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Orwell Prize: HMP Addiewell

Last year we partnered with the Orwell Foundation to offer the Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness. With the inaugural prize being awarded back in June to Freya Marshall Payne and Daniel Lavelle, both of whom wrote about their own experiences of homelessness, we are pleased to share a selection of entries by people with personal experience of homelessness or about personal stories of homelessness. The submissions below are poems from people in prison at HMP Addiewell.

Trigger warning: please note that poem two makes references to drug use and violence.

Poem one

Meaningless homes 
Eased into 
Somewhere, being

Poem two

As a grime 
As a take time 
Tae sit and think what am goanna dae 
As a feel bright in the night 
As a jump out of sight 
As a feel a bright spark shattering down ma bones 
And also a didn’t want to go to the jail as ma mum says to me son what are you doing wae your life a said nothing mum as a said to her hurry up and get me out of here as she says no so a went crazy. Then started taking drugs as feel rough so as a get jumped a feel ma heart has stopped of it 
This is so simple take me down and make me visible 
As am not incredible as yae make me fixable 
As a feel as if am a dimple a feel as they say am the middle of ma family a don’t feel the same way 
As was before so ignore am a board or not no am not a so started smoking smack and then started injecting it wasn’t nice the way a was it felt like a was dying in the night a feel can’t get up so there is a rupture in ma tummy a say ta ma maw a feel yuck in ma tummy so she says to me son don’t worry about it there is someone always watching me so kick back and watch tv as ma dad wasn’t there for me as it was only ma mum so ma mum says to ma brother and ma sister don’t worry about anything 
So ma wee bro went to foster care and ma wee sister got taking off ma mum cause ma step dad was made lies up about ma mum as that made fall down and cry as it isn’t no lie so please mum don’t cry am always here for you so Mister yer a no goona win this case as ma will win the case 
As a feel pain down ma face a canny control what ave been told 
Afore get too old 
A aint a boar so son sit down and tell your story as am lonely 
So call ma hommie 
Tae tell him that you owe me money 
He says sorry ave no got it so a punch him as he falls to the floor so pick him up and throw him to the alligator just like as ma maw told me not to go to the pub cause if yae dae you will end up fighting wae the people so 
As ma wee brother and ma wee sis get taken off ma maw it made her go back on the drink so a says to ma mum what are you doing stop drinking mum cause you are hurting me as a cry 
In the dark that’s when a bring a bright spark and look up tae the sky and yae will see me dying.
A aint lying so mum wit is the point in crying

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