From the very beginning of Prisoner Express, we have received poetry from prisoners. As we received more submissions we took the hint and began to feature prisoner poems in our newsletter. With the help of volunteers we have staged a number of public readings of prisoner poems, as well as conducted poetry contests for prisoners who wish to participate. Poetry provides a means where the prisoners we work with can freely express themselves. We invite you to read their writings and step into their world.
Click here to see the anthologies, and see recent posts below.
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…Read More
Do you ever wonder what incarcerated individuals think about? Those mysterious thoughts are what I’ve been able to observe while constructing the 25th Poetry Anthology for Prisoner Express. When your day-to-day life is so controlled and mostly void of freedom and autonomy, you would expect it to be quite difficult to come up with creative…Read More
Lately, working through prisoners’ poetry submissions for the 2021 Poetry Anthology, I’ve found that some are particularly profound and well written. I recently read a poem that I wanted to share for its sheer quality, and the feeling I was left with after reading it. I hope you all find it as enjoyable and moving…Read More
Gary Farlow sent in a collection of love poems from North Carolina. Mr. Farlow is a classically trained poet, with an impressive acknowledgements page of prior publications. My comment on this page is: “I have taken workshops which didn’t use repetition this effectively.” Wild Horses A team of wild horses …Read More
Another triolet from Take Pleasure from Pain, written by Andre D Underwood. Mr. Underwood resides in Florida. I might suggest he play up the hyphens; there’s a bit of an Emily Dickinson feel here, which is interesting. My comment on the page is: “Well done. This form works for you.” Lust and Love As we…Read More
I can tell you about a triolet using a triolet by Zebulon Huset, published in the 3rd Wednesday journal. This was included in the educational packet accompanying my chapbook. How to Triolet Line one comes back seventh and fourth, line two is how the poem will end. Line three’s free but rhymes with one: north.…Read More
Several of the writers used standard poetic forms. I gave a few examples in the education packet, but not many. Chapbooks are not expected to be in a formal poetry style. So it’s permitted, but not required. However it is a challenge that was accepted. This is a triolet from Take Pleasure from Pain, written…Read More
This is from the chapbook Time to Heal/ Transitions, written by James Stevahn. Mr. Stevahn resides in Arizona. The title poem is a collection of linked haibun. This form consists of a short bit of prose poetry, followed by a haiku. It can be a very powerful way to communicate in a tight space. Here…Read More
More from the chapbook Burnt, written by Scott Madoulet. Mr. Madoulet resides in Washington. This appears near the end of the book. It may have started as a list poem, or a dictionary poem. A dictionary poem traditionally goes beyond the conventional meaning of the word or brings in other associations. I found this thoughtful…Read More
From the chapbook Burnt, written by Scott Madoulet. Mr. Madoulet resides in Washington. This collection cycles through anger, bitterness, and redemption. This is an excerpt of the opening poem. Burnt (part 1) To change the way I felt, I burnt myself today. Fire cleanses, doesn’t it? Arson led me astray. (I thought) I…Read More
Current & Past Poetry Anthologies from Prisoner Express
Here's some of the past anthologies we've printed and mailed to prisoners enrolled in our poetry programs. All of these anthologies are available for download and printing (see our copyright statement below) – simply click the PDF you'd like to download.
All of the work collected and available in this archive is owned by, and all rights reserved, to the author. If you would like to use, distribute, or change any of the work presented in this archive you must have explicit permission from the author.
Please notify us if you would like assistance contacting any of the authors featured in the Prisoner Express Archive.