life lines endorsements and reviews

Expression and voice are so important to hear from those incarcerated in our Vermont prisons. This book celebrates the vital minds and hearts of those we often do not hear.

Bess O’Brien, director of award-winning documentaries “Coming Home” and “The Hungry Heart”, Kingdom County Productions, VT

Fruit of a ten-year writing program writinginsideVT has held in Vermont’s only prison for women, these poems beautifully capture the experience of incarcerated women trying to make sense of their past choices and daring to make new ones.

Heather Tosteson, Ph.D. Publisher, Wising Up Press, GA; Co-director, The Lasting Weight of Felony Listening Project

In the pages of “Life Lines,” these women are not inmates, they are writers … this collection is a lyrical movement, built on the tenants of art, education and advocacy. The women in “Life Lines” begin to shape a possible future – one that embraces restorative practices over our failing system of punishment. They restore my hope. 

Caits Meissner, Director, Prison and Justice Writing Program, PEN America, NY

Here is another remarkable book from writinginsideVT. It is overflowing with the creativity and voices of the most invisible women in our society: women in prison. Despite the sadness, fear, pain, and loss that they convey, their written words are a testament to the resilience of women’s spirit.  

Stephanie S. Covington, Ph.D., Co-director, Center for Gender and Justice

Forty-three years in the justice system, as prosecutor, defense attorney and judge, have taught me that events beyond their control incarcerate women: childhood neglect; sexual, physical and emotional abuse; and their inevitable sequelae – substance abuse and mental health issues.  Unaddressed, the feelings from these traumatic events will only fester, cause more pain, then recidivism … their expression, and our acceptance of it, give life to the ‘restoration’ in restorative justice. Read these poems and understand the pain, fear and anger that is at their heart.

Hon. Joseph H. Field, Active Retired Judge, Maine District Court


The criminal justice system spends a great deal of time trying to establish the ‘otherness’ of people. Yet, every person has a story to tell. These writings show our common humanity and the need to hear all voices. 

Robert L. Sand, Founding Director, Center for Justice Reform