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‘Writing Within Walls’ by Arkbound Foundation

9781912092161 Prison. It is a word that conjures up loss, bleakness and despair. A place where those who have broken the law are kept, both for punishment and for the safety of society. But behind these images are human stories, accounts of tragic mistakes and broken lives, woven in-between with hope. For those inside prison, it is hope that often keeps them going: for the future, for those they care for, and for the chance to start afresh upon release. This collection of 20 pieces by serving prisoners and people on probation explores the under-side of the criminal justice system – the side that does not make it into tabloids or documentaries. We get a chance to see the stories, thoughts and experiences of those condemned by the courts and, in many cases, by society too. Importantly, we learn how many are repentant of the past; how some are in the midst of their own battles for justice, and how all cling onto hope.

‘An Irish Childhood’ by Mary McCann

9781912092567 Mary McCann invites the reader into the memories of her northern Irish childhood. Mary’s story is a rich depiction of deprived and troubled life in early twentieth century Northern Ireland. Filled with personal trials and struggles, Mary tells the story of how her impoverished life led her to cross the channel, overcome adversity and forge a successful and warm life of her own. This is a very real, raw account of one woman’s struggle in a large, poor, rural Irish family.