Author Archive: Prison Books Collective

Words of Fire 9 is Out!

We are excited to announce that we finally published the 9th edition of Words of Fire, our semi-regular ‘zine of writings, drawings, and poetry by people in prison!! Words of Fire 9 Cover

It was actually completed in May 2017 and we’ve been sending it into prisons for the past year. We’ve just been slow to post it on our website. It includes some great poems and essays, along with beautiful drawings!! Although many of the submissions are from North Carolina and nearby states, our cover image was drawn by someone from a prison in Oregon!

We are incredibly grateful to all the authors for sharing their work with us. We also owe a huge thank you to the dedicated students from Criminal Justice Awareness and Action at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They spent the 2016-2017 school year typing up, proofreading and then laying out Words of Fire 9. Check CJAA out on Facebook as well.

Check out past issues of Words of Fire, along with a print-ready version of WOF 9 on our projects page.

Fundraiser at Ben & Jerry’s Chapel Hill April 19, 2018

It’s time for ANOTHER benefit at Ben & Jerry’s in Chapel Hill!

What: Fundraising Event for Prison Books Collective!! Help us send free books to people locked in North Carolina and Alabama prisons!
When: Thursday, April 19, 2018, 12-10 pm
Where: Ben & Jerry’s, 102 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
How it works: You come in to buy a frozen treat (both dairy and non-dairy available!). We get a portion of the sales! We’ll also have a donation jar. It’s just that easy!
The one in April of last year a HUGE success. We raised $444 with your help!

Facebook event:
Bring yourself! Bring your friends! Spread the word!

Prison Books Fundraiser April 19 and Ben and Jerry's Chapel Hill

Back to only accepting specific genres

After a couple months of accepting ALL books, we are now back to ONLY accepting soft cover books and only certain high-demand genres. Please check out our book donation page for more about what we’re looking for.

Wondering what all those books were being collected for? It’s a benefit book sale a group of UNC students (Student Chapter of the American Library Association) has been organizing for many years. Last year they raised $750 for us, the prior year it was $1,500!!! Help make the book sale a success by spreading the word!

Benefit Book Sale: April 3-5, 9 am to 5 pm, Davis Library on the UNC campus (208 Raleigh St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514). On Facebook.

Want some ideas of the sorts of books we’re currently accepting? We have a new Amazon wish list that has some example books that we’d like. It is far from an exhaustive list. And having this list is not an endorsement of the retail, consumer monster that is Amazon, it’s just a convenient place for us to let you know what we’d like! Note: we prefer that you order items to your home and then bring them to a workday. If you’re not located in the area, we have a gift mailing address, but we can only accept items ordered directly through Amazon (not 3rd party sellers, which is where used books usually come from). If you’d like to order used books and need them delivered, email us ( to make arrangements.  Do NOT mail books to our workdays address or our PO Box. We can’t receive packages there. Thanks!

Dec. 25th, Annual Christmas Caroling at Central Prison

Christmas Caroling at Central Prison (2015)

Christmas 2015 outside Central Prison

Monday, December 25th, 10 am Christmas Caroling outside Central Prison in Raleigh. Meet under the railroad trestle off W. Cabarrus St.

Wake up early on Christmas Day and show people in Central Prison that they’re not forgotten! Bring drums or other noise makers if you have them! The more noise we make, the more likely people on the inside will hear us!

This annual event is organized by the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House. Meet at 10 am under the railroad tracks off W. Cabarrus St. The best way to get there is turn onto S. Boylan Ave from Western Blvd, then left on Dorothea Dr, and park just after the street turns to the right. Here’s a link to the meeting spot on a map.