Time Has Come Today: Writing Imprisonment, Incarceration, & Social Change

121A, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level
Saturday, March 26, 2022
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


Imprisonment affects individuals, families, and communities in layered and lasting ways. Writers working in poetry, prose, and hybrid forms who have been impacted by imprisonment will share excerpts of their work and discuss imprisonment. How does imprisonment affect individuals, their families, and the collective? Why is it imperative to share stories of incarceration? How can writing about imprisonment empower ordinary people to make change?

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Time_Has_Come_Today_Outline.pdf



Deirdre Sugiuchi spent her adolescence in a faith-based troubled teen facility and is writing her reform school memoir, "Unreformed." Her work has been featured in Dame and Electric Literature

CT Mexica

Caleb Gayle is a writer with a focus on the impact of history on identity. He is a New America Fellow, PEN WFJ Fellow, and winner of the Matthew Power Award. His upcoming book, We Refuse to Forget, from Riverhead is about the untold story of the Black people once considered citizens of the Creek Nation.

Deb Olin Unferth is the author of six books, most recently the novel BARN 8. A Guggenheim fellow and finalist for the National Book Critic's Award, she founded and directs the Pen City Writers, a creative writing program in a south Texas penitentiary.

Caits Meissner is a New York City-based artist and writer. She is the director of prison and justice writing at PEN America where she edited The Sentences That Create Us: Crafting A Writer’s Life in Prison.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center