Following on from last weeks stunning success of Chapter One of our Hidden Voices project Saughton Sonnets, First Time Inside are delighted to present today the second tranche of prison poetry from inside HMP Edinburgh. Chapter Two of this four week collaboration between First Time Inside, HMP Edinburgh and the Scottish Prison Service presents authors and poets from Glenesk Hall – that is to say those on remand within the prison estate – with an opportunity to express in verse their feelings of being in prison amidst this Covid19 crisis.

This weeks output has very kindly been supported by both The Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh and Beltrami & Co lawyers in Glasgow.

Reflecting briefly on last week before enjoying this weeks work it must be said that the ladies of Ratho Hall delivered in spades in their humorous, raw, powerful and emotional offerings. Their work, shared on this platform, was shared to over half a million people across last weekend alone. It saw a note of interest received from The National Library of Scotland in terms of stocking the work of Saughton Sonnets as well as creating a variety of media requests. Chapter One also saw engagement from leading lights from the Scottish writing community including Ian Rankin and Val McDermid as well as a number of politicians from across the country.  The ladies creativity has also been officially trending on LinkedIn under their hashtag #Covid19.

The role of First Time Inside (FTI) in this initiative is not only to showcase the work and let those Hidden Voices be heard but to honour the work by presenting it in a manner which is both respectful to the talent shared and the environment they find themselves in. Supporting our aim to achieve those goals we are delighted to have a team – or as we now call it our little Hidden Voices community – of some 42 individuals and/or organisations all of whom have selflessly offered their time to act as judges on this little initiative. It is this power of community, the contribution of each and every individual, which has driven the project so positively forward. This initiative is about creating a platform for voices, otherwise discounted, to be heard. It is about demonstrating that humanity exists behind prison walls and it seeks to engage the reader with a cohort of people who represent a group who but for the grace of their God go they.

Our Hidden Voices community comes from all corners of justice, criminal and community, from academia to the literary world and from third sector to private citizen.  Scoring or ranking the poems each week simply to create a winner from each tranche of poetry is proving to be an extremely challenging process for our community of judges both in emotional and creative terms, FTI cannot thank all of them enough for their participation.

“Working to change does not by default require conflict. Nor does it require to seek division to conquer. All it requires is a diverse community of momentum with complimentary agendas seeking to ensure every component part is creating forward motion.”

As you make your way through this weeks creative maze you will see comments from our community of judges between the sonnets themselves.

Our challenge to you, the reader, as always when reading these poems is to open your hearts, park any preconceptions you may have and listen to your fellow human beings who have no other method of communication with the wider world reach out to you in their own ways, in their own words.

The poets were asked to express their feelings, in verse, of being in prison during this lockdown period and under the tough regime imposed by the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis. The last word prior to letting you enjoy all of this weeks work comes from David Abernethy who is Governor of HMP Edinburgh.

“The standard set by the women last week was very high and it has been so good being able to tell them how many people from all walks of life have read their poems and commented on how they felt about them. This week some of the men from Glenesk talk about their experiences in lockdown in a similar vein, others come at it from a more negative, aggressive and hostile point of view – isn’t that what art is all about? From my point of view it is certainly better to write it than to do it. I hope everyone gets something from the heartfelt contributions in Saughton Sonnets part 2.” David Abernethy – Governor, HMP Edinburgh.

Without further preamble here are the thoughts of our Saughton Sonnet creators from HMP Edinburgh this week.

Sonnet One

AN ALPHABET POEM

Life in lockdown, lets hope it passes fast
Opening a book can be a passing task
Coming together, give each other a hand
Kelloggs in the morning, for the man on remand
Doing time whilst in this pandemic
Open our hearts for the NHS Medic
We’re in this together, lets clap as a Nation
Now you know what to do guys be safe in isolation

 

“Great rhythm. Optimistic tone. Goes against the grain of what the average person might expect from prison poetry. The poem challenges the widely held notion that people in prison exist outside society – it is clear the writer feels very much a part of the world.”

“Took me a while to work out why this was called “Lockdown” and it was like a ray of light creeping over the wall when I realised! Another superb poem that highlights the innocent people on remand who are also spending the pandemic period incarcerated – so important that they are not forgotten especially with the courts not processing as many.”

“Short, sharp and snappy piece calling upon all backgrounds, imprisoned and all, to get behind the masterplan.”

“This piece really spoke to me. I have no idea why but all I could hear was Dire Straits “Private Investigations” in my head whilst reading this. Weird but it really grabbed me because of that association and the smoky moodiness of the Dire Straits song.”

