Open to the Sky

These poems were written by inmates at the Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kansas, and where they participated in poetry workshops sponsored by Arts In Prison, Inc. This collection was edited by Arlin Buyert in 2013.

Open to the Sky exposes a world most of us choose to ignore. Yet, as we read the poems, we come to recognize with the incarcerated our shared need for understanding and acceptance. As one poet writes: “I need to learn, I need to grow/ I need to love and be loved.” Some of the poems are as stark and tightly controlled as a cell block. Others are small gems that reveal dogged perseverance and raw vulnerability. Through poetry, these men find release- even wisdom- as they sing the songs of themselves with unflinching honesty.
Alan Robert Proctor, author and Poetry Editor for Kansas City Voices

These poems deal with difficult situations, difficult place and emotions. And yet, they speak so openly and with such power that they are not depressing, but affirming. There is not just loss and difficulty in these poems, but also courage and love. And perhaps most moving of all, there is hope. I thank the writers of these poems for their honesty, for their willingness to share their truths and their spirit with the rest of us.
Jim Moore, professor and poet

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