This Saturday, July 29, local author and Chicago native Damien Catledge, who goes by the pen name Poetic Ye, will premiere a documentary based on his poetry compilation, Throwing Rocks at the Pen.
The compilation, published in 2015, chronicles “a convict’s life cycle,” according to Catledge and includes sections on choices, consequences, family and redemption.
Catledge wrote the book while in prison along with two other men, A. Freedom Sun and Knowledge Magnetic Born, who are still currently incarcerated.
“What I found is that I was constantly explaining the book, so I just said to myself what if I made something where people could see or hear the same story as the book,” said Catledge.
He began working on the documentary in April, which he describes a visual component of the book.
Catledge says many have used the book as inspiration to change their lives or the lives of their loved ones who have been incarcerated.
“In the film I talk about when I came home I just didn’t want to go back to jail,” he said.” “I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go, I just knew I wanted to publish this book and not go back to jail. I didn’t see things going this far, but it can show people that you don’t have to get out jail and do that same stuff again.”
Now just a few years after being released from prison and on the night of his 31st birthday, Catledge will be screening the film with hopes that it will continue to inspire others.
“I’ve been to prison twice, so I want people to walk away with hope that they can do it, whatever it is they want to do and to the younger people living the lifestyle I used to live I want them to know that’s not it and they can be something different than that.”
The premier party on Saturday will be from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Nitty Gritty Sun Prairie location, 315 E. Linnerud Drive, in the Heritage Room. The event is 18 and up and the dress code is “urban casual.” The screening will be at 10:30 and there is a $10 donation at the door.