About

I teach American literature and prison studies at West Virginia University. My classes are anchored in basic questions about what constitutes a liberating education, a meaningful life, and a just culture. I’ve been a member of the English faculty since 2000.

In 2004, with friends and students, I founded the Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP), a nonprofit organization that sends free books to people imprisoned in six states and facilitates book clubs in a federal prison. APBP has mailed more than 25,000 books to people imprisoned in the Appalachian region. APBP also generates, through social media and public events, conversations about mass incarceration,  racism, and restorative justice.

In 2012, I edited a collection of writings on the death penalty, Demands of the Dead: Executions, Storytelling, and Activism in the United States (Univ. of Iowa Press).

Contact: kohearnr@mail.wvu.edu.

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