West Virginia University students, faculty and community members join the Appalachian Prison Book Project each year to send books to prisoners in Appalachia with the goal of giving them a lifeline to their imaginations and intellects.

To gather and prepare these books for sending, the APBP will host a packing party on Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Colson Hall Room 130. Pizza and soda will be served, and the event is open to the public.

“The Appalachian Prison Book Project brings together a love of books and a commitment to social justice,” said Katy Ryan, professor in the Department of English and founder of APBP. “The letters we receive assure us that reading is a vital experience for people in prisons, and we simply cannot keep up with the requests for books.”

In APBP’s five-year history as a WVU student organization, it has mailed out more than 3,000 books. This year, APBP hopes to pack and send 300 books to prisons in the surrounding area.

“One of every 100 adults in the United States is in prison, and West Virginia’s high prison population is expected to grow. We’re talking about a large population that in most cases will re-enter society at some point,” said Mark Brazaitis, associate professor of English and an APBP member, who believes the power of a book to transform a life shouldn’t be underestimated.

To learn more about the Appalachian Prison Book Project, e-mail appalachianpbp@gmail.com, or write to P.O. Box 601, Morgantown, WV 26507.

For more information, contact Mark Brazaitis, director of creative writing, at (304) 293-9707 or Mark.Brazaitis@mail.wvu.edu.


CONTACT: Rebecca Herod, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
304-293-7405, ext. 5251, Rebecca.Herod@mail.wvu.edu