This Place is Hell: Poetry & Art by Minnesota Youth Incarcerated

Available in



: English,Francais


This collection provides a space and place for the voices of youth who are incarcerated to critically express their experiences related to the criminal justice system, school system, and their community. Grounded in hip-hop culture, the writing style throughout the series often reflects non-colonial English. The collection promotes social justice and critical thinking about education, poverty, sexism, racism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, and all other forms of oppression. As a creative outlet and space for expression, this book provides a means for the poets to empower themselves and resist victimization.
Product Details:

  • Series: Poetry Behind The Walls
  • Paperback: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Arissa Media Group, LLC (August 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936900246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936900244
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches



  • “The rhythmic, moving, Hip Hop-inflected wordsmithing that flows from this book is one of the most creative and inspiring responses to racist state violence I have come across in a long time.”  —David Naguib Pellow, author, Garbage Wars
  • This Place is Hell: Poetry and Art by Minnesota Youth Incarcerated is a powerful compilation, almost an oral history, told by those who lived it. Here we hear the voices of those who are hidden from view. The more noise, like this work, which we can make, the more palpable the media silence about this issue will become. This book is extremely important.”  —John Carico, journalist, The Fifth Column


  • This Place is Hell: Poetry and Art by Minnesota Youth Incarcerated is refreshing and courageous, encompassing the voice of the voiceless.”  —Hasan Stephens, founder and executive director, Good Life Foundation

About the Author

  • Save the Kids is a fully volunteer grassroots organization rooted in hip-hop and transformative justice. It advocates for alternatives to, and the end of, the incarceration of all youth. It is based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Brother Ali is a highly respected hip hop artist, speaker, and activist. He was a keynote speaker at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and has landed coveted press features in magazines such as Rolling Stone and The Source. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Customer Reviews

facilitatory Nocella as an educator has for the last 15 years provided more than 1,500 basic, advanced, and Training for Facilitators collaborative group-building workshops at youth centers, jails, prisons, detention facilities, schools, and college on topics such as negotiation, community circles, conflict transformation, peer-mediation, peace in schools, life skills to youth, hip hop, transformative justice, professional development, diversity and inclusion, environmental education, and curriculum design.
Induction Series 3 Course
Hamline University

trainer Nocella with 20 years of community organizing and Leadership experience has provided more than 500 basic and advanced trainings to youth, college students, teachers, unions, and international NGOs for more than a 1,000 organizations such as SEUI, Pax Christi, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, American Friends Service Committee, and Peace Action.

Minority Groups Course
Hennepin County Community College

lecturer Nocella, an intersectional scholar and researcher, regularly gives presentations/lecturers/keynotes on the school to prison pipeline, diversity and inclusion, environmental justice, critical animal studies, disability studies, social movements, hip hop politics, peace and conflict studies, crime and social control.

Human Relations/Multicultural Ed Course
St. Cloud State University