Learner Written Materials

These are books, stories, poetry or other materials written by learners.

Every item here is available either online or through the Decoda Literacy Library.


Non-Fiction

About smoking: advanced.
Stonegate Community Health Centre. Toronto: Stonegate Community Health Centre, 199?
“This book is a collection of stories written by students.”

About smoking: intermediate.
Stonegate Community Health Centre. Toronto: Stonegate Community Health Centre, 199?
“This book is a collection of stories written by students.”

The change agent: adult education for social justice: news, issues, and ideas.
Cynthia Peters, editor. Boston, MA: New England Literacy Resource Center/World Education, 2008-
This biannual publication contains short articles written by learners, teachers, and activists.  It is written for intermediate ESOL, ABE and adult diploma students.  Each issue focuses on a different topic.

  • Making sense of climate change. (2008)
  • Health: the big picture. (2009)
  • Economic crisis. (2009)
  • Coming home from war. (2010)
  • Fashion: the power, the peril, and the passion. (2010)
  • Staying safe in a toxic world. (2011)
  • Peaceful tomorrows. (2011)
  • What’s age got to do with it? (2012)
  • Tales of resilience. (2012)
  • Good jobs, not just any jobs! (2013)

Coming together: unfolding our thoughts on publishing.
Victoria, BC: Wordstream Learners Publishing Group, Victoria READ Society, 1993.
A how-to manual for publishing a book of short stories. Although the manual is principally aimed towards people recently introduced to writing, much of the content is of use for any group beginning a publishing process.

Eating multiculturally… in Pemberton.
Pemberton ESL Settlement Assistance Program and the Pemberton Multicultural Network. Pemberton, BC: Pemberton Multicultural Network, 2012.
This cookbook features recipes that were collected from 2010 to 2012 as part of the English as a Second Language Language Settlement Assistance Program (ESLSAP) in Pemberton. It shares food that the group enjoyed and includes recipes from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Quebec, Argentina, Switzerland and Poland.

Fearless freewriting.
Sharron, Barb and Alice. Edmonton, AB: Voices Rising/Learning at the Centre Press, 2000.
An introduction to freewriting, the practice of writing whatever without concern over grammar, spelling, or sentence structure, as a means of expressing oneself. Written by three learners from the Write to Learn Project in Camrose, Alberta.

I call it the curse!: a book about periods. New start reading series.
East End Literacy. Toronto: East End Literacy Press, 1988.

Math for all ages: a project of the Dartmouth Literacy Network.
Dartmouth, NS: Dartmouth Literacy Network, 2002.
“Learners from the Dartmouth Literacy Network took part in making this workbook for adult learners who are at Level I in their math. They researched various parts of Canada and wrote stories about history, geography, government, and lifestyles. Over the course of six months the group also took part in creating the exercises and laying out the book.”

Program-based literacy materials catalogue: a project of the Ontario Regional Literacy Desktop Publishers.
Compiled by Kevin Churchill, et al. Sarnia, ON: Southwestern Literacy Desktop Publishing Centre, 1996.
Second edition, March 1996.

Students meeting students: putting a student conference together.
Edited by Mary Norton. Edmonton, AB: Voices Rising/Learning at the Centre Press, 2000.
Students meeting students was published as one outcome of a Participatory Approaches in Adult Literacy Education/Research in Practice project. This project was funded by the National Literacy Secretariat, Human Resources Development Canada, in partnership with Alberta Learning. The University of Alberta, Faculty of Education also contributed to the project funding. The Alberta Association for Adult Literacy funded the Students Meeting Students conference.

 

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Fiction

Anya and the magic violin. Story time in the park series.
Anya Hu. Hope, BC: New Page Human Services Society, 2010.
Anya plays the violin, and is afraid of making mistakes during her upcoming recital. The School Age Division winner of 2010’s Story Time in the Park children’s story writing contest, written and illustrated by the author.

Dancing in the rain. Story time in the park series.
Nellicia Klop. Hope, BC: New Page Human Services Society, 2010.
This story follows two brothers who survive the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, their survival afterwards, and their trip to Canada. The Teen Division winner of 2010’s Story Time in the Park children’s story writing contest, written and illustrated by the author.

