Prisoner Express Poetry


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.

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See our anthology collection.

“Sideways,” by Jonathan C. Holeman

Sideways by Jonathan C. Holeman AI 7466 CCI 4A7 108 PO Box 1902 Tehachapi, CA 93581 She walks sideways sometimes, Usually when she drinks, But not always. Sometimes it’s pills, It used to be needles, But now she says she’s sober. Before that was a glass pipe tin foil, pot pipe, cigarette, and beer. I…

“A Lonely Prison Man,” by Dale Sloss

ID #550368 Michael Unit 2664 FM 2054 Tennessee Colony, TX, 75886 To a prisoner in these walls so grey, With a trace of light, Today’s the same as yesterday, And both as dark as night. Tomorrow? Well, I guess it’ll be about the same As all the rest have been. I’ll get up, exist another…

“Pennies,” by J.S. Slaymaker

ID #634548 Hughes Unit Route 2, P.O. Box 4400 Gatesville, TX, 76507 Is it so bizarre we’d wish on a star Or toss pennies into a pond? For life steals our dreams with its nebulous schemes, The casts us to those realms beyond.

“Frozen Sunrise,” by Bryan Kim

Frozen Sunrise By Bryan Kim #315649 WSP-WC-E-128 1313 N 13 Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362 My breath clouds the chilly winter air, In the indigo world that exists in that precious Moment before the sun breaks the horizon. I can feel the icy tentacles of cold invading my Toes and fingers. A silver of ocher…

“In Memoriam,” by J.S. Slaymaker

ID#634548 Hughes Unit Route 2, P.O. Box 4400 Gatesville, TX, 76507 Between the kisses and I love yous Were the other women, the dope, and the booze. Our time together, though cherished, felt stolen, Leaving our hearts bruised, battered, and swollen. Forever I squandered our love on a lie, And ask again, ask again, ask…

“Swimming,” by Kristopher Smith

Swimming By Kristopher Smith #01703391 Connolly Unit 889 FM 632 Kenedy, TX, 78119     When my soul slips in sorrow And regret pulls me down into the depths of darkness I must either tread water Or try to make it to the distant shore. In the worst of times, I can’t believe That the…

“Prison Life,” by William E. Hill

Prison Life By William E. Hill #743871   James V. Allred 2101 FM 369N Iowa Park, TX 76367   A filing cabinet of human lives, Bulging at the seams. In baskets stacked Way beyond their means.   At the main office Information is compiled, Labeled, sorted, Catalogued, and filed.   Files retrieved On a regular…


Journal Program
Theme Essays
Prisoner Art
Book Packages

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.

Terms of Use & Copyright:

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.