Cedric Rudolph recalls one student inmate sharing that he had been homeless for months until remembering he had inherited a house. The story resonated with Cedric: “How many times in my own life has warmth, friendship or home been close to me, but I was figuratively sleeping on the streets. Not knowing what was mine.” (Photo by Maranie Rae Staab/PublicSource)

Cedric Rudolph is a poet from Alabama, a student of fine arts at Chatham University, a recipient of Chatham’s Robert H. Mansell Fellowship. It is these accomplishments that have led Cedric to frequent the local prison and jail.

Cedric’s fellowship provides him a two-year teaching position in the Words Without Walls program. Through this program, he teaches creative writing to men in the State Correctional Institute-Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Jail.

Cedric received clearance to enter a men’s prison in his first semester at school in Fall 2016. He sat across a table from murderers, men in jail for life. He didn’t flinch. He came back again and again.

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