Hope Walks By Me
On September 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

Poetry and Prose by Ex-Offenders

A Financial Times Book of the Year 2019!!

Selected in the FT by Bonnie Greer, who says of Hope Walks By Me: ‘My seasonal book is Hope Walks By Me (Barbican Press £9.99)–a collection of poetry and prose by the incarcerated. Developed out of writing projects in Hull and across the UK, the works, assembled by the novelist and poet Russ Litten and writer Josephine Metcalf, are clear, direct and powerful. Some are like haikus. All of it is true. You know this, even if you don’t know this truth directly yourself.’

Ex-prisoners in Hull joined together with writer Russ Litten and academic Josephine Metcalf for a series of writing workshops.

Hope Walks By Me gathers the fruits of those months – individual poems by men and women, prose pieces, and ‘Group Poems’. They draw on unique experience – life that twists and turns till you end up locked away – exploring the past, the global scene, the present and the future. Josephine Metcalf sets the work in context with her foreword. Russ Litten joins in, writing three short and striking pieces that draw on his years of being a writer-in-residence in prison, and because we’re all ‘ex-offenders’ in some way even if we didn’t get caught. Here’s a simple taster, a poem by ‘Wally’


I thought of you today,

but that’s nothing new.

I thought of you yesterday,

but that’s nothing new.

And the day before that

and tomorrow too,

I’ll be thinking of you

all through my life,

because I really do miss you.


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