About Michael John Wiese

Biographical Context

My name is Michael John Wiese, and I am a prisoner of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I have been incarcerated for thirteen years and am serving a thirty year prison sentence. I will be eligible for parole in February of 2024. In order to make my incarceration productive, I have focused on getting as much education as possible.

During my college studies, I discovered that I love writing. This, in itself, is quite extraordinary, since my last English class had been in High School over 20 years before, and I barely passed that class.

I began writing almost as soon as I entered prison. At first, I dabbled in fiction, but since then I’ve learned that my real strength is in creative non-fiction. I have published work in The Old Red Kimono Magazine, The Willow Review, Exchange for Change, and the online poetry journal Ekphrastic Review. I have also won the 2021 Willow Review Award for Non-fiction for my short memoir piece, “The Inside Kind of Storm.”

All the while I took as many college classes as possible. I earned my Associates of Applied Science in Business Management (2016) and an Associates of Applied Science in Horticulture (2019). In 2017, I was able to transfer enough credits to Adams State University to begin my undergraduate work on a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (English/Business). I plan on graduating in September of 2021.

Throughout my incarceration, I have watched the system eat people up, all but destroying them before shooting them back into society. I have watched the spark in a man’s eyes blink out. It has become my life’s ambition to shine a light on this system so that a person’s poor choice does not define their entire life. My entire focus moving forward is to educate as many prisoners as possible. That is why I am seeking a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. My prison education has helped me survive this ordeal, and I want to give that option to as many men and women as possible.

As a writer, I want to tell the world about what is happening within the American prison systems, because I have faith in the American people. I believe that if they learn about what is going on and are given a decent alternative, they will act to end the abuses in the prison industry. I know by personal experience the transforming power of a college education, and I want to share that with anyone who wants to learn.