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Ben Free Podcast

Benjamin Frandsen

They told them they had LIFE, and they were never coming home. Now they are home through overturned convictions and survived sentences. Recently coming home himself after 18 years in prison, Benjamin Frandsen leads us on weekly interviews through the emotions, thoughts and processes of those who have survived their heavy handed sentences. When Benjamin Frandsen was only ten months old, his mother would sit him up on the kitchen counter so she could chat with him, not in baby-talk lexicon but rather like a small university colleague. After witnessing this phenomenon one day, her friend exclaimed, “Why do you talk to that baby like he’s Winston Churchill?” “Because,” she fired back, “if I wanted him to saying nothing but woodjy-goodgy- gaga all the time, I’d talk to him like that. I want him to use his words!” And use them he did. At the age of ten, he delighted her with a homemade book of his original poetry. Basking in the light of her proud face, he felt as if the course of his life were being set, like tumblers in a lock clicking into place. He knew then what he wanted to be when he grew up—a wordsmith. Since then, he’s written environmental impact report, copywriting for Barbie™, and a professional contract screenplay. His publications have included several editorials, flash-fiction and essay pieces in Columbia University’s exCHANGE magazine, poetry in Iconoclast, and memoir excerpts through the Vera Institute of Justice. He has won prizes and honorariums for screenplays, websodes, poetry, and essays through PEN America and has been published in their annual anthologies for three years running. Last year his essay earned him PEN’s prestigious L’Engle-Rahman Prize for Mentorship, and this year he is launching his career in professional public speaking, writing and developing scripts forThe Coin studio, and hosting his own show called the Ben Free podcast. Recently, his close friend cautioned him, “You can’t just do everything!” Ben simply grinned and said, “Watch me.”