Inspiring creativity and encouraging personal and social change through the arts

The Prison Arts Foundation is as important as it is unique. Thanks to our pioneering work with people with convictions lives are being transformed and patterns of behaviour changed for good.

Our team of experienced professional artists working across the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland are offering people with convictions a life-line, helping to improve their creative and communications skills, which is key to personal and social development, building self-confidence and unlocking people’s potential.

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Writing (Poetry)

Learning To Read

Learning to read, learning to write,

I was full of frustration, I had to get it right,

I was full of confusion; I didn’t feel that bright

I’m not going to lie; I was getting it tight.

Letters from my girlfriend I’d wonder what they say,

They’re coming in the post every other day.

Does she still love me? Is she ok?

I need to ease my mind so I practice every day.

I got a pen and paper, and a few CDs

I blocked out the words and listened to the beats

A mind full of rhythm, I write it on a sheet,

As I think about home the words started to flow,

Scribbles on a page only I’d know,

Each and every day my learning style grows

I never went to school, it could be worse,

I can block out the lyrics and write my own verse

I’d bang on my door, I’d shout and curse.

I was locked up in prison through learning I’d leave

Always be creative and have self-belief

If you put your mind to it, anything can be achieved

As my book opens, my world is revealed.

HMP Magilligan

3rd Prize Short Story Getting Started, Listowel Writing in Prison Awards, 2020

Commended Award for Poetry, Prison Awards, Koestler Arts, 2020

Showcased at John Hewitt Digital Festival of Literature & Ideas, Northern Ireland, Prison Arts Foundation, 2020

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