National Writing Project

A Place to Stand Documentary Screening

Please join us for a very special evening on Thursday, November 20, 7:30–9:30 p.m., for a screening of A Place to Stand , the documentary inspired by the life of Jimmy Santiago Baca, beloved poet, author, playwright, and teacher. Jimmy Santiago Baca will be at the screening to talk with the audience about the film, his life, and his work.

Tickets are $10 and are a donation to the NWP. Click here to purchase tickets. Copies of the DVD will be available for purchase at the screening.

A Place to Stand



Told through extensive interviews with Jimmy, his family, friends, and peers, A Place to Stand follows Jimmy's path from Estancia, New Mexico—where he lived with his indigenous grandparents—through childhood abandonment, adolescent drug dealing, and a subsequent five-year narcotics sentence at Arizona State Prison in Florence, one of the most violent prisons in the country.

Brutalized by the inhumanity of his incarceration, Jimmy survived by exploring deep within, discovering poetry at his soul's core. Through the life-changing capacity of poetry, writing, and the arts, he stepped away from the violence and negativity around him, healing the wounds of his childhood and opening himself to a new future.

Jimmy's extraordinary life is both inspiring and haunting—simultaneously an indictment of our current criminal justice system and a model of the potential for human transformation.

A Place to Stand is inspired by Jimmy's memoir of the same name, which has been called "elegant and gripping" (Los Angeles Times) and "an astonishing narrative that affirms the triumph of the human spirit" (Arizona Daily Star). It explores the life and mind of a man whose early life was dominated by sadness, rejection, anger, and pain; a man who embraced language as a balm for his battered spirit; a man who—through the power of poetry—finally found his place to stand.

© 2017 National Writing Project