I was born in the nation’s capital in 1943. Education was not my first priority and reading was virgin territory for a kid who has been kicked around most of my life.
I went to reform School in 1959, alias “Six Basement,” and prison several times for bank robbery. In 1983 in federal prison I learned to read and got my G.E.D. A whole new world of literature opened up to me. I read everything I could get my hands on and years later I started to write.
Now 65 years old, again in prison, (damn banks), I write with a passion. The PEN Prison Writing contest kept me motivated to enter each year, among other endeavors. There have been many rejections, a few honorable mentions, and a lot of revisions.
Before “Six Basement” I was in the PEN mentorship program. My mentor was honest about my writing and told me what was good, what was wrong, what needed improvement; made suggestions; and answered questions. More than anyone else she gave me insight into my writing. I learned much from her.