“This is such a cleverly constructed poem, spelling out LOCKDOWN AND getting it all to rhyme – simply brilliant!”

“Another excellent selection of very emotional, graphic and personal sonnets. They really bring to life what people within our prisons are going through personally and their worries for their friends and families during these very difficult times. The writing talent of everyone involved has been outstanding.”

 

Sonnet Two

(Untitled)

During these uncertain times
Its hard to think of anything that ryhmes
Locked up all day, no end in sight
The way we’re treated is just not right
All we hear is we’ll see what we can do
They don’t seem to care that we’re in this too
We all have friends & and family at risk
So bare that in mind when we have to put up with this
A bit of understanding would go a long way
Instead of poor atitudes each & every day
In this time of darkness, show us some light
Remember we’re all human at the end of each night.

 

“A very heartfelt plea for compassion in strange times. Written in couplets, this piece really asks the reader to take stock of their attitude.”

“Powerful! The feeling of being treated with so little value- no consideration of the impact under a more restrictive regime, along with the unimaginable pain in not being able to see friends or family? We are not all in this together!! A true talent- excellent piece.”

““Remember we’re all human at the end of each night” A plea to think and treat prisoners as people.”

“A sense of feeling forgotten, we are all human”

“There is a real plea here for understanding of not just the situation they have been placed in, but the fact they have families too who may be at risk. No sense of togetherness here at all, more like alienation.”

“I read all of these through and then had to return to them and take my time to read them individually and aloud to myself. When reading them I felt the emotion arise in me and I found it hard not to let my voice crack , my throat was tight with tears. The power of every personality came through and took me on a journey of anger, sadness, kindness, love, despair, humour, fear….. it was moving, touching and thought provoking. I feel deeply privileged to have been allowed access to these words and poems. ”

 

Sonnet Three

Locked Up in Lockdown

Whilst were locked down in in this small town were we are all strangers and everyone frowns. Ror no one has seen times like these oh what a joy for the birds and the bees. As there is no rec, visits or even gym I dont even know where to begin As we hope dream and chase our tail its a really hard time to be in jail for those not religious I ask you to pray and pray that this virus will please go away with only half an hour out of my cell I feel like I am in a living hell when this thing does eventually pass we must not forget our frontline staff our doctors, nurses and even our screws lets make sure we beat these coronavirus blues always remember your hand hygiene and social distancing until the vaccine. So when this is all over and the human race prevails always do your best to stay out of jail!!
#Locked up Down poem

 

“A hopeful piece but doesn’t shy away from honestly expressing the frustrations of lockdown. The poem benefited from the inclusion of specific information, for example, details of how long you are allowed out your gaff, the fact there is no recreation time. This makes prison life more relatable and humanises people currently inside. I also enjoyed the free flow of this piece.”

“I loved the analogy of the prison being a small town filled with strangers. The brief joyful thought of being as free as a bird or bee is cancelled out by the reality of even less freedom during lockdown. The opening is calm and structured but the feeling of powerlessness is perfectly captured as the writing becomes freeform and the stream of consciousness culminates in his analogy of existing in a living hell. Yet, even, then, the writer turns to care and concern for the frontline staff and the prison officers before the optimism of the final line leaves us all hopeful for better days to come.”

“This sonnet has given me the best insight so far from weeks one and two of the total isolation of being in prison during lockdown. We are complaining about our situation but with only 30 minutes out of the cell and in a harsh hostile environment I can only begin to imagine what this is like.”

“#LockedUpDown evokes a sense of the living hell of being locked in, locked up and locked down, and from which there is no reprieve or respite. It ends, however, with a heartbeat of hope that this too shall pass.”

“This is a dark poem, but not without shades of light. It is a warning and a reminder of outside’s blessings. Very good.”

“I feel uncomfortable scoring the poems as I think they all provide individual messages written from their heart, their experiences, their personality, their literacy, their communication style, their emotional make-up. I think they all represent the loneliness, isolation, despair and frustration at the current lockdown conditions within a prison environment, yet they also provide hope, meaning, insight, philosophy, humour, empathy, compassion and thoughtfulness.”

