Through Barbed Wire

Through Barbed Wire

At the age of 18, Arnie King was convicted of murder and given a life sentence which he has been serving for the past 35 years. Through his years in jail, King has co-founded and directed various organizations – including Through Barbed Wire – that help youth, parents and educators deal with life in prison and build a life that keeps them out of jail. He has also brought together 20-30 fellow prisoners to write poetry about their experiences and share them with the public. Not to mention the three college degrees he has received while incarcerated.

Mr. King was kind enough to send the following email to

Warm Greetings!

Through Barbed Wire resumed its monthly 4th Friday Prisoners Poetry Reading /Workshops at Dimock Community Health Center’s Detox program in Roxbury last month. (Please see the attached program.) On August 26 from 6:30 – 8:30pm, after a break during the month of July, there was a near-capacity group of 25 clients in attendance, while 3 members of Through Barbed Wire provided poems, mentoring, music, and refreshments. If you would like to join us in the months ahead to read prisoners’ poetry, a poem, essay or brief performance of your own, or would simply like to contribute presence and be inspired, please let us know in advance so that we can arrange for you to gain entrance to the facility. We look forward to seeing you soon. Otherwise, if you’d rather send copies of poems or writings that are relevant to the clients’ addiction and detox issues, we’d love to work with that as well. Please include a brief bio of the writer and your connection with her/him. Send electronic copies to us at [email protected], or postal mail at Through Barbed Wire, PO Box 230417, Boston Massachusetts 02123-0417.

One Love,

The Through Barbed Wire Team

http://www. arnoidking. org


Through Barbed Wire presents:


A 4m Friday Reading of Prisoners’ Poetry for the benefit of

The Clients at the Dimock Community Health Center Detox Program

Friday August 26, 2011, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Introduction and Welcome Dianne Zimbabwe (Through Barbed Wire)


Writing and Writer                                                             Reader and Affiliation


I Don’t Know Why Arnie King, TBW (BSCC)                         Diane Zimbabwe, TBW

Have You Ever R. Pelley (PCCF)                                              “

Am I Crazy                                                                             “

George Whitham (BSCC)                                                       “

No One Can Stop the Rain                                                   Dakota Rowland                                               

Assata Shakur (former U.S. political prisoner)

Untitled (Is this the story of America?)                                   “

 Carol Goldblatt (N.H. State Prison, 1992)

Raices                                                                                 Edwin

Luis Perez, (NCCI Gardner)                                                Francesca


A Place For Me Arnie King, (BSCC)                                       Dakota

O.C. 80 (original poem by Mike Dimock, program client)     Mike

A Big Lie                                                                             Edwin

Mr. Arlis Evans, (BSCC)

Grass Cutting Kevin Costa, (BSCC)                                    Brian

Love First                                                                           Jose, client

Owen Griffin, (BSCC)

Leroy                                                                                  Virginia Knight, TBW

Arnie King, (BSSC)

The Man That I Am                                                                 

Omar ‘Abdullah, (BSCC)

Eighty Years Young                                                                 

Odessa Franks, (Mother of Omar)


Refreshments: soda, chips, Sacred Ground music CD by Sweet Honey In the Rock,

along with Informal Discussions

Through Barbed Wire was created by Arnie King to (re)establish and maintain ties to our communities and to offer and provide genuine service to society. Due to the heavy chains around our hands and feet, as well as CORI and other “stigmas,” such efforts face severe restrictions. These obstacles can be diminished and eventually eliminated, with the virtues of honesty, open-mindedness and willingness flowing through barbed wire into the community.