Jill McDonough

Packard, Josey. "Untitled photo of Jill McDonough." Salt
. Web 20 Feb. 2011.


Josh Jerome
Philip Tang
Kristina Katz

AP Literature, Malden High School, MA

Edited by Ryan Gallagher

20 February 2011

I wanted to chart American history with [the poems in
Habeas Corpus], so first I made a list of the firsts-- first ever documented, first gas chamber, first lethal injection. . . then I thought about all the ones that were famous, like Sacco and Vanzetti and the Rosenbergs. . . then as I did more research I realized that there were historical waves that needed documenting; pirates, witches, Irish servants, and, most recently, black men. It was a useful way to think about who we are, by looking at who we have been scared of in America. I also wanted to be even handed, to get geographic diversity and a fair ratio of innocent to guilty people. The last guy in the book was really, really guilty; I didn't want to write a book of fifty people who shouldn't have been executed. I wanted to write a book about what the death penalty has meant and still means in America.

McDonough, Jill. “Questions for Interview.” E-mail to Joshua Jerome, Kristina Katz, and Phillip Tang. 11 Jan. 2011.