During the pandemic, I came across an organization connecting women on the outside with women inside prison. I began writing poems to incarcerated women. I felt afraid, but throughout my life, I have found the most beautiful gifts when I’ve leaned into fear or pushed myself to do something that felt uncomfortable. I’m not going to lie; I was hesitant. I have never met anyone that has gone to prison. It scared me, not just a little, but a lot. What would I say? Yet, something bigger than my fear kept calling me back to the idea of writing to a woman who was behind bars; it was the thought that my words might be an offering of hope.
When writing hopeful poems to women behind bars for years, I think about what I would need to hear if it were me. I write poems about everything I see in the outside world, connection, the forest, the beauty of the world, and creativity.
I call my poems ‘Poems of Hope.’
Writing to incarcerated women has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me as a poet.
It has helped me open new corners of my heart, widen my understanding and deepen my empathy for people that I have never met.
If you know of an incarcerated woman that needs a poem of hope, please contact me using the form below.