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The legacy of Penned Up: How prison literacy changed my life

28 days ago   |   By The Big Issue

Wiltshire's HMP Erlestoke hosted its third Penned Up festival this March. Held over two weeks, it featured numerous guest speakers from the world of literature offering inspiration, knowledge and creativity to the inmates. One guest speaker was Lord John Bird, MBE and founder of The Big Issue, there to talk about how he went from homelessness, to prison, to the House of Lords. Lord Bird kept his audience entertained with witty anecdotes, conveyed with much gesticulating and a full range of accents.
I was there to report on the talk and along with the other men in the room, I listened...
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