First of all, for anyone who's curious, to the best of our knowledge Troy's commutation application is still in the governor's office.
In other news, I visited Troy last week and on the way up to see him, I stopped in Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan. The university has a prison creative arts program which last year solicited prisoner creative writing. Troy submitted three poems that made it into the first “On Words: Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing.”
I went to the university on March 26 because they were hosting an event featuring the editors and formerly incarcerated writers reading selections from the book. The guest editor, Joseph Bathanti, named Troy’s poem “The Knitting Birds” as a first honorable mention. Two of Troy’s poems were read, “The Knitting Birds” and “The Prodigal.” (The third that was published, “Awakening,” was published here.)
There were about 1,000 entries and only 30+ writers made it into the book. As Bathanti said in naming his choices for winning entries and honorable mentions, when you get to the level of the writing published in the book, they are all winners, and that is so true, but I have to admit I was proud as a mama bear to be there and see the little extra attention Troy’s poetry got.