Deliberate Indifference

  Deliberate Indifference Rev. M. Seishin Cádiz   From a small cell, I witnessed the country being brought to standstill. Like a slow-moving train wreck, the COVID-19 virus spread, infections and deaths increasing daily. In an attempt to slow the spread of contagion and save lives, guidelines were provided and a stay-at-home order given. Across […]


  Sadness A. Kevin Valvardi   A large bag of assorted beads that a former neighbor, and native brother, once described as “sadness,” at a time when uncertainty crowds my restless thoughts. I spend several weeks sorting through the mountain, separating them by size and color, removing bits of dried sage and broken strands of […]


    Masthead   Editors Alejandro Varela, Alexandra Watson, Crystal Yeung, Joey De Jesus, Temi George Copyeditors Minahil Akbar Khan, Zavi Kang Engles Print Designer Jonathan Chiu Web Designer Ingrid Pangandoyon Graphic Designer Mina Seçkin Social Media Manager imogen xtian smith  


  Acknowledgments   We would like to acknowledge the work of the many volunteers who helped us communicate with writers and artists and who helped to edit and develop their work. We want to give a special shout out to Emily Nonko, who facilitated the connection between Apogee and Empowerment Avenue / Prison Renaissance, and […]


  Contributors   A. Kevin Valvardi is an artist and writer who has been writing poetry since age nine. As a former member of San Quentin Prison’s Journalism Guild, he has written a number of articles for the San Quentin News. His poetry and stories have appeared in 580 Split, Unknown Sky, Iron City Magazine […]

Apology Hour with the Sweet Hotel

  Apology Hour with the Sweet Hotel ​​Demetrius “Meech” A. Buckley   A diagonal precision of a caller’s vigilance, remote distinct voice whole like bloom. I’m sorry for being Black. Sorry I became too much of a nigga when thrown into a systemic pipeline meant for observation. I’m sorry if I made a falling look […]

Next Time

  Next Time Maurice Reed   Invisible Killer, thrive inside Industrial prison Complex. 2020 is a blur friends die Weak Immune Systems fight. Incarcerated men treatment as rocks in tread of superior shoes. cries for respect ignored 24 hours caged behind doors 24 bleeds into 48, 192 hours still no shower All hope lost in […]

First Love

  First Love Chana L. Woods   Out of wedlock… I carried you… Who would’ve thought I’d become a parent at such a young age… A child with a child… People turned with evil eyes… But with you inside me, I still held my head high… Well, truthfully, I tried… Scared to be judged… Scared […]

Letter to Dad

  Letter to Dad Felix V. Sitthivong   In the fall of 2019, I was accused by prison administration of helping to organize a work/hunger strike at Clallam Bay Corrections Center in Washington State to protest the discrimination and unjust treatment of prisoners.  My door kicked was in. I shackled and thrown on a bus […]