George T. Wilkerson on Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row


Hi torch. Thanks for joining us today. I wanted to start by just asking you how you are I know the conditions are really fraud in a lot of prisons during the pandemics. I'll have things ben for you. That's a good question I've actually been asking myself that question since the pandemic began so as a writer. You know that's a poem to China. Capture is all these different little pieces and maybe try to bring it together If you'd like to hear it would love to. You don't mind sharing okay. I call this Imprison during Tova Nineteen Myself. Isolating family. No longer visits me. We must keep everyone arms flat in the curve of yearning for connection with strap on masks before exiting fill many of US shelter in place. Instead we switch away from those who call for sneeze the consequences of getting sick as a constant topic of conversation. Everybody knows the terms. Medical inattention only had it or sentences and prison. It's like a love marriage. We disguised a few cleaning chemicals. Get feeling mellow yellow steady green bottles with blue window cleaner pink four so clear incitement. They become contraband. If inside ourselves camouflaged amid our sodas we try not to accidentally drink again. We stockpile wronging coffee batteries. Soap and fantasy money from our families drives up last. Perhaps two months meal takes longer and longer to reach is week. Sometimes if press most of us would admit the feeling increasingly lonely abandoned forgotten nevertheless we check the news all day praying to recognize the names of people victimized while buying toilet paper and then the pandemic began and change some things. I approve. The prison prohibited all visitors. Now my family couldn't visit even if they try next to prison. Clothes ARE BARSHOP. So many of us would like mangy savages. Then the prison issued uniform math. The All of US flimsy black fabric on which we can relax veneers of indifference. We had kittens flexed on our faces to reward for not writing. The prison started playing movies from Netflix. Every day then posted a memo to warn us any non compliance with corona virus restrictions. We'll be punished. That is to get too close to anyone now. It's pay ten dollar five. Plus weeks and the whole the prison is enforcing not just encouraging the social isolation to gauge the mandate spacing. We may stand apart extending our arms toward each other. Fingers may not touch that succeed. The right distance is long Gravy de. That was beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing I really resonated a bad thing just like you know the isolation and the sphere and that constant want to check the news I think is really overwhelming you also I really love the line about. They're trying to reward you not writing and playing net flicks to keep you distracted so glad. You're still finding time to write like that. Think it's important that your documented for sure. 'cause you know one thing. I've seen out there. It's like all this emphasis on the Consequences of all the social isolation. And I've heard a lot of specialists women news on NPR describing just the detrimental effects of just `isolation. And I was like. That's what prisoners go to all the time Even before this pandemic so I wanted to like you know. Create this sympathy between two reader outside of prison than like personnel out of prison and just show like all these things that people can resonate with actually just the everyday way of life in prison and the pandemic just made

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