Prison Renaissance


The Renaissance of the 1400s brought the rebirth of reason in Europe, and the 1920s saw the rebirth of African-American art & literature in the Harlem Renaissance and its echoes.

Prison Renaissance began with a group of incarcerated artists who experienced a rebirth of their human values. Artistic expression changed the way they see themselves. Art and education will allow them to help change how other incarcerated people see themselves — as citizens and community builders instead of outsiders and burdens.

We hope that a return to civic duty among incarcerated-Americans will change how the public views its incarcerated population — the largest in the world.

Prison Renaissance publishes an online literary journal of work by incarcerated authors in addition to regular posts on our website. If you'd like to read our literary journal for 2017 click here

Images courtesy of Peter Mertz for Artistic Ensemble


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Prison Renaissance and a Stanford Collaborative Zine

Incarceratedly Yours, issue i is here and will be officially released at our zine launch!

This has been an amazing effort from Prison Renaissance contributors in collaboration with our amazing collaborators at Stanford.

View Incarceratedly Yours here


'Redemption is not just for me' - Op-Ed by Emile DeWeaver

In an op-ed published in the San Francisco Chronicle, co-founder Emile DeWeaver reflects on the meaning of his recent commutation for other incarcerated people and the power of restorative justice.

“People who said they “didn’t care” are admitting to themselves that they both want to care and can be restorative members of their communities. They’re energized to transform their lives; and their transformations can change the lives around them, just as my transformation ripples through the world around me.”

Read the full text here: