Community Spotlight: Zoe Mullery & Brothers in Pen

Zoe Mullery has been the creative writing teacher of Brothers in Pen at San Quentin Prison since 1999. This writing group has produced eight anthologies: “fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, or some hybrid.” She joins Matt and Alvin in the studio to discuss truth/facts, the purpose of humans in community, generosity and story, and the gift of listening inward in a world of posturing and ego.

The class exists because of the big vision and the big heart of the William James Association (WJA) and its Executive Director Laurie Brooks. WJA sponsors the Prison Arts Project at San Quentin State Prison and many other prisons throughout California. The Prison Arts Project is implemented at San Quentin by WJA Program Manager Carol Newborg, San Quentin Community Partnership Manager Steve Emrick, and Public Information Officer Lt. Sam Robinson.

Brothers in Pen has a website with occasional news, information on many of the writers, and links to purchase anthologies: You can contact Brothers in Pen at

Note: We are a creative writing program serving at-risk populations. We do not broadcast names or identifying details of the students we work with.


Zoe Mullery and Brothers in Pen
San Quentin State Prison
Discovery Channel - San Quentin Film School
William James Association
Tobias Wolff
Girl, Jamaica Kincaid
San Quentin News
Cathedral, Raymond Carver
Andre Dubus III
The Things They Carried & How to Tell a True War Story, Tim O’Brien
Anne Sexton
True Notebooks, Mark Salzman
Junot Diaz
Ear Hustle podcast
San Quentin Prison Report
Wendell Berry
Brothers in Pen Photography by Peter Merts

Underground Writing: a literature-based creative writing program serving migrant, incarcerated, recovery, and other at-risk communities in Northern Washington through literary engagement and personal restoration.


Brothers in Pen 12th Annual Public Reading, October 2018.
Photography by Peter Merts


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