Caits Meissner and T. Kira Madden

This week’s episode features the editor and a contributor to the new anthology, The Sentences That Create Us: Crafting A Writer’s Life in Prison. This book is at the heart of today’s interview as we explore the power of writing—and how it can set us free, literally and metaphorically. Editor Caits Meissner shares with us PEN America’s mission and vision, and why there’s a Prison and Justice Writing program there in the first place, while T Kira Mahealani Madden shares about how her life has been shaped by prison and what kinds of advocacy work is out there and why it matters.


Caits Meissner’s poems, comics, essays and curation have appeared in a bunch of great publications, such as The Rumpus, [PANK], Harper’s Bazaar, Literary Hub, and The Guardian, among others. She’s the current Director of Prison and Justice Writing at PEN America, and editor of The Sentences That Create Us.

T Kira Mahealani Madden is a writer, photographer, and amateur magician living in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoir, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, and she is the founding editor in chief of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art.

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