Poetry is the biggest category in the annual Koestler Awards, receiving nearly 1000 entries a year. While art materials can be difficult to get hold of in prison, everyone is entitled to paper and something to write with. Koestler Voices: New Poetry from Prisons – Vol. 1 presents some of the best poetry from the 2016 and 2017 Koestler Awards, with a foreword by poet Benjamin Zephaniah.
When you engage with this publication you are not simply reading a collection of poems, you are going places. These poems are absurd and strange, they are light and heavy, they are intense, intellectual, and playful. They are honest. – Benjamin Zephaniah
The poems in this anthology are compelling human documents, offering a unique insight into the rhythms of life behind prison walls, and imagined vistas beyond. They are as various in shape and mood as the minds that made them. – Sarah Howe