Cover art by Rachel Galindo, an incarcerated woman at La vista Correctional Facility in Pueblo, CO
When I sat down to read Tenacious: Art & Writings by Women in Prison, Issue #20, I couldn’t have predicted the spirit, the soul, that I found in these simple, subtle, understated, black & white pages.
A letter from a mother to her dead six year old, whose death she was responsible for and imprisoned for; a story of one mother adopting the young women in her prison as a replacement for the relationship she’s lost with her son, who’s also incarcerated; tales of years in isolation cells turning women into swaying, growling shells of their former selves.
Each story or letter or poem reads with a distinct and separate voice, a voice that articulates clearly that woman’s struggle for freedom, for reconciliation, for justice. I could hear these women speaking as I read their words.
And in each of the works in this zine, I found a small piece of myself. My self that has never been to prison, never killed anyone accidentally or on purpose, never been an addict, never had to appear before a Parole Board. But each piece in the zine was the story of a woman, a mother, a human being, all of which I can identify with. What little shared experience I do have with these contributors, made it impossible to put this zine down.
The physical zine itself is 49 pages of stark reality. Other than Continue reading