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The Pen and Corrections Project


Pen And Corrections is a project which has supported incarcerated prisoners to learn about and write their own haiku. It is the brainchild of two UK-based poets, Ted Sherman and David Breakspear. Nine prisoners in two UK prisons completed the project and will have their haiku included in the first Pen And Corrections book. This beautiful book has been designed by Ollie Francis and will be sold via a Kickstarter campaign. Any profits from this campaign will be donated to two charities that support children with parents in prison — Children Heard and Seen, and Storybook Dads. If you would like to register your interest in this project please visit our website. You will be able to hear Ted Sherman talking about Pen and Corrections on season 4 episode 7 of the Haiku Pea Podcast which will be released in early April 2021.

Here is a sample of the haiku written by a prisoner as part of the project:

early Sunday morning
from my cell I watch
mother birds gathering food

Please help support this worthwhile cause. We will include a link to the Kickstarter campaign on the blog when it is available.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. A wonderful initiative. My Haiku Pond & Academy fully supports this haiku project! I hope we also get to know a bit about the poets, so this can become a two-way street. I am sure the book will be filled with some great haikai poems. I was also a huge fan of the late Johnny Baranski who spent time inside for being an activist and wrote many great haiku and related poems.

    1. Hi Michael,

      You probably ‘met’ Ted Sherman (British Haiku Society) on the first BHS Zoom event that Karen Hoy and myself ran?

      Here’s the correct weblink, and a little about Ted Sherman, and David Breakspear:

      The project is the brainchild of David Breakspear, poet and former prisoner who now campaigns for prison reform and Ted Sherman, poet and commissioner of drug and alcohol treatment services in North Somerset. They are both advocates of the power of creative writing as an outlet for people in custody.
      https://www.penandcorrections.com

      It’s an incredibly important project and even more so now that a new law has been introduced, and passed by the UK Parliament where anyone anywhere can be locked up, by up to ten years, for peaceful protesting alone. I assume it’s an Arrestable Offence which carries up to a ten year sentence in prison:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrestable_offence

      Not to be confused with any criminal offence where you can be arrested.

      Worrying times.

      Alan Summers
      co-founder, Call of the Page

    1. Pen and Corrections
      A haiku project with serving prisoners
      https://www.penandcorrections.com

      The project
      Creative writing can be an effective tool in an individual’s rehabilitation journey, with this aim the haiku project was run in late 2020 as a writing competition with serving prisoners.

      The project is the brainchild of David Breakspear, poet and former prisoner who now campaigns for prison reform and Ted Sherman, poet and commissioner of drug and alcohol treatment services in North Somerset. They are both advocates of the power of creative writing as an outlet for people in custody.

      The book
      We are aiming to publish the haiku’s of 9 prisoners in a beautiful 40-page book, all profits going to charities that support the families of serving prisoners.

      The charities
      All profits from the book sales for the collection will go to Children Heard and Seen and Storybook Dads – both charities that seek to help the families of serving prisoners.

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