Elephant Mountain.
Art Boudreau. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2005.
“The story of a young Irishman who came to British Columbia, Canada in the 1890s. Paddy aimed to get rich looking for gold. He made friends with people who shared his dream – an Irish blacksmith called O’Donald, a young woman called Lizzie, a prospector called Old Jim, and many more. Paddy the mule was his constant companion, keeping him from harm while he searched for gold and dreamed of reaching the top of Elephant Mountain and the gold he might find there.” (From the publisher’s website.)

The eyes have it.
Graham McNicol. UK: New Leaf, 2007.
Jess eagerly waits for Jenny to return home every day. “A bright and lively love story with a charming surprise at the end.”

Keep your hair on.
Frances Holden. Manchester, UK: Gatehouse Media, 1983.
Frances and Kathleen are going home when an opened umbrella and a wig create a humorous incident.

Kevins gift. Story time in the park series.
Kristie Peters. Hope, BC: New Page Human Services Society, 2010.
Kevin is a child with little money, but who wants to give his teacher a good going-away present for her last day. The Adult Division winner of 2010’s Story Time in the Park children’s story writing contest, written and illustrated by the author. Text also in Halq’emeylem.

Marvin’s millions.
Daniel Vaillancourt. New Westminster: Douglas College, 2009.
Marvin, who has been in trouble with law, buys a winning lottery ticket. This is the story of how complicated he finds it to collect and use his winnings. Written by a student in the Douglas College I-CARE program.

Princess Rosie. Story time in the park series.
Hope, BC: New Page Human Services Society, 2010.
A story about a princess, a fireman, and some scary beasts. The Pre-School Division winner of 2010’s Story Time in the Park children’s story writing contest, written and illustrated by the author.

The sandals.
Sheila Ryan. UK: New Leaf, 2006.
A funny story about what happens when someone discovers that her new shoes are both for left feet. Written at a grade 1-2 level.

 

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Personal Stories

All my life…
Donna Buthuru, Victoria, BC: Ministry of Education, 1982.
Donna Buthuru recounts a life of hard work in Canada and Fiji.

Change.
Facilitated by Janet Isserlis and Louis Ettling. Vancouver: 1996.
An anthology of writings by women, many of the accounts dealing with personal issues and immigrant perspectives.

Choices & changes: how literacy changes our lives.
Literacy for Social Change Group. Toronto: Literacy for Social Change Group, c/o Ontario Literacy Coalition, 1992.
Students reflect on what literacy means to them, and how it impacts their community.

Choose to change: courage, hope, willingness.
Brandon Correctional Institution. Fredericton, NB: National adult Literacy Database, 2002. Also available online: http://www.nald.ca/library/learning/choose/choose.pdf
This booklet is available in print, online and in audio online. It was designed by inmates with a focus on Native youth.

Ellen’s story.
Ellen Szita. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2007.
The autobiography of Ellen Szita, a BC resident and adult learner, chronicles her persistent struggle for literacy and her ultimate success.  Also available on video: “Ellen’s Story”, the documentary film from the NFB, produced in 1992.

Exploring our histories.
Pat Pentameter. Edmonton, AB: Poetic Enterprises, 2002.
A collection of writings by learners from the Fort St. John Literacy Society. Learners were from various adult literacy programs, including the CHOOSE Success Family Literacy program, the Volunteer Tutor program, and the Doig River Brighter Horizons ALAPS program. The project was part of encouraging learners to write, draw, and communicate personal stories in a non-academic manner.

Faces of the fishery.
Reg Hamilton and Cal Coish. Grand Falls-Windsor, NL: Central Newfoundland Regional College, 1996.

For adults, about adults, by adults: adventures in learning: stories.
Surrey, BC: In-House Publishing, Invergarry Learning Centre, 1997.
A collection of stories written by adult learners. The learners visited places in the Greater Vancouver area and wrote about their experiences.

