book of women prisoners’ writings from Vermont
released September 2013

cover of upcoming bookFall 2014 BOOK READING

Burlington Book Festival
Saturday, September 20, 10:30 am

Fletcher Free Library, Main Reading Room
Burlington, VT

If you’ve missed our several readings, you can still
order the book from Orbis Books or Amazon

AND – if you like what you read – please consider leaving a customer review on our Amazon page!


These straight-from-the-gut writings by incarcerated women will break your heart and put it back together again.   - Sr. Helen Prejean, author, Dead Man Walking

These are radical, revolutionary voices because they dare us to do what society insists we must not:  listen to and care about those who have been cast out and locked away.
- Michelle Alexander, legal scholar & author, The New Jim Crow:
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness

Recent Posts

image of birds

tesselation of birds

credit - m c escher via wikiart

Last week, we gathered around a table in the education room inside CRCF, a group melding women new to us and old-timers. As always, some hesitation hovered around the room alongside confidence and assurance among the more seasoned. And the occasional reluctance to share something particularly deep and disturbing lay silent among us.

We opened the circle with “Sixty Years Later, I Notice, Inside a Flock of Blackbirds” by David Allan Evans. This poem provides a new metaphor for the way light shows through flying birds, and prompted the creation of an entire flock of new metaphors – for flight, for light. The underlying theme of gratitude infused all the writing with grace and compassion, so that a poem created from the shared lines created its own powerful metaphor for resilience, gratitude and hope.


Birds know how to be a group
grateful to be alive
rhythmic, intuitive
spacing while undulating
mindful of daily actions,
things that fly through the mind.

Everything indispensable my mother taught me
a tremendous gift I will never forget –
they taught me to be strong
inside myself
grateful for the small things,
friends to turn to, who care.

After raising the blinds,
I feel their presence.
A gathering lifts,
hovers; see the universe change
all threads in the same quilt,
the air stirred by holding birds.

Not just one time – impossible.

I am grateful for change,
for the things I have,
for the passage of hope
silent before liftoff.

swb created from lines shared at 11/5/14 mentor/mentee writing group inside CRCF

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