 

Sonnet Four

The Lockdown in Jail

Well its all just got a bit too real.
Now the rest of the world knows how we feel!
Being locked up just ain’t no fun.
Why did I go out and use that Gun!
Everyone is anxious and taking their own private panic attack.
Though its much worse in 3rd world countries like Iraq!
You see them beating people for not being far enough apart.
Sometimes I think the fuckers just don’t have a heart!
So remember that when we’re going to complain.
Otherwise you might just end up gong Insane!
I guess I deserve it for doing a crime.
What, comes on to fuck, I’ve done ma time!
So be calm, settle down and have a thought for others.
If we all do that, one day we’ll all get to see our brothers!

 

“A terrific opening couple of lines. Really draws you in as a reader. You are absolutely right – lockdown is the closest thing to being inside that most people will ever get. I think the reader will also get a lot from seeing you wrestling with the consequences of your actions. Of trying not to make excuses. This is something we all struggle with in our lives – its just most people don’t get caught!”

“This piece had strong rhyming couplets which conveyed the author’s thoughts in a steady lyrical fashion. He shows understanding and remorse for whatever crime he committed and shows empathy for those that have it worse in Iraq. He expresses an element of frustration (“comes on to fuck, I’ve done ma time!”) but ultimately requests we all “calm, settle down and have a thought for others”.”

““You see them beating people…” This line broke my heart….”

“Taking the wider perspective and identifying that there may be others worse off, despite the current situation. Able to see the bigger picture whilst bringing it back to family.”

“This one made me smile ! Some really serious points made here about the plight of others in lockdown around the world but also an acknowledgement that what I did has made me end up in here . I hope whoever wrote this is filled with self-worth at writing such a brilliant verse.”

“Of them all, my preferred two are sonnets 2 and 10. For Sonnet 2 the poem spoke to me from the depths of someone’s pain at being treated with a lack of humanity, and I resonated with the call for being viewed as a human, not a label, a number or an inconvenience. I enjoyed sonnet 10 as I liked the metaphor of the wind, and in particular the line of “our freedom lies within our minds”. Such insight of how to build the frame for ultimate acceptance, confidence and self-realisation. ”

 

Sonnet Five

Untitled

Co’vid 19 fuck, this is a bastard,
let’s make jail hooch let’s all get plastered,
23 hour lock down need the excitement,
let’s all smash up take another indictment,
corrupted screws throwing sickies are worse,
trying to steal some doe fae the public purse,
got us all locked down,
loving our frustration,
in a 2 man cell no masturbation,
come on to fuck boss that’s no fair,
let us all out we’ll be out yer hair,
promise I’ll stay 2 metres apart,
or I’ll smash right up just take the cart,
when I dream of getting out though my dick gets bigger,
or is that from all the wankin down the digger
at least this lockdown’s good for something,
keep this up I will punch your cunt in,
I put that last complaint in but yous did not want to listen,
In the govvnors fuckin face I have just started fucking pishin,
for how much fucking longer will I be behind my door,
I need some fuckin spice but just cannot get out to score,
for how much fucking longer do you think I will be quiet,
I swear to fucking god Im just about to start a Riot,
How much exercise? Not even half a fuckin hour,
Cant get on the phone,
Cant even get a fucking shower,
Don’t you fuckin dare insinuate I am a liar,
I do not give a fuck I’ll fucking set the place on fire,
We’re about to kick right off you cannot fuckin blame us,
So I’ll write this fuckin ryhime and stick it up in your fucking anus.

 

“Absolutely brilliant, This is the frustration that most must feel. I’m sure this person felt better after that. Truly feel the frustration from this one.”

“So full of rage and frustration, I could feel it as I read the poem. Funnily enough there was also humour. This was a challenging poem to read with different shades of dark and light. I felt like I should be shocked by it but I enjoyed reading it. One of my favourites, really well written.”

“I fuckin’ loved this poem – it is clever and honest, raw and angry, frustrated and fearless. I could hear the roar and feel the exasperation tearing through each word, and each line.”

“A difficult read. The frustration of the reality bursts through and is unavoidable in every angry line. Even when clever humour gives relief from the anger, it merely adds fuel to the emotional fire as the poem moves from frustration, through bitterness, infuriation and rage. A creativity filled reality check.”

“I actually cried with laughter at the sheer gallusness of this. We all feel like this sometimes – indulging our desires without thought of the consequences. Resisting authority, breaking the rules. I suspect this is a pretty authentic expression of who you are, so would gently advise you stay off the spice as it’s a loada shite. Keep writing.”

“The rage in this sonnet is palpable but brilliantly executed. It can be rough reading but I thought it was remarkably constructed with the rhyming couplets and fierce cadence. It is frightening and raw and I couldn’t take my eyes off it even when the language made me wince. Utterly brilliant.”