From me – to you: a collection of stories by adult learners.
Compiled and edited by Eileen Smith. Gander, NL: Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council, 1996.

From the heart: stories from the Reading and Writing Centre, December 2000.
Students of the Reading and Writing Centre, Malaspina University-College. Cowichan, BC: Reading and Writing Centre, Malaspina University-College, 2000.
A collection of personal stories by students of Vancouver Island University’s Reading and Writing Centre.

Getting along. New start reading series.
Robert Collie. Toronto: East End Literacy Press, 1985.

I remember…
Loong Wong; edited by Margaret Thompson. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Education, 1982.
A collection of stories recalling the author’s life in Canton, China.

I told myself I am going to learn.
Elizabeth Ndaba. Johannesburg, South Africa: English Literacy Project, 1990.

In our own words: our learners’ stories.
Students of The Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program. Nanaimo, BC: Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program, 2012.
A collection of stories and poems by students of the Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program.

In this country: personal stories about Northern B.C.
Edited by Bill Graham. Burns Lake, BC: Northern Literacy Readers, 1994.
This book is a collection of stories about life in Northern B.C., written by students in adult education programs. The writings are based on the personal experiences of the authors and are intended for new and intermediate readers.

It takes a village to raise a child: stories from Grandview/Uuquinak’uuh Community Writing Group.
Edited by Rene Merkel and Burt Frenzell. Vancouver: Basic Education Dept., Vancouver Community College, 2003.
Students at Grandview School along with their parents and grandparents write about how home, school, and community have helped to shape their lives.

Journeys of the spirit III: a collection of writing by Aboriginal literacy students.
Southampton, Ont. : Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2007.
The book is a compilation of works aiming to enhance and promote a greater understanding of the issues facing Aboriginal people.  Students share their writing because “words, when spoken or written, can carry so much strength and truth”.

Learning in Victoria.
Victoria READ Society. Victoria, BC: Wordstream, a program of the Victoria READ Society, 1991.
A collection of short stories written by adult literacy students. They describe what learning, living and working together in Victoria means to them.

Life in the fast lane: our bowling trip.
Edited by Paula Smith and Tamara Riddle. Peterborough, ON: Trent valley Literacy Association, 1995.
A story about adults from a school getting together to go bowling. There are 4 to 20 words on a page, and every other page is a photograph.

Living and learning in the Peace: essays written by adult learners.
Dawson Creek Literacy Society. Dawson Creek, BC: Dawson Creek Literacy Society, 2003.
Learner writings, 2003 edition.

Loggers, wives and sawmill workers: memories from Cowichan Valley.
Collected and edited by students in the Fundamental English class at Malaspina University College, Cowichan Campus. Duncan, BC: The College, 1993.

Memories and dreams.
Edited by M.W. Buckley. Saskatoon, SK: Saskatchewan Literacy Network, 1991.
“Stories … written by adult learners who are recent immigrants to Canada.”

My name is Rose. New start reading series.
Rose Doiron. Toronto: East End Literacy Press, 1987.

A new life in Canada.
Edited by Donna McGee. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Education, 1982.
A series of stories about the lives, families and experiences of seven English as a Second Language students.

New Year’s 1960. New start reading series.
Hank Guindon. Toronto: East End Literacy Press, 1985.

A Newfoundland spell.
Edited by Helen M. Woodrow. St. John’s, NL: Harrish Press, 1995.

Northern story tellers: a collection of student writings.
High Level, AB: Student Anthology Project, Fairview College, Northern Region, 1990.

Northern story tellers II: a collection of student writings.
Fairview, AB: Student Anthology Project, Fairview College, 1995.

Northwest journey: sketches of life and learning.
Edited by Melissa Munn et al. Victoria, BC: The Ministry, 1993.
A collection of writings by learners in Northwest BC, created as part of a project by Project Literacy Terrace. Writings demonstrate a variety of skill levels on a number of topics, and were chosen by the learners to represent the spirit of Northwestern BC.

Now I have time.
Fujiye Kamikura. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Education, 1982.
Tells the story of Fujiye Kamikura’s life in Japan and Canada, and explores cultural differences and the problems immigrants still face today in adjusting to a new way of life.

