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Writer and artist Linda Norton will read from her book The Public Gardens: Poems and History, and from new work she’s developed through Home and Away: Oakland, California Prisons, and the Geography of the Heart — her collaborative project with Peralta Hacienda Historical Park in Oakland.  “Home and Away,” looks at the dramatic increase in the California prison population over the last 30 years and the impact that trend has had on families and communities, particularly in the Fruitvale District of Oakland.  Admission is free, but guests are encouraged to register in advance.

As part of the project, Norton, Peralta Hacienda’s executive director Holly Alonso, and graphic artist Jeff Norman have developed an exhibit from oral histories and visual art created by Norton and community members during a series of workshops last summer. At the February 20 event, and beyond, visitors will be encouraged to contribute to the exhibit with art, commentary, questions, and poetry. Supplies will be provided and refreshments will be served on the 20th.

The Home and Away exhibit is now showing in Peralta Hacienda’s historic house museum, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.