I was lucky enough to have one of my poems selected by English PEN for an e-book collection.

English PEN campaign to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose freedom of expression is at risk.

They place writers with marginalized groups such as people in prisons in the UK, in refugee or detention centres and young people in disadvantaged areas, opening minds to reading and creative writing.

And they are currently running a Books For Prisoners campaign – drawing attention to the restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Justice back in November 2013. Its prohibited to send books and subscription magazines to UK prisoners. Many writers and prisoners of conscience have come out in support of the English PEN and Howard League for Penal Reforms campaign.

A long time ago I spent a night in a police cell: it certainly wasn’t prison, nor was it an experience I wished to repeat. To spend a week, a year, a lifetime in such confinement is unimaginable. Books are part of the healing process, they make people well. Reading is not a perk or privilege; its an escape, a brief respite from an often brutal environment.

Please visit the English PEN website to show your support.

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