Tag Archives: Angola

A route to Angola for August

Go to Opelousas then take US 190 east toward Baton Rouge. After you cross the spillway bridge on the other side of Krotz Springs, take a left on LA 81. Follow it for 3-4 miles and make a left on LA 77 (it’s a T intersection). It’s 17 miles from Lottie to Morganza. At Morganza, take LA 1 East. New Roads is about 10 miles from Morganza. LA 10 (the road to the bridge) intersects LA 1 just before you reach New Roads; it’s a left curve. It’s about 12 miles from the intersection of LA 10 to the intersection with US 61 just south of St. Francisville. Nice rural drive.


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My afternoons at Angola

I thought of writing another poem about Angola, to see whether it turned out to be poetic or imitation poetic, but decided I should start a series of posts about my visits to the place.

I am reading Wilbert Rideau’s memoir. When Rideau he was still at Angola, and was editor of the magazine, he was the prisoner who had the most, and most varied contact with the outside world. He had not always been like that.

I started visiting Angola because I got involved in a campaign to free Hayes Williams, long before the the Innocence Project came in on his case. Williams was the complainant in Williams vs. McKeithen, filed in 1971 and won in 1975.

The suit meant massive improvements in Louisiana prison conditions. People still file for remedy under it, and I should follow this more closely. These experiences, in any case, were what got me interested in the law.

The prisoners fill out forms, and they write poems, letters, plays, and legal documents.


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