Our Projects

Free Book Program

This is our current primary focus. Since 2006, we have gotten together every week to open prisoners’ letters, read their requests, and search through our library to find the books they want. We send a wide range of texts, ranging from dictionaries and GED study guides to Grisham novels, Greek philosophy to radical history. Check out this page, for more information about volunteering with us, and this page for more about what sorts of books we currently need.

Zine Catalog

In addition to books, we also make available dozens of “zines,” small booklets on contemporary political subjects like race, gender, direct action, anarchism, popular history, and anti-prison struggles. As we are able to provide multiple copies of these, prisoners are able to form study groups and themselves engage other prisoners in these topics. Study groups like these have popped up in a number of prisons throughout the South. Ideally, these groups can be a catalyst for prisoner organizing on the inside, as well as function as a form of dialogue between radicals on both sides of the prison walls. Latest Zine Catalog.

Words of Fire: Writing and Art by People in Prison

If you live nearby and would like to get involved, and help us publish our next issue, drop us an email at prisonbooks@gmail.com

Starting in 2007 our collective has published prisoners’ art, writing, and poetry in our occasional publication Words of Fire. We printed our 6th edition in fall of 2010.
We published our 7th edition in spring 2013 (print-ready version of WOF 7, and WOF 7 Web Version).
We published our 8th edition in summer 2014 (WOF 8 Web Version and print-ready version of WOF 8).
We finally got our 9th edition published in spring 2017 (thanks to a group of students at UNC Chapel Hill!): WOF 9 Web Version and print-ready version of WOF 9.
We published our 10th edition in summer 2019: Words of Fire 10 Web Version.

Political Prisoner Posters

From February 2010 through about 2014, we hosted a monthly birthday card writing night to send words of solidarity and support to political prisoners celebrating a birthday that month. Through October 2017, a sister project distributed a monthly birthday poster to many groups around the country, who used it during their own card writing nights. The project is on hiatus (effective Oct. 2017). You can view past posters here. In addition, NYC ABC continues to maintain their calendar of political prisoner birthdays as well as a downloadable guide to political prisoners that includes brief bios.

Prison Abolitionist Reading Group

The reading group is currently on pause. If you’d like to help us re-start it, please drop us a line at prisonbooks@gmail.com

In the Spring of 2009, collective members began meeting to plan out a regular prison abolitionist reading group for anyone who is working with our group, or is working with prisoners in some other fashion, or who has done time themselves. Prisoners we corresponded with also started getting involved, reading the same texts and sharing thoughts via the mail. This group met once a month, and covered topics such as mental health in prisons, histories of prison rebellions and organizing, social theory as related to the prison-industrial complex, the economic elements of the prison-industrial complex, and many others.


  1. Pingback: Prison Books Collective has a shiny new website | Birds Before The Storm

  2. supportmariemason

    Marie Mason’s birthday is Jan 26th (not 25th), 1962.

  3. Tashima Berry for Lawrence Smith

    I would like to get books for my brother that in prison. He is interested in suspense and Philosophy books. His name is: Lawrence Smith TDCJ#1594573
    His location is Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591 Amarillo, TX 79107

    1. prisonbookscollective

      Unfortunately we cant send to TX prisons; we only do MS, AL and NC. BUt you can find the address of a similar group in Texas (austin i believe) that will, by just searching for texas or austin books to prisoners…it should come up. good luck!

    2. Ann

      I have just found this site, but FYI on USED BOOKS FOR SALE at Goodwillbooks.com sell a huge amount of books for 1cent. Yep but then more that to ship it I bought from them for years and then they stopped as some prisons send them back. I had to confront them in email several times and then they started sending them to about 4 different prisons. Of course I have to put on a certain box that remove any DVDs or CDs before shipping. Don’t
      let them pick on you, when they rejected sending them I typed a message about how my son looked forward to these books and I thought helping others to be better was part of their mission.

    3. jane.chamberlain@gmail.com

      Tell him to write to Inside Books Project, ℅ 12th Street Books, 827 West 12th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. We respond to as many as 1200 letters per month from Texas prisoners. You can find out more about us at insidebooksproject.org.

  4. John Desmond

    I am trying to get books sent to a penfriend of mine and other inmates who are on Deathrow in Parchman, Mississippi. Please can you advise me how to go about this.

    1. prisonbookscollective

      Hey John,

      Just have them write to us at 405 w. franklin st. chapel hill nc 27516 with whatever kinds of books they want, and we will get it to them!

  5. John Desmond

    Can I just let you know the kind of books he wants as he has already written to me with this information? i.e. fantasy, western or espionage genres. The rules are probably familiar to you: 3 new or used paperback books per package and the sender’s name and address clearly written on the front.
    His name is Roger Gillett # 133700, Unit 29 – J, Parchman, Mississippi 38738.

    Many thanks!

    1. prisonbookscollective

      Cool thanks for the information! We actually just sent him a package of similar books this past week!


  6. John Desmond

    I am not sure if you got my last message but are you able to send the kind of books I mentioned to my prison penpal?

    Thanks, John.

  7. Pingback: February’s Political Prisoner birthdays – write a letter! | Revolution by the Book : The AK Press Blog

  8. Pingback: February’s Political Prisoner birthdays – write a letter! | PRISON RADIO

  9. Melanie E.

    aaaaaaI tried to find a spot to request a book but guess i will do it here. Jessie M Brooks II AIS # 2229517 Dorm B2 Bed 78 B Elmore Correctional Facility 3520 Marion Spillway Rd Elmore, AL 36025 Thank you!!!!!!!

    1. prisonbookscollective

      What kind of books does jessie want? You can also email us at prisonbooks@gmail.com

  10. john

    I’m trying to locate past copies of your words of fire zine publications because now that i have been released i would like to get some of those copies of past zines that i have drawn in….thanks

  11. Ethan lewis

    I run a program from Syracuse NY called books not bombs. We are looking for places to donate our large collection of books and we are wondering about your specific program and needs. We have sent books to prisons before and found it very rewarding.

    Thank you,
    Ethan Lewis

  12. Victoria Cone

    My good friend’s son is in prison in NC…..Without giving his address/opus number which for privacy reasons may not be right, can you reply to me how he can address you for books to be sent to him? I presently wanted to send “The Black Cross” by GREG ILES. I can’t send it myself, which you already know. My email: vcone50@gmail.com. Thank you so much for any information you can give to help me (and my inmate) with this.

  13. Michelle Steaks

    Hi, I’m interested and getting some books shipped to a Mississippi prison that my brother is in right now he’s looking for books dealing with money management, investments, financial planning, etc also if you have any books dealing with business ideas, business ventures large or small doesn’t matter thanks in advance

    1. prisonbookscollective

      Please email us at prisonbooks at gmail dot com

  14. Pingback: “From the top to the bottom” | Amplify Voices Inside

  15. Pingback: Freeing Up Knowledge for the Incarcerated | Upful Vibes

  16. Amber Hunter

    I have a friend who is currently in prison and he has written some amazing books
    that we are trying to get published but arent having any luck because once people find out hes incarcerated they
    lose interest..but they are greatly misstaken because he has a god given
    gift for writing…I just really need some
    help to help get him published can you please respond back to this message or
    email me thank you

  17. Yana

    Interested in signing up my uncle for legal notification/political how do I do that?

  18. Pingback: Words of Fire 8 is Out! | Internationalist Prison Books Collective

  19. javon branch

    My brother wants to publish a book. And want to see if someone can look at what he wrote so far.

Comments are closed.