Avril Joy


The poetry of prison
With authenticity, poignancy, and humour, Avril Joy gives voice to the lives of women prisoners contained behind walls and bars. Based on her experiences of twenty-five years working in HM Low Newton, County Durham, she explores in poetry and prose the daily going in through locked gates to meet darkness and pain as well as laughter and hope. The style is intense and breathtakingly original.

Publication date: September 2019
Format: Paperback
Price; £6.99


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About this book

This collection is based on Avril Joy’s twenty-five years working as a teacher and senior manager in HM Low Newton,  County Durham. Women prisoners trusted her with their life stories which she transformed into prose and poetry which sings with originality and compassion.


Poetry is a natural place to express the most intense feelings. But for it to work it has to be more than just expression; it has to be transformational…Avril’s poems have that quality. Skomm is an absolutely shattering poem and it’s not going to leave me.
– Clare Shaw