Spoon Jackson

Official Website of Author & Poet, Including the Memoir


and the Award-Winning Podcast




A boy with no one to listen becomes a man in prison for life and discovers his mind can be free. A woman enters prison to teach and becomes his first listener. And so begins a twenty-five year friendship between two gifted writers and poets. The result is By Heart, a book that will anger you, give you hope, and break your heart.

Daring to hope and daring to feel in such a context becomes a revolutionary act. Our intention, with this project, is to simply reflect the shared humanity of people on both sides of prison bars.



ANI DIFRANCO & ZOE BOEKBINDER, on their collaboration with Spoon


I have known Stanley (Spoon) for over 20 years and have come to deeply respect him as a friend, fellow poet, teacher, and advocate for the Arts and Education. His work as a writer and teacher has surpassed the walls of the CA Arts-in-Corrections program and has made a tremendous impact on the lives of so many. Spoon’s investment and contribution to the lives of my students have been significant and have lasted years after they have left my college classroom. As I enter my 30th year of teaching I know of no other writer who has made such a significant and lasting effect on my former students.

KATHLEEN ADAMS, Professor at Appalachian State University



Born into a family of fifteen boys in Barstow, California, Spoon Jackson was sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole when he was twenty years old.

Spoon discovered himself as a writer at San Quentin; played Pozzo in the prison's 1988 production of Waiting for Godot; and has written, published, and received awards for plays, poetry, novels, fairy tales, short stories, essays, and a memoir during the more than forty years he has been behind bars. His poems are collected in Longer Ago.

Shadow on Concrete Wall


For any media inquiries, please contact Sarah Weck:


Write to Spoon at:
Spoon Jackson B92377
P. O. Box 4000
Vacaville, CA 95696-4000

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