Saturday, June 9, 2012

Please Welcome Ed Griffin

I’ll have to say I am very honored to have Ed Griffin on my blog this week.  His post is inspirational and gripping. I want you to read a little about Ed and find out more about this interesting and talented writer.

Bio: Ed Griffin teaches creative writing at Matsqui Prison, a medium security prison in Western Canada. He taught the same subject at Waupun prison, a maximum security prison in Wisconsin.
He began his professional life in 1962 as a Roman Catholic priest in Cleveland, Ohio. There he became active in the civil rights movement and marched in Selma with Doctor Martin Luther King. Removed from a suburban parish for his activities, he served for three years in Cleveland’s central city. His years in the Roman Catholic Priesthood are the subject of his next novel.

                     A Safe Place I Knew as a Child

I first heard that writing prompt from a First Nations man who spoke to my creative writing class in a maximum-security prison in Wisconsin. I’ve used it ever since myself.
It’s an amazing prompt. It takes even hardened convicts right back into their childhood and they start the long process of thinking how they came to be who they are.
Over the years I’ve used it in both male and female prisons and with my writing students in the community.
A save place I knew as a child was:
* Under the stairs when my father was drinking
* In my mother’s skirt when my dad and sister were arguing
* At my grandma’s house, cause my dad was in jail and my mom lived with a man who was mean to me.
* In a fort I made behind out house

* In the library where I would read books all day
* On my bed where I escaped to the places I read about
* The foster kids beat me up, so I hid in an abandoned car behind the barn
* By the maple tree in our back yard. When my mom did drugs, I didn’t like how she was, so I…

* With my mother on the subway when she went to market.
For me, the safe place I knew as a child was in our basement with my train set. Here my father taught me about tools and about life, here I dreamed of adventures I would have when somehow these trains and the cities they serviced became real.
Perhaps you know of a writing prompt that works very well. Can you share it?

Read Ed's Prison Reform Blog: Prison Unsensored
Ed's Writing Tips: Writers Write Daily
Follow Ed on Twitter
My books are available at Cordillera North Publications
All my books are available as E-books for $2.99. Visit the Kindle store at


  1. Wow. That is a wonderful prompt. I know some poetry prompts that are lame. By comparison this prompt surely will get people to open up. Thanks for sharing.

  2. That's a wonderful piece of writing, too. Thank you for taking part here, Ed.