Illustration by Ariandy Luna
  1. The Exchange: To Our Flags
  2. The Exchange: The Negro Speaks of Dryland
  3. The Exchange: blue is darker than Black
  4. The Exchange: Sans Fleur
  5. The Exchange: Blindspot
  6. The Exchange: Her.
  7. The Exchange: Lint
  8. The Exchange: Reality Check
  9. The Exchange: Caution
  10. The Exchange: Rubik’s Cube
  11. The Exchange: The Path
  12. The Exchange: sTREEtS
  13. The Exchange: Butter
  14. The Exchange: The Bright Side
  15. The Exchange: Concrete to Shoreline
  16. This Empty Cage
  17. Paper Machete
  18. The Exchange: Marketplace
  19. The Exchange: One Year Anniversary
  20. The Exchange: Sunscreen Affective Disorder (SAD) 
  21. The Exchange: Immigration & Culture
  22. The Exchange: Love, Street Cleaning, & Other Myths
  23. The Exchange: An Accent Enters a Room and Says Good Morning
  24. The Exchange: An ode to Oceania
  25. The Exchange: Happy New Year
  26. The Exchange: NEW GROOVE/LODESTAR

“There is something in this empty cage that never gets released,” says Iranian writer Garous Abdolmalekian in his poem Long Exposure. The United States has the highest prison population and incarceration rate per capita in the world. These systems perpetuate harm both during active sentences and even after release. Despite this, writers and creatives have found ways to build community, whether compiling their works in hopes that their stories can eventually be told, or continuing their writings later in life. 

After creating The Exchange, The Weekly began receiving letters from incarcerated poets in response to our prompts. When looking at mass incarceration from afar, it seems like such a large issue to tackle. But publishing the work of incarcerated poets’ can bring freedom to their voices, regardless of where they are physically. 

This section of The Exchange features the writings of currently or formerly incarcerated writers.

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