Gabalfa Press

writing from the margins

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Arthur Longworth wins first place for memoir in 2017 PEN America Contest

Arthur Longworth’s memoir essay, “How to Kill Someone,” about growing up as a ward of the state took top honor in the 2017 PEN America Contest.  This is Art’s 6th award from PEN America.

How to Kill Someone – PEN America

Arthur Longworth was awarded First Place in Memoir in the 2017 Prison Writing Contest. Longworth Every year, hundreds of inmates from around the country submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic works to PEN America’s Prison Writing Contest, one of the few outlets of free expression for the country’s incarcerated population.

Zek in Good Company on Marshall Project Bookshelf

The Marshall Project is “a nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.”  Their team of journalists also curate a relatively short list of books about criminal justice.  Among the titles are classics such as, A Time to Die: The Attica Prison Revolt by Tom Wicker and newer works such as Michelle Alexander’s, The New Jim Crow.

We’re happy to report Zek: An American Prison Story now sits among these titles, and is currently the only book among them written by someone serving time.  If we’re going to talk about criminal justice, we want everyone at the table. Congratulations, Arthur.  And thank to the Marshall Project for this honor.

The Bookshelf

Books about criminal justice, curated by The Marshall Project staff.

Love and Loss Inside: Navigating Relationships with the Free World

Arthur has had his essay on forming and ending relationships while in prison published concurrently in Vice and The Marshall Project.  It’s a moving piece of writing.

Prison Is Killing My Prison Romance

I’m in the yard, staring up at the concrete-colored clouds, when my last name and prison number erupt from the loudspeaker atop the wall, announcing I have a visitor. She’s here. At the gate, a guard asks why I’m in the yard in the first place if I knew I’d have a visit.


“A close reading of Zek is a mandatory assignment for free people”–The San Quentin News reviews Zek

The hopeful resilient human spirit behind bars

Zek: An American Prison Story (2016), by Arthur Longworth, captures the tedious and mundane, the miserable and disappointing, the irrational and vicious aspects of doing time behind bars. But it also offers keen assurance that, in spite of these highly toxic dynamics, the resilient human spirit retains the ability to hold on to a hopeful attitude.

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