The title of the latest anthology in the “Brothers in Pen” series, Pens Up, Don’t Shoot, arose from the phrase protestors rallied around after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014. So much has happened since then. This book’s first stories began to be compiled in 2015… but due to its editor’s molasses-like qualities, it was not finished until now.
Now it is finished! It’s all done! It’s out in the world! And you can purchase it:
I still want to create an e-book format, but haven’t done that yet; however, it is available in paperback ($20) and hardcover ($27). All the proceeds go to support our program through the William James Association, who makes it all possible.
Our good friend, comedy writer Mike Larsen, wrote a lovely foreword for us, and San Quentin artist Omid Mokri provided the artwork that I think makes a really strong cover image.
Please read it, pass this post along to announce its arrival, and if and when you have feedback, reviews, questions, or interesting thoughts about the stories, please post them as a comment here, or send it along to brothersinpen ••at•• gmail ••dot•• com. Writers love to get feedback.
From the back cover:
Brothers in Pen is the collective name of the writers in an ongoing creative writing workshop at San Quentin State Prison. This book contains selections of fiction in many genres: memoir, creative non-fiction, and some mutant hybrids… the common denominator being story. This is the ninth anthology produced by this class; as with Scheherazade of the Arabian Nights, the stories keep coming and keep enthralling.
Ursula Le Guin said, “As you read a book word by word and page by page, you participate in its creation, just as a cellist playing a Bach suite participates, note by note, in the creation, the coming-to-be, the existence, of the music. And, as you read and re-read, the book of course participates in the creation of you, your thoughts and feelings, the size and temper of your soul.”
The Brothers in Pen invite you to participate in this book.
Table of contents:
Wayne Boatwright: A Deplorables Tale
Kenneth R. Brydon: Rat’s Ass
Noble T. Butler: Comfort Food and Story for Mama
Jose G. Camacho: The Boulevard Show
George “Mesro” Coles-El: The Warning
Micheal “Yahya” Cooke: Extortion, Inc.
Eric “Turk” Curtis: Coming Home
Emile DeWeaver: Dying in the Dark
Arnulfo Garcia: The Tour
Juan Haines: Breakfast with Arnulfo
Michael Calvin Holmes: The Session
Adnan Khan: Saturday Morning
Joseph Krauter: I Never See Her Face
Justin Medvin I Created a Monster; Definition Defined;
Occupational Hazard; The Best High; Caloric Consequences;
James Metters: The Quick Way to Fall
Richie Morris: The Scoundrels
JulianGlenn “Luke” Padgett: The Live Room
Lawrence Udukobraye Pela: My Momma’s Baby
Stu Ross: Space Oddity
Kevin D. Sawyer: Power Distribution
Paul Stauffer: Down by the River
Aly Tamboura: The Trying Game
David Taylor: The Reassurance of Love
Rahsaan Thomas: After Life
Kevin Valvardi: New Brooklyn Lake
Michael Zell: The Protection Policy
Anonymous Public Figure: Born to Hunt
Zoe Mullery: The Easy Chair
A Pictorial History of Brothers in Pen