denis joeMale, 57, United Kingdom(4/3/2006 2:19:00 AM)
I recently spent two-and-a-half months in prison in Liverpool. During that time I worked on 14 poems (sonnets) . What struck me about prison life was how much it was like the outside world: limitations on access to certain areas; the constant need to identify oneself and even the people themselves. The attitude of the cons was, generaly a selfish one and I was seen as being an oddity (at one time i was suspected of being a nonce, which proved temporally hair-raising) .
The sonnets that I wrote, I feel are not prison poems; I think that they can be seen as works concerning everyday life. To an extent I think that this is a sad reflection on society in general but it certainly increased my outlook and hence made better my work.
Inside I recieved a lot of support and encouragement. The 'us and them' situation, between staff and prisoners, was, virtually, non-existant and I was helped with contacts in the local poetry scene (even to the extent of fixing a gig for me at the Philharmonic hall)
I am leaving the Ian Syder works as they are and will not be using that name again to write works though I do hope to bring out a collection of poems that will include the Ian Syder works under my name.