ART & WRITING BY THE UNFREE
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“ARE YOU RODDY DOYLE? AND SO WHAT?”
Earlier this year, the amazing Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize winning author of such classics as The Commitments and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, went in to HMP Brixton to chat to the prisoners and be recorded for National Prison Radio. Following the meeting, Not Shut Up got a chance to sit down with the writer and ask him some questions.
Date: June 25, 2015
A.L. Kennedy is a writer whose work includes novels, short stories, drama, non-fiction and journalism for a variety of UK and overseas publications. Many of her books have been translated into a number of languages, and she is a staunch supporter of the campaign to get more books into prisons. Not Shut Up caught up with her at the annual Howard League For Penal Reform AGM to talk about her experience of teaching in prison, fighting writer’s block and making a go of it as a woman of letters.
Date: February 15, 2015
When we think of incarceration, we think prisons or detention centres – razor wire, CCTV, uniforms, locks and chains – yet when Not Shut Up met Nicky Goulder, Co-Founder & Chief Executive of Create, a charity which uses the power of the arts to transform lives, she helped us see freedom from a new perspective.
She described a project involving full-time carers, and mentioned one woman who was committed to looking after a partner 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, indefinitely.
Date: February 6, 2015
In the autumn, Not Shut Up joined Martina Cole on her visits to HMP Pentonville and HMP Swaleside, as she travels the country promoting the Six Book Challenge.
Not Shut Up: Many people will know crime writer Martina Cole, and we’re here with David Kendall, project manager for the Six Book Challenge, working on behalf of The Reading Agency since 2008.
David Kendall: I met Martina a couple of years ago, in Holloway prison in London. Not often you get to say that about people, is it? I asked her to be an ambassador of the Six Book Challenge, because in the 15 years I’ve been working in prisons, she’s always been the most widely read author, doesn’t matter which establishment you
go into, people always say, ‘Have you read Martina Cole?’.
Date: January 26, 2015
Marek Kazmierski is a writer, translator and publisher – and the editor of Not Shut Up. Marek escaped communist Poland as a child, studied literature and comparative religion in London, before going on to work with refugees, prisoners and care in the community patients. Until recently, he was the Head of Diversity at HMYOI Feltham. Georgia Bea-Edkins interviewed him.
How important is a creative outlet for a prisoner?
Marek Kazmierski: Well, the opposite of creative is destructive, so I would say it is life-savingly essential. We have allowed ourselves to see creativity as a luxury, culture as a given, freedom of expression as a fact of life.
Date: December 22, 2014
Joe Dolce, born 1947 in Painesville, Ohio, is an American-born, Australian singer/songwriter, poet and essayist who achieved international recognition with his multi-million-selling song, ‘Shaddap You Face’, released in 1980.
In 1978, Dolce relocated to Melbourne, Australia, where his first single was “Boat People” – a protest song on the poor treatment of refugees – which was translated into Vietnamese and donated to the fledgling Vietnamese community starting to form in Melbourne. In the past decade, he has also been receiving extensive recognition as a poet and essayist.
Date: October 9, 2014
From robbery to writing, the fascinating David Rickerby has lived a remarkable life on the streets of Europe. Marek Kazmierski meets him.
Knowing I edit a magazine of unfree arts, people send me all sorts of interesting things. A while back, someone emailed me a link to an online TV programme about a library, in Denmark. It turned out to be the most interesting and unusual story, featuring an English ex-bank robber, who sleeps in a park, spends his days reading books, lives from recycling other people’s waste and has written a story of his life, titled Bloody Fields, which is due to be published soon thanks to a crowd-funding campaign by local people.
Date: September 30, 2014
As a former helicopter pilot, during his incarceration Jonathan kept a log of all that unfolded before him, which then became a book – IN IT. Prison was nothing like he expected. Instead of Shawshank Redemption, he witnessed countless repeat episodes of On the Buses. His new book, ON IT, aims to show ways how we can go from tragedy to comedy to sanity. All through the power of reading and writing…
Not Shut Up: Tell us about how you came to be dragged into the criminal justice system.
Jonathan Robinson: I dragged myself into it.
Date: August 13, 2014
We talk to Made Corrections’ photographer about her trip to Kaunas prison in Lithuania and the transformative power of the arts.
Not Shut Up: Tell us how you came to be involved in Made Corrections and prison arts.
Vaiva Katinaityte: I left Lithuania when I was 20 years old, moved to Turkey, Ireland, Norway and Czech Republic, then recently, after I finished three year studies in Prague, I chose to come to London. I had read about David Ellis, who had done art and performance projects in Lithuania before. So I contacted him through Facebook, not knowing anyone in England. He was really helpful, took me to some galleries, and then introduced me to Made Corrections. A month later, I was going to prison with them in Lithuania!
Date: July 15, 2014
Patrick deWitt is a Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author and a passionate advocate for literacy behind bars. He has worked on the National Literacy Trust’s Books Unlocked scheme and recently visited HMP Rye Hill, HMP Holloway and HMP Swaleside to run sessions with prisoners’ reading groups to discuss his novel The Sisters Brothers. Not Shut Up caught up with Patrick to find out more about his work within the criminal justice system.
Date: July 4, 2014
June 25, 2015
April 15, 2015
April 15, 2015