POPS the Club is a California-based nonprofit creating and supporting high school clubs for those young people whose lives have been touched by the Pain of the Prison System. In weekly club meetings, guided by teachers, writers, artists, activists, performers, and nonprofit leaders, club members tell their stories, write their stories, draw, paint and otherwise share their lives with each other, and with the larger community. The students publish their work on our website and in partner publications, and each year POPS the Club publishes an anthology of work generated by these powerful, wise young people who are telling us stories we all need to hear.
Cracked Masks: With You and Without You is the fourth release by POPS the Club, another powerful compilation of work by students from schools across Los Angeles and as far away as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We also welcome the work by Friends of POPS, those who have visited our clubs as speakers, teachers, volunteers guides and observers, those who have stories to tell about the impact of incarceration on their lives, most ofen as the loved ones of the incarcerated.
These are stories from the children, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, boyfriends and girlfriends of the incarcerated. These are stories readers seldom hear. These are stories vital to our understanding of our country, of who and what we are and how we live.
Teachers who use these anthologies in their classrooms tell us their reluctant readers cannot stop reading, that often the POPS Anthologies are the books that introduce their students to the pleasures of reading.