Poetry Anthology #26

The 26th Prisoner Express Poetry Anthology is now available to read!


Letter from the author

Over the past several months, hundreds of poems have poured in from across the country. These works explore love and loss, the fleeting nature of memory, and personal transformation, among other themes. We’ve compiled many of the poems into this anthology, which has been mailed out to every person in prison who has gone through the challenging process of submitting their work. In a letter to the Prisoner Express program, participant and author David Morales Zenquis writes,

“I would like to take this moment to thank everyone at Prisoner Express for the outstanding work you guys do in order to make our lives a little easier. You and every other organization that focuses on giving us some form of substance are the lingering light at the end of our tunnels.”

Below is an excerpt from Zenquis’s poem featured in this anthology, entitled “Hope.” The full poem along with the rest of this edition can be found here. If you are interested, you may also write a letter to any of these poets using these instructions.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who submitted poetry as well as all of the volunteers and staff at Prisoner Express for their hard work.

“I stumble

Into strands

Of water-entwined sand

And my sandcastles crumble.

As I watch the ocean dissolve

Those traces of my resolve,

I think I’ve lost it all.

But the sight of the unwavering debris

Of those castles that I weaved

Makes me remember

The thought I lost to the sea’s ember:

It’s difficult to make amends,


Hold on, pain ends.”