Poet, peace activist, cantaloupe connoisseur, and just about convinced I’m a writer. The PEN awards help. Raised in Texas. Childhood was heaven, adolescence hell. Juvenile lifer at age 16 and prisoner of 24 years. Been around the sun 41 times. Two associate degrees and thirty credits away from completing a bachelors before pursuing a masters in conflict resolution as the next step towards a Ph.D. Doing the work is easy—it’s the closed doors that’s difficult. Yet my most sterling characteristics are resilience and perseverance. Raised in the streets as a teen, now working to transform the culture of street crime as a man. Studied real estate during nine years of solitary confinement, bought properties, and began developing a community farm to feed the hungry. A prisoner pursuing dreams in spite of chains. Living my amends. Yes this is I.