Video: On The Row

On The Row is a staged reading of the stories of 10 men on Arkansas’ Death Row collected over six months in 2016 through in-person creative writing guidance on the Row and follow-up by US Mail.

Pine Bluff Performance

Culminating in a staged reading of their work performed by actors inside the prison and outside for the community

Women Writing

Exploring the art of storytelling/creative writing with incarcerated women since 2012

Project News

Art Raffle For Arkansas Death Row Inmate

Kenneth Reams has been on Arkansas's death row for 23 years, even though he did not kill anyone. Even so, and in spite of his situation, he has used his years on the row to the astonishment of many. He is an accomplished artist whose work has toured the US...

“On The Row” Staged Reading Touring 2018

The Prison Story Project made it's first out of state tour to Boulder, Colorado on Thursday, October 19, 2017 as part of the University of Colorado,Boulder Conference on Community Writing February 8, 2018: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 1000 N. Mississippi Avenue,...

We’ve Been Busy…

After the executions, some of the men on death row at Varner Prison in Arkansas organized their own creative writing project after we left and have asked us for assistance in continuing to share their writing with the public. The have named their creative writing...


Stories From the Inside Out...was...incredible. Amazing. Moving. Touching. So many adjectives and they are all inadequate. The women's words have been turned into an exquisite performance by five actresses. They touch a truth and authenticity that is so moving - one moment hilarious, the next horrifying, the next inspiring. You will leave inspired by the new life and resurrection these women articulate.

Lowell Grisham

Rector, St. Paul's Episcopal Church

I have attended both prison stories project performances at St. Paul’s, and I think they are some of the most powerful performances I have ever seen. I am struck by the fact that the women creating these stories face so many problems that stem from domestic abuse. As director of the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter, I see our clients face many of the same struggles and barriers to a healthy and productive life. This is such an empowering project, both for those women participating and for all of us as an audience. Melanie Palmer

GPC, Executive Director, Northwest Arkansas Women's Shelter

Several of my students attended the most recent Prison Stories event. I notified them of the event because they had an assignment they could use it in conjunction with. So far, the feedback is pretty moving. Several of them even shared that the event changed their perspective on individuals who are incarcerated from “they are a danger to society” to “they are people with stories and experiences.” I felt I needed to pass that along. I am proud of the work that you do in our community and very thankful for you.

Carly Franklin

Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Arkansas

Thank you to the Prison Story Project for existing. This last performance was the 3rd (or 4th?) time I’ve had the opportunity to empower these women by voicing and valuing their lives through the performance of their brave and beautiful words. I wish everyone could be in my shoes during the prison performance when the healing power of art is almost tangible in a small, cinder-blocked room filled with 100 women in yellow. Thank you to the NWA audience that turned out in droves to hear these women’s stories.

Laura Shatkus

Artistic Director and Prison Story Actor, Arkansas Staged