The Boy Behind the Wall: Poems of Imprisonment and Freedom

by Dalton Harrison

The Boy Behind the Wall is a deeply moving and life-changing book about the best and worst parts of ourselves – the journey from childhood innocence to the trauma of the teenage years that lead to adulthood and prison. It takes you full circle through these harsh realities, with performance and poetry, and then back onto the long road out again. This is not trauma tourism: this is one person’s journey. One person’s truth. But when so many people who have been through the British prison system are now dead, murdered or missing, this is a truth that lives in the shadows of the Office for National Statistics, and in the places that the media fails to highlight.

This book is essential reading for anyone who works with children, families, prisoners or ex-offenders; for academics exploring intersectionality, gender transition from a trans male perspective, or prison life and probation in Britain; and for anyone with lived experience of feeling trapped in a place where they don’t belong.

Dalton Harrison is the founder of StandFast Productions (a collective of ex-offenders who use art and performance to tell their stories) and has worked as a teaching assistant with the Inside-Out Project at Durham University. He is studying for a BA in Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Leeds, where he continues to highlight the importance of prison education and discuss his experiences of being transgender in a women’s prison. Dalton has written articles for Inside Time, Pink News and Sister Magazine x TGN, and his poetry has been published in the award-winning anthology Bloody Amazing and TransVerse II: No Time For Silence. The Boy Behind the Wall is his first solo collection.

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