Visiting Time

Visiting Time


by Various Authors

Pages: TBA
ISBN: 978-1-913212-00-1
Dimensions: 210 x 140 mm
Publication: Fall 2019

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From the inmates of Shotts prison, an accretion of voices not unlike the sounds erupting from the fiddles, flutes and guitars of musicians you might find playing in a Glasgow bar, only these disparate voices are not musical. Instead, a finely tuned array of words expressing thoughts and emotions procured from their writers’ time in prison: “Porridge, a breakfast people make in pots./But I’m doing porridge here in SHOTTS.” In one of the prose pieces, a grandfather pretends to his visiting grandson that he’s a secret agent on his final mission signalling to the reader his retirement from crime; in another, there is the ongoing concern for an elderly father at home with senile dementia: “... he’s ducking behind the curtain ... I don’t know if I can cope with this today.” Haiku and longer poetic forms capture the interminable frustration of being inside and the effect this has on the human psyche: “Go off the rails/End up in the cells/Apply for bail/Application fail// Back to jail/howl and wail.” One reflection on the emotional difficulty of being transgender in a system that does little to offer support adds poignancy to an anthology that is already thrumming with humour and attitude.