Thank the Bloom: 2023 Prison Writing Awards Anthology

Thank the Bloom: 2023 PEN Prison Writing Awards Anthology is a testament to the power of this kind of community collaboration. Inspired by past lovers, current partnerships, old family dynamics, and steadfast friendships that both transcend prison walls and persevere within them, this anthology illuminates the ways in which art cannot survive without community care at its core. Using poetry, memoir, essay, fiction, and drama as their mediums, the writers featured in this anthology fight to create means of connection. And yet these themes defy genre, turning this anthology into something else entirely: a deeper exploration of self, of power, of institutionalized racism, of systemic isolation, and of the beauty that can be found in a garden bed.

Cover art by John Vasquez Mejias.