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Letters From Prisoners

(BTP has my permission to publish this letter.)
I am writing to say thank you for the books you have sent me over the years. It means more than I can express. I have been locked up since I was 16 years old and through books I’ve taught myself how to read and write. Also with the help of books I’ve avoided a lot of trouble. I’ve opened my mind to new thoughts and ideas. With the help of books I am no longer locked up – mentally I’m free. Thank you once again for your help.
From the Telford (TX) Unit, C—– M—––.

To Whom it may concern,

My name is J**** R****.  I am currently an inmate at the Northeastern Regional Correctional Facility.  I found this address in Theresa Crabtree’s book “Mayan Messages”.  I’m not sure what kind of books are available to send to me, but I would appreciate a couple of books very much.  I have been reading Ram Dass “Grist for the Mill”, but do not have “Be Here Now” and “Journey to the Awakening”, which I would love to read and then donate to the library here.  Also, I have been readingDon Miguel Ruiz “The 4 Agreements”, but do not have “The 5th Agreement”.  I would be interested in anything on these kind of lines as well.  I am open to suggestions.  Thank you very much for donating your time, money and energy to people like me.

 

Dear E.F. at Left Bank Books,
I was elated to receive the books sent by your organization yesterday.  This is just a short note to say “thank you for all that you and your program do for the oppressed”.  I wanted to let you know that you made a very good choice in the selection of literature:  Che Guevara’s Guerilla Warefare – and I especially appreciated the anarchist newsletter “Slingshot”, and the socialist organ “Justice”.  After I sign this note off to you I will be writing them in hopes of getting copies direct from them.  Again, thank you, and keep up the good work.

 

Howdy!

I sincerely hope this missive finds you and yours doing well.  I am writing to request books, glorious books!  I am a voracious reader, and given my current circumstances, unfortunate with my proclivity is to be somewhat discerning in my tastes.  Unfortunate in that the library at this facility contains no more than what one might find remaining at a rummage sale after being picked through all weekend – I sincerely wish that statement was an exaggeration.  Worse still, as I am now housed in segregation (due to acts of self harm), even that meager selection is beyond my grasp.  Though with my overriding interest being “classics”, I had already been disappointed.  Having searched the shelves (a short endeavor) before being locked away, there I found only two books I would consider “classics”, with a possible third lying on the periphery:  Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais, a smallish collection of Greek plays, and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, respectively.  All of which I had long since read, but would have read again given the opportunity.  But I ramble…  So to make short – or at least conclude- this letter, I am requesting  “classics”, my interests defined in descending order by author and title on the reverse, so that, if not able to meet specifics, then at least the gist can be learned.  but, as a beggar I can’t be a chooser, so anything – ANYTHING – would be appreciated that I might turn technicolor these drab grey walls.  Also, as I’m already begging, if you’ve any information regarding pen pal providing organizations, it too would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you so very much.

 

Dear Left Bank Books,

Hi Guys!!  it has been…probably two years since I last wrote.  I hope that your organization is still operating.  I wanted to drop you a line today to share good news and say thank you one more time.

After eighteen plus years, I have finally been granted parole.  I am to go home next week, on 7-26-12.  As I sit around on this last weekend, I wanted to send quick notes of thanks to those who helped to make my incarceration a little bit less stressful.  Left Bank Books is near the top of that list.

I have sent most of your books home, so I plan to use them a lot once I am released.  I was that guy that wanted cook books, and your group came through for me in flying colors!  Some of your books are the best that I have on certain ideas, and I look forward to using them soon.  It was nice to receive little notes along with the books, to know someone cared.  Let no one ever tell you that the work you do does not help people.  I will be forever grateful, and wanted to send along my thanks.  I will keep you all in my prayers, and pray that God continues to bless you all on the good work that you do.

My mom’s address is below.  I will use hers as a go-to until I am a bit more settled.  If I could ever be of-help, please let me know.  Sincerely,

 

Dear Sir or Madam;

I became aware of your organization and it’s vital work recently when a fellow prisoner, R***** O****, let me use his big, beautiful dictionary.  When I complimented him on having such an obviously fine, advanced book, he told me about his own quest in which you sent him his Random House/Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary more than a year ago.  It is his most prized possession here where such a wonderful reference work is rare, indeed.  I am not a professional writer or published author like Mr. O**** is.  I am a reformed, black man earning his GED and trying to improve himself, his life, and his prospects after prison.  If you will consider sending me a dictionary, I will use it often and well.  And with your blessings, I will tell other inmates about your company and it’s compassionate work.  Thank you very much.

 

Hello People.  Hope everyone are doing (good) and are in good health as well.  My names E****** G****.  I have been in the ADC since 1986, and I appreciate any books you send me.  Thank you.  I love you all.