F294. Redemption in the Pen: Insights from the Journeys of Formerly Incarcerated Writers

Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Over two million Americans live behind bars. Many write to ease the pain of confinement and forge paths to reinvention. This panel offers perspectives from formerly incarcerated writers of both poetry and prose, discussing how they chose language to express such personal and stigmatized experiences. Topics include how to write an ongoing trauma, maintain a healthy writing practice in a toxic environment, and discussion of how writing programs and journals are incorporating these new voices.



Michael Fischer is currently earning an MFA in creative writing from Sierra Nevada College. He is managing editor of Sierra Nevada Review, assistant nonfiction editor of Profane, and a Moth Chicago StorySlam winner. His essays appear or are forthcoming in The Sun, Brevity, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

Alexis Paige's first book, Not A Place On Any Map, won the 2016 Vine Leaves Press Vignette Collection Award. Her work has appeared as a notable in Best American Essays and received three Pushcart nominations. Paige is an editor at Brevity. alexispaigewrites.com.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a writer and poet. Four Way Books published his latest collection of poems, Bastards of the Reagan Era.

Randall Horton is the author of three collections of poetry and most recently, Hook: A Memoir. He is a member of the experimental performance group: Heroes Are Gang Leaders and associate professor of English at the University of New Haven.

James Allen


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center