Iowa Prison Writing Project

Connecting the UI writing community with prison writing communities in Iowa & beyond.


 

Robert L. N., Iowa: Apologies

"These are my apologies Momma, / I know you hate me being locked up,"

 

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Daniel H., Iowa: Birthday Star

"So young, and full of joy, / you no longer play with toys!"

 

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Daniel H., Iowa: My Life in the Darkness

"I see the light up above, / yet it’s so far away!"

 

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David W. M., Iowa: The Maker

"The sound of silence deafening . . . as I await the final reckoning"

 

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Clifford A. J., Iowa: Holding Hand’s Blues

"I miss my Mama blue. How did this happen? / Oh, how I miss Mama blue. This did happen."

 

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Clifford A. J., Iowa: Squeal

"Like a Babe struggling mightily in Charlottes sticky web. / America. High on the hog, in hog...

 

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Clyde H., Iowa: Tick Tock

"Tick Tock goes the clock / I sit by the window and wait."

 

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Kyle M., Iowa: It’s What I Know

"From my past, the way I use to handle my pain / Was different than the norm ..."

 

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Matthew F., Minnesota: Sunlight in a Prison Library

"The light / Hits the battered white window pane ..."

 

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Jason R., Iowa: Will I Be Free to Walk in the Mist?

"Our prison rests on a small hill overlooking a lowland plain ..."

 

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Jason R., Iowa: Three Boxes

"Dark desolate walls, / old prison, charming on the outside ..."

 

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Josh L., Iowa: Frame 

"Hanging empty on an empty wall / is a frame ..."

 

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Josh L., Iowa: Finding Freedom

"Is it possible to be lost / and be tethered and bound? ..."

 

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ABOUT US


The University of Iowa Prison Writing Project connects the writing community on campus with prison writing communities in Iowa and beyond. We seek to foster and support writing and self-expression by the imprisoned and believe that these voices offer unique contributions to the literary landscape. We believe that when the work of inside writers is championed, both inside and outside populations benefit.

About the University of Iowa Prison Writing Project

The University of Iowa Prison Writing Project is a collaboration between the Writing University and The Iowa Review.

Goals

  1. Empower and encourage prisoners to write and provide a platform to champion their writing.
  2. Connect inside and outside writers to foster greater understanding, dialogue, and creative opportunities for both.
  3. Provide incarcerated individuals with writing resources and opportunities to showcase their work. 

Phone
 
(319) 335-0462


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES


Good writing exists everywhere, and that holds true for Iowa’s prisons. The Prison Writing Project, a collaboration between the University of Iowa’s award-winning literary magazine The Iowa Review and the Writing University, was founded on the belief that all writing deserves to be celebrated, honored, and shared. This is why the PWP is hosting a creative writing open reading period, inviting submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from people who are currently incarcerated in the state of Iowa. All submissions will be read by a team of editors and selected pieces will be published online for a wider audience to connect with.

How to Submit Work

  • There is no fee to submit work.
  • Submission period:  September 1 through October 31, 2018
  • Submit a manuscript of up to 6 poems (totaling no more than 10 pages, with each poem presented on a separate page) or up to 15 pages for fiction and creative nonfiction.
  • Submissions accepted for publication will be chosen by The Iowa Review editors. All submissions, regardless of subject matter, will be considered for online publication.
  • To submit, please send to the following address:

[Fiction, Poetry, or Nonfiction] Editor
Prison Writing Project
308 EPB
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

What Happens if Your Work Is Selected?

Those whose work is selected for publication will receive notice from TIR via paper mail. Selected work will be published and showcased on the University of Iowa’s WritingUniversity.org webpage. Authors will be sent printed out copies of their published work. Some select work may also be published in print anthologies or in the UI Literary Kiosk. Authors will be alerted if their work is selected for publication. Please note that there is no financial payment for published work.

Who Reads the Work?

The team of readers who will consider work include faculty, staff, and students from the University of Iowa’s writing programs and publications. Leading the reading team is the poetry editor for The Iowa Review, a current Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate student.

Eligibility

Anyone who is incarcerated in the state of Iowa is eligible to enter. All submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter with the author’s name, identification number, and complete mailing address. Handwritten submissions are accepted. Authors may not submit more than one entry per reading period. Only unpublished manuscripts will be considered, with the exception of pieces that have appeared in prison-only publications. The Prison Writing Project is unable to return manuscripts back to their respective authors. Send in a copy of your work and keep the original. Please include a return address.

About the University of Iowa Prison Writing Project

The University of Iowa Prison Writing Project connects the writing community on campus with prison writing communities in Iowa and beyond. The project seeks to foster and support the writing and self-expression of incarcerated individuals and is grounded in the belief that these voices offer unique contributions to the literary landscape.

About the Writing University

The Virtual Writing University is a collaborative, interdisciplinary initiative sponsored by the Graduate College and the Office of the Provost at the University of Iowa. The project launched in fall, 2006, with the mandate to create a virtual space for the University of Iowa's writing community. 

About the Literary Kiosk

The University of Iowa Libraries will debut the first Literary Kiosk in Iowa City this fall for the Iowa City Book Festival, held between October 1 and 7, 2018. The literary kiosks offer anyone a free one, three, or five minute reads and will eventually be spread throughout Iowa City, Coralville, and Cedar Rapids, providing writing by the University of Iowa community as well as the general public.

Please contact prison-writing@uiowa.edu with any questions.

 

 

 


STAFF


Kate Conlow

Kate Conlow serves as deputy managing editor at The Iowa Review, the University of Iowa’s literary magazine, as well as managing editor of Philological Quarterly, an academic journal housed in the English Department. She has served as coordinator for the Oakdale Prison newspaper The Oakdale Voice since 2015 and has been involved with prison arts and writing since 2005.

 

Izzy Casey

Izzy Casey is an MFA candidate in poetry at the Iowa Writer's Workshop, where she works as the poetry editor for The Iowa Review. Her poems are published in NY Tyrant, Hobart, and Corriere della Sera (forthcoming.)

 

Additional Readers

Marcus Brown

Josh Balicki

Nick Dolan

Rauni Overstreet

Michael Westphal

 

 


CONTACT


The PWP connects University of Iowa faculty, staff, and students with imprisoned writers, creating a positive environment for learning and growth. Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

Phone: (319) 335-0462

Email: prison-writing@uiowa.edu 

Mailing Address:

[Fiction, Poetry, or Nonfiction] Editor
Prison Writing Project
308 EPB
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242