“The desperation and frustrated language permeates here. Sixteen “fucks” puts this into JCC ‘Evidently Chickentown’ territory. You get a real sense of the impact the pandemic has on residents, and some home-truths about life in prison keep the reader remain engrossed throughout.”

“Wow! Anger, frustration and honesty to the fore. How incredible to be able to put these feelings to rhyme.”

“This sonnet sends shivers down my spine. The hurt is palpable, the anger raw, the search for normality clear, the ask to be respected needs to be heard. ”

 

Sonnet Six

ARGH TEABAGS

Think of them as u stare into the blue
Often seldom thot about in this same old view
Education + PT, man I miss that sh*t
Never will I say I slept in!
Lookin forward to the norm, whatever the hell
That is.
Tell all the tutors theve been missed during the fuck*n virus
Bet you, like me often take this for Granted!
I seen the news mate, old folks proper stranded.
Yeah it seems our modern times not a soul is free. In years to come, hope the old-yins nae me.
Lets build bridges to people we don’t really know, and if you love her, go – on let it show.
We never really think that much of our NHS
When they got our meds bro, man there the best
We see the nation fighting this faceless foe
Let’s pull our shit together man wash it down the plughole.
Soon our daily regime and everything we do.
Will be back but for now
Mind get teabag’s
Sit in yer gaff lets have another brew

 

“Love the reach out in hope for a better future in this one. The simple things in life are missing but hey let’s get a cup of tea – genius”

“An appreciation for underappreciated experiences and people has heightened the writer’s gratitude for what was the norm before, whilst he acknowledges that no one knows what the norm will be for any of us in the future.
His wish that old folk have their freedom in the future and that we should tell those we love that we love them has a gentle simplicity. His direct call to action of washing everything that has been negative in the past down the plughole grounds the poem in reality and the homeliness of , despite the chaos that surrounds everyone just now, sometimes a cuppa is all we need!”

“Argh Teabag – loved the imagery in this – of being stranded in a liminal space, sipping tea, and waiting for things to pass, all the while reaching a new found sense of appreciation for what matters.”

“This is probably my favourite of the bunch. Very precise use of language. I enjoy prison poetry that focuses on what we all have in common. That shows people in prison have the same thoughts, dreams and anxieties as everyone else. It breaks down the myth that there is any great difference between people on the outside and the inside. You have a talent that I hope you will continue to develop and nourish.”

“Excellent use of rhyme. Very vocal, and a call to arms. Liked the way the poem winds up – a very Scottish way of handling adversity.”

 

Sonnet Seven

A Prisoner’s Defiance

We are fine with committing crime,
For it is our endeavour,
For some it brings luck,
For others, its treasure
Sometimes its business,
Most often its liesure,
But one thing’s for certain,
It is always a pleasure.

Ive paid visits to “being up”,
Played host to “being down”,
But whilst up, I strut,
With a felonious frown,
Some day I’ll make break,
And escape,
From this treacherous town,
With envy and regret,
Sketched all over,
Those sceptical brows.

My thoughts are aloud
Like those from a spectators crowd,
From a time gone by,
When such crowds were allowed,
Glastenbury, Creamfields,
And transmit alike,
Now we’re all locked down,
Till no transmittions in sight,

Politicians on the news,
Mixed policies and views,
Can leave us somewhat confused,
As to just what do to?

This virus is mysterious – a virtual “perhaps”,
It’s brushed aside Olympic games,
Touched Prime Minsiters in pass,
But it won’t conquer you,
And that theres just a fact,
Cause you were born to survive,
And survived to adapt.

It just all seems so dramatic,
Scaremongering tactics,
The quarentined panic,
Fanatic and frantic, to the highest disorder,
Grabbing hold of your souls,
And the fear that you foster.

I shall sneeze,
I shall cough,
I shall splutter at will
For am I even criminal,
If I don’t go for the kill?
I will live life free,
From the confinements of guilt,
As I doze off to sleep,
In my bed, clutching quilt.

“I know a lifer who often says that once that door is shut then it’s only you and the area in your head that exists. This poem made me think of him again today. There is an awareness of what is happening, who it can affect, and a reflection upon previous endeavours of the writer, as well as a reflection of the possibilities to come…uplifting.”

“What a wonderful piece. It truly captures those making decisions and the ripple effect of uncertainty. Wanting a different way of life. A true gift being able to write in this manner.”

“Brilliant, just wish I didn’t need to put a score next to it.”

