Deborah Tobola, author of the memoir "Hummingbird in Underworld -- Teaching in a Men’s Prison," will give a reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday at The Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St.
Tobola has an extensive history of working with prison arts programs. Ten years ago she started the nonprofit Poetic Justice Project in California. The organization's motto is “Unlocking hearts and minds with bold, original theater.” The cast of the theater productions consists of formerly incarcerated people who write the scripts and perform in the plays plus provide the technical tasks such as lighting and sound.
"Hummingbird in Underworld" alternates between tales of creating theater in prison and Tobola's own story. According to Booklist: “With open-mindedness and empathy, Tobola explores how systemic issues play out in individuals’ lives as they grasp for light in the darkness.”