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Prison Writes

  • Wed, 23 May 2018
  • 6.30 PM - 8.00 PM
  • Tickets: £10/£5


Telling your story is a vital part of our well-being, but what if those stories are complicated and often silenced by mainstream media?

Prison Writes, a discussion led by Guardian columnist and author Erwin James with writers who’ve each experienced life in prison and who now are using their voices to give a better understanding of a sometimes silenced perspective of life in and after prison.

Shirley Ann French lived for five years in prison as a male-to-female transsexual before her release last year. She has written powerfully about her experiences, including for Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners: "There is a hostile assumption that this is merely a phase restricted to prison which the medicine of freedom will cure and if not, then the hostility of the world will beat it out of me. Nothing could be further from the truth. My encounters with the world have been overwhelmingly positive."

Sunny Jacobs (Stolen Time) was wrongfully tried, convicted and sentenced to death in Florida in 1976. She spent five years under sentence of death in solitary confinement before her death sentence was overturned. Her partner Jesse Tafero who was also wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death was executed in 1990, two years before evidence of their innocence was made known. Sunny had her conviction overturned in 1992.

Peter Pringle (About Time: Surviving Ireland’s Death Row) was the last person to have the death sentence invoked upon him in Ireland before it was removed from the statue books. Having spent 15 years in prison before his conviction for the murder of a policeman was quashed, Peter and Sunny now live in the West Coast of Ireland and have setup the Sunny Centre, which welcome wrongly convicted people from around the world to support their reintroduction to society.

For more information on the Festival, please visit

Image credit: Erwin James.

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Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

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