Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

A nonprofit organization

1,451 Donors

Ten years have passed since the first MPWW class met in Lino Lakes prison. Since then, MPWW has grown into the largest and most successful prison-based literary organization in the country.

To ensure that we can continue our vital work for another decade and beyond, we’re trying to raise $65,000. Can you help us reach our goal with a tax-deductible donation of any amount?

The artistic landscape in Minnesota’s prisons has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Here’s how our longtime student Zeke put it: “There were writers in prison before MPWW, but we were disconnected, disorganized, untrained and largely unheard. MPWW gave us the craft, the motivation, and most importantly the deep, connected community.”

That community is our proudest achievement. The writers we’re lucky to work with actively support and mentor one another. They share art and ideas that transcend prison walls. Collectively, they affirm their own humanity and help one another imagine better futures, futures where every individual is considered a whole person, deserving of care, and every story is considered valuable, deserving to be heard. 

As we look to the next decade, we want to work with our community of artists to build that future. Your donation will help us do that. Thank you so much for your support.

Our story

MPWW was founded in 2011 by Jennifer Bowen, who taught a single creative writing class to ten men at Lino Lakes Prison. 

Since then, we’ve grown into an organization of over 25 instructors who have taught more than 200 creative writing classes to over 3,000 men and women in every adult state prison in Minnesota. 

We also facilitate a one-on-one mail mentor program, publish an annual anthology of student writing, and host multiple public readings of student work each year.

Our students have published multiple books and chapbooks, as well as poems, essays, and stories in journals of national reach, such as Agni, The Nation, Poetry Magazine, and The Washington Post.

Thank you!!

Over 2 million people are incarcerated in the U.S. with little access to quality arts or educational programming. Your gifts allow us to bridge that gap.

MPWW is a lot of things: an arts organization, a group of educators, a bridge between writers inside and outside of prison. More than anything, it's a community. We're so grateful you're a part of it. Thank you.

If you prefer to donate offline, you can also send a check to: 

MPWW, P.O. Box 7262, Minneapolis, MN 55407.

Photos of MPWW students by Emily Baxter of We Are All Criminals. For more, check out SEEN, MPWW's partnership with We Are All Criminals, here: https://www.weareallcriminals.org/seen/.

Organization Data


Organization name

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture

BIPOC community

BIPOC led, BIPOC serving

Significantly impacted by pandemic

Significantly impacted by pandemic


PO Box 7262
Minneapolis, MN 55407

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