices, (edited by Patty Malesh and Sharon Stetson). He is the co-editor with John Ackerman of The Public Work of Rhetoric: Citizen Scholars and Civic Engagement. And he is a frequent speaker at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Rhetoric Society of America, and the National Communication Association.
Coogan’s Prison Writing Project is well-established as an outreach effort for residents at the Richmond City Jail, an engaged learning experience for VCU students, and a book project. In 2008, the Prison Writing Project was highlighted as one of VCU’s 40 Acts of Caring (celebrating the university’s 40th anniversary) and spotlighted in VCU’s winning application to the President’s Commission on Higher Education Community Engagement Honor Roll. More recently Coogan was featured on the radio show, With Good Reason, and has appeared as a guest columnist in the Richmond Times Dispatch.