Razor Wire Wilderness: Stephanie Dickinson on Prison Friendship
May 14, 2021
Hosted by Diane Dewey
[Download MP3] [itunes] [Bookmark Episode]
Krystal Riordan watched as her boyfriend beat a drunk teenager to death in a vermin infested New Jersey hotel room. Could she have stopped it? Could she be his next victim? Now, Krystal is serving a maximum 30-year sentence, while the man who beat the teenage woman to death is about to be released. And it’s no anomaly, with studies showing more than 80 percent of women who fail to stop their partner from committing a violent crime serve more prison time than the perpetrator. What does it take to survive in a maximum security lockdown for 30 years? Is it possible to thrive? The answers only lead to more questions in Dickinson’s raw and emotional look into the criminal justice system and how it’s failed not just one but countless victims of violence. And what unfolds is a beautiful depiction of moral ambiguity, loss and redemption within the confines of the prison walls and beyond. Through the lens of a prison friendship, Stephanie Dickinson unspools the lives and deaths of victims and perpetrators, their families, friends, enemies, and everyone in between. Drop In with us to determine for yourselves whether the law is fair to accomplices to crime by issuing its strong prison sentences or whether moral ambiguity is relevant. What is the role of compassion for the victim of the crime and how long does that compassion extend? We'll ask these and other thorny questions on Dropping In. Join us!
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Drop in to the dream of becoming an author. How does the book publishing business actually work? If you’re ready to tell your story, what’s the best way to do it? Do you need help crafting this tale? What about workshopping – is that helpful? When are you ready to show your work to a developmental or copy editor? The time may be now. If you’ve finished your manuscript, what are the next steps? Place your book in the context of the marketplace and decide, who is your audience? What’s the best platform to publish your work? Podcast, electronic or paper bound book? Are you well-versed in developing your book proposal? That means having your agent pitch down. Once you’ve secured an agent, what’s the optimal venue to get your book published, with all the support it needs to be seen and heard in media outlets? Whether through traditional, hybrid, indie presses, or a combination, we’ll bring you the experts in the fields of book coaching, agenting, editing, legal advice, publishing, and publicists, plus resources on the craft of writing. No matter what route you take, your best bet is to get educated. Drop in to how stories are made. In the end, we’ll all become stories. —Margaret Atwood
My most pressing question has always been about identity: Who am I? Growing up near Philadelphia with my adoptive family, my genetic identity was hidden. Then, my Swiss biological father, Otto, contacted me when I was age forty-seven in 2002. I’d been told by my adoptive parents that my biological parents were dead, supposedly to protect me. Meeting Otto upended my life. Through him, I met my German biological mother’s family to discover that her story too, had been changed; that she’d not wanted to surrender me and she’d searched for me all her life. Finding my truth was essential.
Based on my experience I am excited to talk to people about their own search for identity. My education includes a BA from Villanova University, a certificate from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. I’ve worked for The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The SoHo Partnership and the National Academy of Design and have studied writing through New York University’s Continuing Education program. As an entrepreneur, I founded my art appraisal business, The Realization of Art in 2006. My non-fiction writing has been published in Shared Space, a monograph, and in Artes online magazine. Writing workshops worldwide have given me the chance to learn and hone my craft. My first book, “Fixing the Fates,” was awarded the National Non-Fiction Author’s Association Silver Medal and the Living Now Award.