Tag Archives: INK

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INK: Prison Writing Contest Finalists Celebrate

July 4th AnnouncementAs we celebrate our nation’s freedom, Vidahlia Press is prepared to release the INK: A Prison Writing Contest Winners! Over one hundred talented writers from across the nation were identified as finalists. As you might surmise awarding prizes to the incarcerated can be a complicated matter. So we are still awaiting all the permissions necessary to ensure that we are able to provide the prizes to the winners.

We are working tirelessly on the anthology, From These Many Rooms, an inspiring collection that offers stories full of hope while teaching lessons in resilience, compassion, and redemption. These compelling, creative, and authentic works will inspire us all to live beyond boundaries and to visualize that the imagination is larger than any restraint or confinement. I hope you will agree.

We have included a randomly selected poem from a finalist who has already given permission, “Bird’s Eye View” by Sydney Duff.  Please stay tuned for the announcement of our 2014 INK Winners coming soon!

Bird’s Eye View

here we have all
the familiar images
of incarceration:
walls and bars, calendars and clocks
and so much fear

but what about the smell
of morning on a Sunday?
the white crescent
of a benevolent moon?
who notices a sky so blue
that it pierces, splits you open
like a ripe piece of fruit?

here we speak
in riddles and loops
parables of purgatory,
terrestrial half-truths

but what of the singing sparrows
perched on the razor wire,
the paper rustle of the trees?
what of the ballet
of the circling hawk,
the waddling arcs
of Canadian geese?

do the birds know
this is prison?
do they care?
do they distinguish
between greenness
of this grass
and that which grows elsewhere?

here we walk long circles
orbiting what little we see
wearing out our hamster wheels:
“when I’m home…
when I’m free…”

do the birds sit
and stare at the bars?
or do they flit through
the space in between?

Sydney Duff, Vidahlia Press & Publishing House, Inc.

 

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Article About INK

The Search For Talented Writers In The Prison System Is Changing It, Too 

By Adam Popescu via FastCompany Labs

A digital publishing house is conducting a semi-legal, large-scale search for the next great incarcerated author. The reaction from authorities isn’t what you’d expect.

Jack London, Ken Kesey, William Burroughs, Oscar Wilde, Malcolm X, Voltaire, Cervantes, E.E. Cummings, Martin Luther King, Mark Twain–all literary legends who spent time behind bars. Some only a few nights, others years. A few even penned classics while in the joint.

Unlike those lucky standouts, most incarcerated art doesn’t make it outside the confines of a cell. But that may be changing. Random House recently paid six figures for the rights to a handwritten prison memoir titled “The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict, or the Inmate of a Gloomy Prison.”

Now a Texas publishing company is searching for the next great incarcerated writers–something never possible before software, thanks to strict laws about communicating (and, of course, planning entrepreneurial creative efforts) with prisoners. Here’s how they’re pulling it off.

PRE-ORDER From These Many Rooms: The 2014 INK Prison Writing Contest Anthology

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Brenda Marie Osbey

Vidahlia Press would like to introduce Brenda Marie Osbey as the distinguished judge for INK’s poetry category. She is an accomplished poet and professor. A native of New Orleans, Brenda Marie Osbey was appointed the first peer-selected Poet Laureate of the State of Louisiana in 2005.

Brenda Marie Osbey

Professor Brenda Marie Osbey teaches Africana poetry virtual seminar with University of Kansas/NEH special online institute.  On Friday, November 15, 2013 she will be reading from History and Other Poems and then discussing Africana poetry for the remainder of the hour.

Below is the audio recording from the webinar.

Selected Honors and Awards:

  • Louisiana Board of Regents Award to Artists and Scholars (ATLAS)
  • Manship Summer Fellowship

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