John Purugganan

This page is updated and maintained by Robert Moulthrop, who met and contacted John through his Pushcart-nominated essay "You're In Prison" originally published in The Sun, October 2006. Read about John and his achievements below, and keep an eye on the main blog, which often features short pieces written by John. 

In addition to correspondence with John Purugganan, this page also occasionally publishes the writings of life-without-parole prisoners Michael McKinney, John Catanzarite, and George Cameron.

About/Bio

John Purugganan has been serving a sentence of life without parole since 1989 in a California prison. He was an associate editor of and contributor to “Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough,” a collection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from prisoners serving life without parole, an anthology published by The Other Death Penalty Project. His essay “You’re In Prison” was published by The Sun in October 2006 (Issue 370) and was subsequently listed in the “Notable Essays of 2006,” section of the Best American Essays 2007, edited by David Foster Wallace and Robert Atwan. His essay “My Cellies,” published by qarrtsiluni in 2011, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His essays have been anthologized in a number of textbooks, including "Honor Comes Hard: Writings from California Prison System’s Honor Yard", edited by Luis J. Rodriguez and Lucinda Thomas, as well as in "Psychology and Personal Growth", by Nelson Goud and Abe Arkoff. His essay “Death Without the Possibility of Parole” received an honorable mention by the PEN America Prison Writing Awards 2012-2013, and both his poetry and non-fiction writing were listed as finalists for the INK: Prison Writing Contest, hosted by Vidahlia Press and Publishing House in 2014. He is the author of numerous manuscripts, plays, and screenplays, including the play "Let’s Keep Dancing", a prizewinner in the first annual Arts in Correction Playwriting Contest in 1992, sponsored by UCLA’S extension program.

Links To JOHN's Writing