'Orange is the New Black' author to speak Wednesday

Sunday, February 1, 2015
Piper Kerman

"Orange is the New Black" author and prison activist Piper Kerman will deliver a Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture Wednesday, Feb. 4 at DePauw University.

The free lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium (located within the Green Center for the Performing, 605 S. College Ave.).

Student doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the general admission doors opening at 6:45.

The speech will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a book-signing event.

Kerman -- whose experience behind bars is the basis of a bestselling memoir, "Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Woman's Prison," as well as a hit Netflix series -- will discuss the topic "Lessons Learned Behind Bars."

Her book recounts the year she spent in the Danbury Correctional Facility for a crime she had committed 10 years prior as a very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking.

Kerman now dedicates much of her time to advocating for prison reform. In her book, she writes, "Our system of 'corrections' is about arm's-length revenge and retribution, all day and all night. Then its overseers wonder why people leave prison more broken than when they went in."

The Netflix series based on Kerman's book debuted in July 2013 to rave reviews and last July received 12 Emmy Award nominations.

Committed to increasing awareness of prison issues, Kerman delivers many lectures on college campuses. Her DePauw appearance will be her first at an Indiana university.

She has also spoken at the White House, and to groups that include federal probation officers, public defenders, justice reform advocates and volunteers, and formerly and currently incarcerated people.

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