“This was a story, but was it the story of the individual or the virus as a person? So many ways to interpret this. I also got a sense of disbelief and suspicion when I read it, it felt very much of this time. Really well done.”

“This was a very intelligently written poem. The author seems to be sneering at the reader’s stereotyping or assumptions on what he is. A clue in the verse that describes his desire to escape from “this treacherous town, with envy and regret” suggests there’s more to the story. I was intrigued by this because I feel the author leaves you hanging, having not told the full backstory whilst he sleeps in prison “clutching quilt”.”

“This is, by quite a long way, the most technical poem of the bunch. Real attention to rhyme schemes and making those work whilst not sacrificing the tone or integrity of the writing. You’d probably get a lot out of writing rap, if you don’t already.”

“This is both excellent social commentary and personal effect. The impact of social distancing, the confusion of political leaders, the events which have been paused; and then that semi-rap of “dramatic / tactics / quarantined panic” flows brilliantly.”

 

Sonnet Eight

Covid19 Mantra

“Crook your arm if you cough
This virus is serios its no laugh
Socal distance is the one
Even sat out in the sun
Two meter spread is the way
To help stop this spreading everyday
Don’t touch your face
And wash your hands is the
Mantra off these lands
So please take note of this appeal
Help fight this virus that’s the deal
So now you have heard this spraff
Do you think its all a laugh”

 

“NHS Poet Laureate stuff. No messing – straight as an arrow. A square-go in thirteen lines.”

This is a short to the point Sonnet, a challenge not just to the writer but to all to take things seriously, it’s not a joke don’t laugh!

“Every day is a learning day – I had to look up the word “SPRAFF”, not a term that I am familiar with, although probably guilty of spraffing myself. This encapsulates all the requirements of lockdown and the rules to be followed whilst also challenging those who think the rules do not apply. I would send a copy of this one to Boris and Dominic Cummings…”

“Brilliant! This could honestly be used as a public health advert.”

“I liked the punchiness of this one. It is memorable and could be easily learned off by rote… this could be used in advertising media to illustrate how to behave in the pandemic. Goodness knows there are a lot of folk that still need telling! ”

“A direct appeal by the writer to not underestimate the seriousness of the virus despite the seeming simplicity of the instructions to avoid its spread. There’s a parental tone running through the narrative, almost as if the writer is appealing to a child to stop seeing the situation as a joke.”

“Great selection of poems displaying many talents which make it particularly difficult to rank a favourite. However, when push comes to shove I ranked 9 my highest!! I especially liked the rhythm and beat within the lines of the poem – and unsure of the correct terminology but found the strong visualisation and solitude of the firm plastic chair very powerfiul.
The poem has a dark humour and makes me reflect on how the world is continually told how to feel , to be buoyant, positive and that we can’t wait to reunite with others. This ends with a great last of all the poems: ‘A content misanthrope’. Please pass my gratitude to all the poets for sharing their work. Bravo!”

 

Sonnet Nine

Gallows Humour

So I sit here alone
on my firm Plastic Chair
The Whole World outside
Sinks into despair.

An invisible enemy
Making War on us all.
not quite the end We expected at all.

The Scientists named it Covid 19
The deadliest Plague the Worlds ever seen.
An innocuous title, Im sure you’ll agree
for a bug That intends
To Wipe out you and me.

Like Bubonic Plague, and Ebola Combined
it’s insidious purpose, The end of Mankind.
So I sit here alone
On my Chair in This Jail.
For once glad The Fiscal opposed my bail.

I dont want my freedom
And dont have much use for hope
I just sit here alone
A content Misanthrope.

 

“Just love this one, as I can see myself sitting on that chair, my safest times was in my cell. I feel this one most.”

“Rich language and wonderfully crafted ponderings throughout, the direction of the poem is a clever and astute one, especially when the poet states “For once glad the Fiscal opposed my bail”.”

“I loved the vivid and imaginative language used throughout here, especially coupled with the “Gallows Humour” that ran throughout. The misanthrope content in the situation that most want to leave, cynically dismantling the innocuous title of the virus with its seismic impact worldwide and its “insidious purpose”. Really powerful and intelligent writing.”

