​​​​Judith

Judith Tannenbaum is a writer and teaching artist. 


She has taught poetry in urban, rural and suburban public schools through California Poets in the Schools and at San Quentin and other state prisons through Arts-in-Corrections and the California Arts Council. She created a cross-age, community, poetry program at the continuation high school in Albany, California, and at one of the town’s primary schools. She also designed a poetry intensive for gifted teen-agers which she taught for nine summers at UC Berkeley. From 1994 - 2014, she was training coordinator for San Francisco's WritersCorps where she served as mentor to a younger generation of teaching artists.

Judith has a strong commitment to prisoners and prison issues. In addition to the many years she taught poetry at San Quentin, she wrote and edited Arts-in-Corrections’ newsletter, their book-length Manual For Artists Working In Prison (available for download on the Prison Arts page) and the Handbook for Arts in the Youth Authority Program. She also completed a feasibility study for arts programming in Minnesota state prisons and has participated in and chaired many panels on prison arts. She has taught in prisons across the country and has been keynote speaker and on panels at many conferences on prison and prison arts.

In addition to Judith's memoirs and texts for teachers, she has published two books, four chapbooks and one portfolio of poems. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the mother of one adult daughter.


Here's an interview about the scope of Judith's work and writing life that's part of the UCLA Oral History Archive.


Op/ed pieces published since the election...
On West County Jail Expansion

On support for NEA

On Conversation We Need

There's No Such Thing as a Mental Health Jail

Imagine