Orange Is the New Black author Piper Kerman to speak at SIU


October 19, 2021

Orange Is the New Black author Piper Kerman to speak at SIU

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Piper Kerman, author of “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”, the best-selling book that became a Netflix series, arrives at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and free tickets to her presentation are now available .

Kerman will speak at 7 p.m. on November 4 in the Shryock Auditorium. His presentation is part of the Elmer H. Johnson Lecture Series on Criminology and Criminal Justice. A signing session will follow at 8:30 p.m.

Kerman is a social justice advocate, author and former inmate

Kerman’s New York Times bestseller is a memoir of her experiences in federal prison, where she served time for a crime she committed a decade earlier while briefly involved in trafficking. drug. The autobiographical volume is at times funny, heartbreaking and moving. It explores friendships and family, mental illness, the relationships between inmates and those who supervise them, and the difficulty of adjusting to life after prison with little help and guidance from society.

The subsequent Peabody Award-winning television series she inspired ran from 2013 to 2019, giving millions of people a glimpse into the issues surrounding the female prison population. Kerman sits on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Prison Association as well as the Boards of PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, InsideOUT Writers, Healing Broken Circles and JustLeadershipUSA as she advocates for social justice, prison reform and support for people after release from prison. .

Kerman will share her story at the SIU, as she has done across the country, including the White House and the US Senate. She will talk about her life and her journey, her book and the television series. Kerman will also share on learning from her own mistakes, the power of female communities, the need for prison reform, and support for people after incarceration. She will also answer questions.

Free entry, buy your tickets online

While there is no cost to hear Kerman and everyone is welcome, tickets must be claimed online in advance. Get tickets at

SIU is committed to protecting the community, so anyone attending Kerman’s presentation should follow current campus and state pandemic safety protocols and wear masks. Some additional measures will also be taken in the interest of public health and safety.

These include:

  • There will be social distancing at the event, with seating limited to 50% in the auditorium and Kerman unavailable for photos with those attending the event.
  • When signing the following book, Kerman will sign the books purchased on site and present them to buyers. For those who bring home a book, she will sign an ex-libris that they can affix to their book.

Sponsors for the presentation include the Criminology and Criminal Justice Program, the School of Justice and Public Security, the President and Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Health and Human Sciences. and the Student Programming Council.

For more information on showing Kerman or for accommodations for people with disabilities, contact the Student Programming Council at 618-536-3393.


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