Ferris students connected with Piper Kerman Wednesday night during her speech about her life before, during and after the year she spent in prison.
The University Center Ballroom was packed as Kerman, author of the book turned Emmy award-winning Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” shared her experiences. She was brought to campus by Ferris communications professor Neil Patten as part of this year’s Arts & Lecture series.
Prominent themes of Kerman’s speech were the racial, social and gender inequalities affecting the prison system—specifically women in prison.
“The experience of incarceration is a deeply traumatic and awful experience,” Kerman said. “I was so lucky to only be in prison in one year. There are other women who committed comparable crimes who were doing a lot more time.”
After her lecture, Kerman gave students the change to engage in an open Q&A session. She answered questions about the differences between the book and the show and about life in prison. Kerman made sure to note that the show is not a biopic, but she does support how accurately it addresses many real issues in women’s prisons.
After the Q&A, students lined up to get their copies of “Orange is the New Black” signed and meet Kerman.