A WRITER’S LONG JOURNEY
I’m writing in response to “Rays of Hope,” a letter written by Everett Schell and featured in the July/August 2017 Letters section. Like Schell I am currently incarcerated, was gifted a Poets & Writers Magazine subscription by a generous individual (poet Mary Ruefle), and have thoroughly enjoyed every issue I’ve received. Though I had no writing or teaching experience prior to prison, I ended up teaching a creative writing course here. I view this particular prison as the world’s worst writers retreat, but in the long run, it’s what made me pick up a pen. It has been a long and arduous journey, from addict to bank robber to writer, and the journey still has some miles left. I’ve assembled a modest amount of publishing credits and acquired a few unlikely friendships with members of the literary community, including Donald Hall and Mary Ruefle. Great literature allows people to access corners of life they might be too timid to explore or lucky to have not personally visited. There are plenty of talented wordsmiths behind walls and locked doors. I love your magazine. Thanks for your time.
United States Penitentiary, Canaan