Hawai‘i Review publishes poetry by female offenders

Joseph Han – Ka Leo O – Friday, 14 March 2014 (originally published 05 Mar)

Brandy Nālani McDougall , Amalia Bueno and TJ Mahoney
Guest speaker Brandy Nālani McDougall (clockwise from center), teacher Amalia Bueno and TJ Mahoney residents Kimmy, Kitty, Amourelle and Dione gather to discuss issues of place and home. Image: Courtesy of Katie Caldwell

“What about the place where I store my stuff?/ Or the place I keep my kids?/ Is it there? Or should it/ be here? Now./ I don’t know./ Maybe it’s somewhere off in the dream/ I have for the future. My place.” 

Amourelle’s poem about navigating through various homes in her life represents one of eight voices, poets from TJ Mahoney & Associates, who have been featured in the online chapbook “Whea You From…And Whea You Going?” published by Hawai‘i Review.

Ka Hale Ho‘āla Hou No Nā Wāhine – The Home of Reawakening for Women – is a nonprofit program of TJ Mahone. It is the only “halfway house” in Hawai‘i that helps former female offenders transition back into society. Housing 30 residents who were incarcerated at the Women’s Community Correctional Center, the state’s only prison for females, TJ Mahoney seeks to reduce chances of a return to incarceration and help residents seek employment, learn life skills and engage in positive activities – including creative writing . . .

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