Inspired by my undergraduate studies in Fordham University/Lincoln Center experimental education program, Paolo Freire’s critique of the banking concept of education,  Lawrence Kohlberg’s work on moral development and my apprenticeship with the Foundation for Feedback Learning, I have taught writing as both a technical skill and a people skill in a variety of colleges—Schreiner University in Texas, Central Arizona College’s prison program in Florence, Arizona State University, CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan College, College of Staten Island, New York City Technical College and Bronx Community College, Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York Institute of Technology, College of New Rochelle at Rosa Parks Campus in Harlem, Mercy College at Arthur Kill Correctional Facility and most recently at Hofstra University—as well as for arts organizations and adult education centers.

For my work at Arthur Kill Correctional Facility and Hofstra University, click this video:

Click the download button and read Laura Rogers’ chapter,“’Scribes to Their Tribe’: The Arthur Kill Alliance, Collaboration, and Transformation” in Prison Pedagogies:

For more on my Walt Whitman shows with students, Click Here

For Hofstra students’ feedback on my writing classes, click

Here are a few testimonials:

Kirpal Gordon has been an integral part of Rhythm, Rhyme & Rap, our literacy-based music-poetry program for high school students. He knows his subject incredibly well and he’s got great rapport with our students. 

—Dr. Sherrie Maricle, Education Director, New York Pops 

Interaction is the basis of any good writing workshop, and that’s why I admire Kirpal Gordon’s approach so much. Students report not only self-discovery but of connecting to, rather than competing with, the discoveries their peers are making. 

—Morty Schiff, Creative Arts Director, College of Staten Island

Kirpal Gordon’s eight-year contribution to our education program speaks to his unique skills as a communicator. While teaching GED and pre-college Language Arts, he also taught CLEP Psychology, created a 4,000 book donation library, wrote press releases, developed a Prison AIDS Education Committee with a local doctor, designed performance projects with P.E.N., Poetry Society of America, Alternative Literary Programs and CAPS, trained group facilitators through the National Issues Forum, taught journalism by producing the national award winning Arthur Kill Alliance, a prison magazine with a circulation of 1,500, and taught creative writing by founding EMPIRE, an internationally acclaimed literary arts annual of NYS inmate writing with a circulation of 5,000. His citation for special recognition from Commissioner Thomas Coughlin was very well deserved. 

—Kathleen Gerbing, Education Director, Arthur Kill Correctional Facility

Prison writing should be a predictable genre: street-smart diction, racial friction, escapist fiction. They’re all here in EMPIRE, the NYS inmate writing journal, but so is autumnal lyricism, speculative metaphysics and tendrils of a deep humanism. We’ve got founder/editor Kirpal Gordon to thank for such smart editing and thoughtful cacophonies. 

—Harry Smith, Pulpsmith Magazine

Astounding in its frankness, touching yet amusing, EMPIRE defies a pigeonhole like ‘prison genre literature.’ Rather than just tell us what goes on inside our prison walls, which it does do very well, it connects, as only great literature can, with all of life. Though edited by Kirpal Gordon, a civilian, the entire project is written, illustrated and printed by prisoners—a tribute to what imprisoned bodies and free minds can achieve. 

—Elliot Richman, Critic
Photo by Frank Robbins