(SAN DIEGO)—Prison Arts Collective (PAC), a collaborative based at San Diego State University dedicated to expanding access to the arts to people who are incarcerated in California, today announced a special collaboration with PEN America on the seventh season of Outside:Inside Radio, the PAC podcast that will air weekly every Friday and Saturday starting February 10th until April 1st on KSPC FM radio, Spotify and Anchor.fm. Each episode will highlight a pair of authors featured in The Sentences that Create Us: Crafting a Writer’s Life in Prison, a collection edited by Caits Meissner, director of PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program. Guests, in order, include Caits Meissner & Spoon Jackson; Luis J. Rodriquez & Louise Wakaai’gan,; Curtis Dawkins & Ryan Gattis; John J. Lennon & Shaheen Pasha; Raquel Almazan & Alejo Rodriguez; Piper Kerman, Zeke Caligiuri & Jen Bowen, and Randall Horton.

The podcast features guest artists who share their personal journeys and advocate for the transformative power of the arts as a human right. It airs on KSPC on Fridays at 9:00 a.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m. PST.

Outside:Inside Radio started in 2020 as a means to expand PAC programming for incarcerated participants during the extensive lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Hosted and co-produced by Kathie L. Foley-Meyer, the podcast showcases artists whose lives have been impacted by incarceration and teaching artists who facilitate programs behind the walls.

The Sentences That Create Us provides a road map for incarcerated people and their allies to have a thriving writing life behind bars—and shared beyond the walls—that draws on the unique insights of more than fifty contributors, most themselves justice-involved, to offer advice, inspiration, and resources.” The season will feature interviews with many of the book’s contributors and provide in-depth discussion on writing inside guidance for the audience on how to create a supportive creative community of writers, including how to obtain a copy of the handbook.

About Prison Arts Collective:

Prison Arts Collective (PAC) is based on the belief that are is a human right and is dedicated to expanding access to the transformative power of the arts for communities impacted by incarceration. PAC facilitates multidisciplinary arts programming and teacher training programs in 12 state prisons, empowering individuals experiencing incarceration to cultivate creative communities within prisons. PAC has supported more than 5000 people in its programs across 15 prisons since it was founded in 2013 by professor Annie Buckley in collaboration with students from California State University and artists incarcerated within California State prisons. PAC is currently based at San Diego State University with chapters and affiliations at Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Humboldt, CSU San Bernardino, and UC Irvine.

PAC is a project of Arts in Corrections, a partnership of the Art Council and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and has received additional funding from CDCR Innovative Grants and the National Endowment for the Arts. PAC envisions a collaborative and inclusive society where everyone has access to the arts to promote wellbeing and empowerment.

About PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program:

For more than five decades, the PEN Prison and Justice Writing program has worked to amplify and liberate the voices of thousands of incarcerated writers through the written word. By providing resources and mentorship opportunities, we help these writers integrate into the broader literary community, both within and outside of the prison walls. For over 30 years, we have also hosted the annual PEN Prison and Justice Writing Contest, in which incarcerated writers are encouraged to submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic works. This past year, we published The Sentences that Create Us: Crafting a Writer’s Life in Prison which we are distributing for free to incarcerated writers thanks to the generous support of the Mellon Foundation. The book has been sent out to over 37,000 incarcerated people.