This is a collection of poems penned by a workgroup of women incarcerated at a state penitentiary, who gathered to interact and write expressively -- as well as a collection of unattributed stories transcribed by Deborah Kilgore who had direct contact with their authors. We hope that this literary glimpse goes a little way towards engendering love, peace and harmony. Or at least, increased understanding.
We also included some of the poets's artwork, rendered to the best of our ability to print, sketches originally done on a variety of paper, ranging from permanent-marker bleed-throughs on large folded sheets of presentation paper to a faint line drawing of a stark prison door done on a sheet of pink tissue.
This is not a poem collection in the usual sense of collecting from sources. It is a glimpse of what it is to learn to write expressively before writing expressively was an option, before there was writing as a social or private release, an act of group creative learning for persons who are extremely alienated, confined to a grim environment as hostile to the preservation of self, tenderness and sanity as any.
We hope you will come explore what the Women of the Explorations discovered when discovering the woman within, that they have much to say to and for everyone.
My Mask Is, Prison Poems & Stories by Women (fragment)
by Mary Gonzalez
You boys are my fuerza
My pride and future.
Los tres son como un treasure que I cherish and love.
And even though we're apart, siempre siempre,
You will live in my heart.
Ninguna distancia, ni tiempo will ever erase the closeness we share.
Los tres son como los Dios' del Viento;
like I'm the Goddess of life.
So no importa que, Where or what,
we will always be juntos flooding the winds
Like buenos esperitus.
Copyright © October 1999 A Small Garlic Press and Mary Gonzalez
Return to A Small Garlic Press on-line catalog
Copyright © 1998 A Small Garlic Press. All rights reserved.
Created 1999/10/7. Updated last on 2008/5/2.