““a content misanthrope…” Gallows Humour – an apt title – I loved the irony of this poem, the talent is breathtaking”

” ‘So I sit here alone/on my firm Plastic Chair’: I like this poem a lot. The way it repeats the image of the narrator in the present tense – ‘I sit here alone’ – emphasises his aloneness and his resignation, acceptance, even gladness at being separated from ‘The Whole World outside’. The use of capital letters is interesting: it gives his ‘firm Plastic Chair’ a weight and presence that the material belies. Even though it’s plastic, and (presumably) uncomfortable, it’s strong, it’s holding him. There is a clarity and resolve in his voice. He is not seeking to be heard, so much as listened to, yet content to be forgotten. This one made me think. ”

“Great writing. If it was a proper poetry slam, being judged by peers, this would undoubtedly win by quite a long way. You demonstrate a firm grasp of language and the confidence to deploy it without fear of judgement. Keep going! Fuck the haters.”

 

Sonnet Ten

IN THE WIND

In the wind blows in time with everything else in
the wind blows in time with its self

Now here we are we are lockeddown tight its on our
minds all day all night. Yet dont despare we
will all be fine our freedom lies within our
minds yes memorys of those’s we love in
hours of time and time to come

Will we look back on what was done the souls
we lost the brave the strong

Our worlds now changed and some where
blessed there lives intwined with NHS
Now looking back in memory what did we learn from yesterday

In all the things we see and find did all our
hearts skip beats in time and

in the wind blows in time with everything
else in the wind blows in time with its self
So life in the wind it lives like we breath we
just need to learn to walk in the breeze
In The Wind

 

“This poem made me think really hard. It’s a reflective poem, with layers and depths beneath the well chosen and positioned words and metaphors, which I felt compelled to read and re-read. It is all at once solemn, soulful and strong.”

“Our freedom lies within our minds” – Breathtaking.”

“The rhythmic pulse of the opening and closing stanzas frame this clever piece of writing perfectly; almost like a meditative chant recited by the writer. The reality of lockdown; the memories of those we have lost and all that will never return is the reality of the middle verses as the mood intensifies before the calming chant returns, urging us to “learn to walk in the breeze”.”

“A calming flow of words and imagery, capturing the essence of ‘learned lessons’ and ‘moving on with life’. Beautiful rhythm to this piece.”

“Dylanesque, with a touch of Joni Mitchell. Lovely.”

“I love the unusual flow of this poem, the way it takes you along in one breath that doesn’t really make sense but kind of does as well. For example, the lines ‘yes memorys of those’s we love in/ hours of time and time to come’ don’t make literal sense but resonate deeply with a sense of emotional disconnection and connection. This poem’s fragmented musings evoke a powerful sense of loss and living in the moment. ”

“This piece was beautifully philosophical. The author acknowledges all that is happening around him but, like Bob Dylan said, the answers are blowing in the wind!”

Once again having read though all of todays poems from the men on remand in Glenesk Hall in HMP Edinburgh and considered all of the judges comments it is almost a travesty that we had to score each of the poems at all because they were all fantastic and a credit to the writers themselves. The raw, powerful emotions conveyed by the men so creatively throughout the pieces I’m sure, as with the judges themselves, take the readers on a voyage of challenging feelings and discovery.

That said we did, as part of the role of being a panel, score the poems and our top three for this week are.

Our winners are:

1st Place – Sonnet 9 / Gallows Humour 

2nd place – Sonnet 10 / In The Wind 

3rd place Sonnet 7 / A Prisoner’s Defiance

Congratulations to our winners and a massive thank you to all of our authors who have selflessly provided a banquet of authenticity for us to absorb this week.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the First Time Inside / Hidden Voices blog today, we hope you found The Saughton Sonnets as powerful, challenging and uplifting as we did ourselves. Apologies if your own particular favourite didn’t win todays competition but I’m sure you will agree there are no losers on display here today.

First Time Inside would like to take this opportunity to thank the writers for trusting us to share their talent on our Hidden Voices platform as well as the staff at HMP Edinburgh and Scottish Prison Service for trusting us, whilst sharing the content, to respect the residents and the environment they currently find themselves living in and a massive thank you to our extensive panel who made todays output possible by volunteering their time to contribute to an initiative which we hope will offer many food for positive thought.

Over the course of the next two weeks – always a Friday, always 8am – we look forward to sharing the creative talents of more of the men from HMP Edinburgh, they have a lot to live up to given the quality of the work shared so far.

If you would like to enquire about advertising with, sponsoring output or supporting the work of First Time Inside / Hidden Voices contact us at [email protected]

Have a wonderful weekend, stay safe, follow the Govt. guidelines and take a moment to reflect on the experience shared by the courageous men of HMP Edinburgh today @FirstTimeInside out.

 

 

You cannot copy content from this site.