R.I.P. Jeff Little

20121012_3290Tomorrow, November 15, is our Ninth Annual Public Reading, where twenty Brothers in Pen will read from their work in front of an outside audience of 60 or more.

I’ll post after that event, but one thing we will be doing tomorrow will be honoring the passing of one of our class members who was present at last year’s reading, Jeff Little.

Jeffrey Little was a writer, a journalist, a paralegal, and a legal clerk typist. Born in 1963, he was raised in Maywood, Illinois and moved during his high school years to San Diego, California, where he spent the majority of his life. It was relatively late in life that Jeff came to know writing as something he could enjoy. He also discovered it to be an excellent way to express his anger, pain and triumphs. Jeff Little paroled last year with the intent to write urban fiction that is “a little more substantial and outside the box” than “the usual urban novel.”
We heard from Jeff as recently as last May, when we invited him to participate in a reading at Alcatraz. He wrote:
I have been so busy that I haven’t had any time to do any writing. I am working at Sonic, and I have also recently purchased a vehicle. A 2009 Chevy HHR. I’m living in a Sober Living Home and I’m involved in N.A. and certain other groups. In regards to the May 18 Reading, I won’t be able to attend. My grandfather died recently and I was given permission to leave California to go to Chicago. I won’t be able to leave the county of San Diego until late July. I’m sorry I won’t be able to participate, I would have loved to.
I didn’t hear from Jeff again. Then, just a few weeks ago, we heard a rumor that he had died. I looked online for any information I could find, and all I found was an obituary from San Diego which said the following:

Little, Jeffrey. May 11, 1963 ~ August 23, 2014
Abbey Cremation Service

We don’t know anything about what happened to Jeff, and it is especially sad that his life ended so soon after his long-awaited release from prison. The photographer Peter Merts took some striking portraits of him last year. One of those was hanging at the Alcatraz exhibit and appears in many of the photos taken that day; Jeff’s gaze feels so alive and present as he appears to be looking through the crowd of people attending that event.

We honor his life and his passing.

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About Brothers In Pen

Brothers in Pen is the collective name of the Wednesday Night Creative Writing Class at San Quentin State Prison facilitated by Zoe Mullery.
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