Congratulations to the 21 selected entrants published in the personalised Yellow Book for HMP Leicester.
As part of this exciting investment from HMP Leicester, 1,000 copies of this creative wellbeing resource were been printed for use within the prison for both prisoners and staff.
“I am thrilled to support this Big Yellow Book, the first of its kind from a prison. The work within the book has been created by staff and the men of HMP Leicester and is testament to their creativity in all three mediums of art, poetry and photography. I have seen all the entries and was amazed by the talent on show.
The ‘I feel better when’ mantra is vitally important for the men in custody as regardless of what some may think, prison is a challenge and certainly not the holiday camp some would have you believe. As you will be aware from media presentations, self-harm and Self Inflicted Deaths have risen dramatically in prison and therefore any initiative which supports well-being and provides an alternative to destructive behaviours and thoughts is very welcome.”
Phil Novis Governor,
The Selected Artwork & Photography – well done to all!
The Selected Poems – well done to all!
The Assessor Panels:
HMP Leicester Assessor: Beverley Bradshaw-Smith
HMP Leicester Assessor: Alsion Stewart
‘I was privileged to be invited as one of the judges to view the images submitted for The HMP Leicester Yellow Book. The standard of artwork and photography was exceptional. There were no easy choices. Talent and sensitivity combined to produce beautiful visual images. Congratulations to those whose work can now be seen within these pages.’
‘Creativity offers us the opportunity for questioning and adjusting the way we view our world.It can change the way we think in a deep way. Koestler was not wrong when he said “The prisoners worst enemy is boredom and the slow death of thought.” Engaging in the arts encourages thinking. It presents challenges, giving voice to both the individual and the community. Attitudes can be altered through the sharing of purpose and resulting achievements. The ‘I Feel Better When’ works in The HMP Leicester Yellow Book by Rethink Your Mind are gifts from one person to another and remind us all of the talent and potential that can remain invisible if we choose not to look.’
‘Assessing the Yellow Book Art and Photography submissions was quite difficult as the quality was really good and we had to remember the brief, ‘I feel better when’ Initially we shortlisted individually and then came together to jointly assess and discuss what made us feel better. We also tried to see from the perspective of the men in Leicester prison. For me, my part in the first ever prison yellow book was a valuable experience for which I am proud to have been part of.’
Beverley Bradshaw – Smith
HMP Leicester Art/Photography Assessor
‘It was an honour and pleasure to read submissions for The HMP Leicester Yellow Book. The quality and range of ideas and writing made selection very difficult – and I sincerely hope everyone who submitted will carry on writing and creating. Many of the entries we received were not only beautifully written but also sharing messages of real hope and inspiration. I hope the poems featured here will connect with their readers as much as they have with me.’
‘So many different experiences and perspectives were articulated in the prisoners’ poems it made me appreciate a little more some of the frustrations, regrets and hopes that people experience when they find themselves in that situation. I hope that the experience of writing and sharing poetry continues to be of some benefit to everyone involved and the simple pleasure of writing lasts far beyond any period of incarceration.’
‘Reading and selecting poems written by people serving time in prison has been an enlightening experience for me.’
‘I was impressed by the quality of poetry submitted for The HMP Leicester Yellow Book. There was a high standard of reflection around the topic: ‘I Feel Better When’ & I felt those who entered had taken time to explore what makes them feel more positive & connected in life.’
HMP Leicester Poetry Assessor