They are confused and angry, hopeful and cynical. They are the words given voice in Who Am I?, a song cycle based on the poems, prayers and meditations of young people in prison.
New York based baritone Anthony Turner discovered the poems in The Gathering, a slim anthology collected and edited by Jeannine Otis, a New York author, artist and activist who has won national recognition for her success using the arts to reach out to young people in trouble.
In The Gathering, young people speak from prison cells. Some are spending a short time behind bars for a misdemeanor, others are serving long sentences, and one is on death row. Their poems are stumbling, heartfelt, eloquent in their simplicity; others nuanced, sophisticated and complex. They reflect the inner life of a young man or woman facing a turning point, confronting the future with a poignant mix of fear, faith and doubt, hope and humor.