Stolen: A Letter from a Prisoner Serving Life without Parole

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About Spoon Jackson

Poet/writer/artist/teacher. In prison since 1977. I had two books published in 2010 “Longer Ago Poems by Spoon Jackson” and “By Heart Poetry, Prison, And Two Lives”, a double memoir by Judith Tannenbaum and me. I've been featured in films, plays, articles, books and music suites. I've found my niche in life despite being in prison for over 35 years. I have found that prisons are created internally and are truly found everywhere. I have also discovered that the secrets to break down prison walls are inside each person and I treasure sharing this realness with people. I keep my light glowing through expressing my inner thoughts, vibes and feelings in my poetry and prose writing. Write to me! Address on the blog: Spoon Jackson Realness Network.


  1. Dear Spoon,
    Truly my heart goes out to you. I’m 80 and one of the facts about life that I’ve come to realize is that life is incredibly unfair. And that it takes a lot of luck to get old. My wife and I live near Boston, but I’m now in Omaha and in a Barnes and Noble working on a book I hope to self-publish before the year is out, “The View From 80″
    Stay alive and looking forward with some hope,


  2. Dear Spoon,
    Thank you for this wonderful piece. It’s a reminder for all of us to have compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and others. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. And, as you rightly said, these mistakes don’t define us. What they do is teach us. They teach us how to do and be better, and they also teach us that we don’t have complete control over events and outcomes. Most people assume that they have control over their lives. I believe this is an illusion. A multitude of unknown factors influence our worldview, thoughts, decisions, actions, and circumstances.
    Taking a life was one mistake you made in a long ago moment, likely brought about by a convergence of many factors. The repercussions of that action are still felt by you and others, no doubt. But, I don’t see you as a murderer; I see you as a learner and a teacher. Clearly, you have gained a lot of wisdom over the past 35 years, and you share it through your writing and activism.
    Only someone with an open heart can create the beautiful poetry and prose that you do.

  3. Christine says:

    Thinking here that most of us have said, “if I could turn back time.” But, you have learned, today is the gift. This insight is enlightenment many who live outside of walls have yet to comprehend. Here’s to a life well lived and a world without human cages. Keep writing, Spoon.

  4. Spoon, you have made a great case for forgiveness. It asks that we reach into ourselves and heal the pain and set people free. There is someone I need to forgive, but I am not there yet. Reading your article means I will continue to make my way to forgiveness.

    Best to you Spoon,

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