Exchange, Issue 4

drawing of hand holding sun on the horizon

Letter from the Editor

WELCOME to the fourth issue of Exchange, a literary magazine of poems, essays, stories, and artwork exclusively by individuals who have faced imprisonment.

Exchange is a part of the Incarcerated Writers Initiative, an effort launched in 2016 to open the gates of academia and publishing to this historically overlooked and underserved community of creators. Each submission to IWI is given a thoughtful feedback letter and considered for publication in both Exchange and the Columbia Journal. It is our pleasure and privilege to be able to engage with

this work.

In these pages, you will be transported to man’s primordial era and back, led by idealists, autodidacts, and deep thinkers.These works question our nature, grapple with the cycles of violence and tyranny, and answer the call to create with an intentional and driven hand. Exchange is a project of reciprocity and solidarity: it gives voice to those intentionally silenced, while the creators in these pages offer readers the opportunity to expand, to be challenged, and to be moved.

As one of the writers in this edition so keenly declared,“Brick by brick, we dismantle injustice by the power of the pen.” Indeed, this is exactly what Exchange seeks to do.We believe writing is a means of seeing oneself and seeing each other.And in a system that thrives on isolation, participating in this exchange of ideas is an act of love and respect.

Leah Silverman
Editor-in-Chief, Exchange

artwork by Kellen Stuhlmiller (left) and Abigail Cook (right)


Anatomy of a Cell: Four Ways

by Emilio Fernandez


by Adrienne March

The Deindividuation of Inner-City Youth

by Shawn Harris


by Abigail Cook

Inside Blue

by Linda Dolloff


by Jacob Rowan

The Pack

by Will Morgan

Secrets In the Trees

by James Pearl

The Power of the Pen

by L.T. Henning

Mr. Box

by Larry N. Stromberg


by Kellen Stuhlmiller


by William Peeples


by Abigail Cook

‘Twas The Night Before

by Jeffery A. Shockley


by Jakarri Jones

An Interview with American Book Award Recipients, Reginald Dwayne Betts & Dr. Randall Horton


by Kamakazi Mergatroyd

The Magpies and The Wind

by Emilio Fernandez

Prison World

by Larry N. Stromberg

Public Secrets

by Ben Wilkins

As A Matter of Black

by Marcus Jackson

Design Your Blueprint for Your Life

by Marcus Isreal


by Kellen Stuhlmiller

Dirty Cop

by Kamakazi Mergatroyd, ft. ChukcyChuckDGAF

Managing Staff

Editor in Chief
Leah Silverman

Director of IWI
Chyana Marie Sage

Correspondence Team
Christiana Deverets and Haley Glover

Nonfiction Editors
Joe Bubar, Donna Lee Davidson, and Zoe Hardwick

Fiction Editor
Jessica Sun

Poetry Editors
Jonathan Fletcher, Jude Misick, and Joel Sedano

Social Media Manager
Jude Misick

Outreach Manager
Gigi Blanchard

Art Directors
Colleen Reynolds and Jessica Sun

And a thank you to Anastasia Walton

Editorial Board

Miranda Mazariegos, IssaTaseen Spencer, Damien McClendon, Jillian Damiani, Zoe Maya Engels, Wyonia McLaurin, Wally Suphap, Sophia Lind Mautz, Destiny Hall, Christiana Drevets, Marissa Yoo, Addison Schoeman, Robert Gold, Abigail Eastman, Caleb Knight, Gigi Blanchard, Meghan Fay, Braudie Gabriella Blais-Billie, Meredith Charlene Aristone, Alexandra Rose Banach, Diana MacLaren Heald, Xinle Hou, Matthew Kimball, Kai-Lilly Kane Karpman, Leah Silverman, Jessica Sun, Jude Misick, Alexandra Kukoff, Haley Jordan Glover, and Liv Waite.