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Life Behind Barbed Wire
Life Behind Barbed Wire

Life Behind Barbed Wire

Poetry from New York Youth Incarcerated

Foreword by Joy James, Edited by Save The Kids


Poetry Behind The Walls


189 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $9.99 (US $9.99) (CA $11.99)

Publication Date: December 2014

ISBN 9781936900237

Rights: US & CA

Arissa Media Group, LLC (Dec 2014)

Price: $9.99


A continuation of the Poetry Behind the Walls series, this collection provides a space and place for the voices of youth who are incarcerated to critically express their experiences related to the criminal justice system, school system, and their community. Grounded in Hip Hop culture, the writing style throughout the series often reflects non-colonial English. The collection promotes social justice and critical thinking about education, poverty, sexism, racism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, and all other forms of oppression. As a creative outlet and space for expression, this book provides a means for the poets to empower themselves and resist victimization.


"Life Behind Barbed Wire is a courageous publication working at the intersections of art and social justice to give voice to incarcerated youth . . . as they breakdown barriers, wage principled critiques, fill the world with hope, and provide a platform for personal and political expression." —Dr. Jason Del Gandio, author, Rhetoric for Radicals

"Love. Home. Hood. Food. Pain – the only thing that separates the poetry in this work from the poetry of other youth is that these bright minds are incarcerated." —Dr. K. Animashaun Ducre, author, A Place We Call Home

"From genocidal land grabs and enslavement to cointelpro and public policies the late great Derrick Bell once described as having the same impact as 'weekly, random, roundups of several hundred blacks who would be taken to a secluded place and shot,' the voices of those contained in this volume are those meant to have been silenced long ago. That these voices remain able to convey their suppressed strength and beauty inspires a fear matched only by that which is generated when people organize around these ideas, concerns, issues and spirits." —Dr. Jared Ball, author, I Mix What I Like

Author Biography

Save the Kids is a fully volunteer grassroots organization rooted in hip-hop and transformative justice. It advocates for alternatives to, and the end of, the incarceration of all youth. It is based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Joy James is a professor of political science and humanities. She is the author of Seeking the Beloved Community. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.