Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Prison Writes Initiative Releases Third Book

The third book of VOX Press’s Prison Writes Initiative’s inmate writing series is now available to purchase.

The series features personal narratives and poetry from inmates at several Mississippi incarceration facilities from various demographics, including military veterans, women, men, youth, death-row inmates, elderly and inmates with disabilities.

Mississippi Prison Writing cover

The Prison Writes Initiative was founded to help incarcerated students get a new lease on life by offering them professional reading and writing classes in the state of Mississippi.

The essays and poetry created in the classes have been included in two previous books, published by Oxford-based literary journal VOX Press – “In Our Own Words: Writings from Parchman Farms,” and “Unit 30: New Writings from Parchman Farm.” The third volume, “Mississippi Prison Writing,” was released in January and is available for purchase online through Amazon and at Square Books in Oxford.

The Prison Writes Initiative is an 18-week course that begins with inmates learning to engage with classical literature by the likes of Eudora Welty, Langston Hughes, Samuel Beckett, Malcolm X and Ernest Hemingway. In the second half of the course, students apply their learning to pen their own memoirs, which are then compiled and published.

Led by the books’ editor, Louis Bourgeois, the course is now taught at several state and private prison facilities across Mississippi.

“‘Mississippi Prison Writing’ is an important book that includes narratives and poetry from Mississippi inmates who seldom have an opportunity to let the world know their side of the story,” Bourgeois said.

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