Oakland readers: first series.
Edited by Jessica Lamb. Syracuse, NY: New Readers Press, 1992.
“The four books… have different parts of life stories from the same literacy students written at four reading levels… The stories are about the students’ life experiences [including] difficulties that they had in learning…”

Oakland readers: fourth series.
Edited by Sandra Hare. Syracuse, NY: New Readers Press, 1996.
“The four books… have different parts of life stories from the same literacy students written at four reading levels… The stories are about the students’ life experiences [including] difficulties that they had in learning…”

Our trip to Tofino: April 2000.
Students of the Reading and Writing Centre, Malaspina University-College. Cowichan, BC: Reading and Writing Centre, Malaspina University-College, 2000.
A collection of stories by students of Vancouver Island University’s Reading and Writing Centre. Most of the stories are about the students’ trip to Tofino in the spring of 2000; a few are by students who did not attend the trip, and who wrote instead about an aspect of their lives in Cowichan Valley. Includes a timetable, photographs, costs of the trip, and information about gray whales.

Our words: stories.
By Project Literacy Kelowna Learners. Kelowna, BC: L.P. Laserprint, Project Literacy Kelowna Society, 1990.
An anthology of short stories written by new writers talking about real issues – education, jobs, relationships

Our words II: stories.
By Project Literacy Kelowna Learners. Kelowna, BC: L.P. Laserprint, Project Literacy Kelowna Society, 1993.

Raised up down South. New start reading series.
Lee Sheridan. Toronto: East End Literacy Press, 1989.

Read! Write! Dream!: stories by learners in a literacy program.
Edited by Janette M. Barker. Toronto: Picas & Points Consultants for West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre Self-Directed Studies Literacy Program, 1991.

Remembering.
Edited by Teddy Norwich Kempster. Syracuse, NY: New Readers Press, 1988.
Oral histories told by adult students in basic reading classes at the Lutheran Settlement House Women’s Program, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Set your dreams free.
Victoria, BC: Wordstream, a Project of the Victoria READ Society, 1993.
A collection of poetry and short stories written by First Nationsl adult literacy students. The writings often deal with the authors’ experiences.

Sharing our words: being part of the circle.
Abbotsford, BC: UCFV, 2004.
A collection of stories and poems by students from various communities, presented as part of the Learners Talking to Learners event at UCFV Abbotsford, on April 23, 2004. Writers from the communities of Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, and Hope are represented.

Something you should know about me: students’ stories for students.
Edited by Gladys E. Neale, Rachel Mansfield. Saint John, NB: Laubach Literacy of Canada, 1994.

“Sports and leisure activities” Northern Adult Writing Contest 1998.
Project coordinator/editor Bebe Ivanochko. LaRonge, SK: Northlands College Literacy Office, 1998.
Results of a contest funded by the National Literacy Secretariat.

Struggles and growth.
Edited by M.W. Buckley and Janet K. Herbert. Saskatoon, SK: Saskatchewan Literacy Network, 1992.

The team that tells the tale.
Edited by Gladys Neale. Saint John, NB: Laubach Literacy of Canada, 1991.
Stories by tutors and students about their experiences in literacy training.

Tears on a sidewalk: seeing the past change the future.
Victoria, BC: Wordstream, a Project of the Victoria READ Society, 1993.
A collection of poetry and short stories written by adult literacy students. The writings often deal with the authors’ experiences.

Too late.
Frances Holden. Manchester, UK: Gatehouse Media, 1982.
Frances needs to go to the dentist. Not being able to read a sign leads to an awkward situation.

The view from here: an oral history of Eastern Passage, 1864-1945.
Joe Brown. Shearwater, NS: Shearwater Development Corporation, 1998.

Voices of Canadian Literacy.
Edited by Lee Weinstein. Kingston, ON: John Howard Society of Canada, 2002.
This volume of adult learning writings has an accompanying teacher’s guide and workbook.

We can all find a way.
Victoria READ Society. Victoria, BC: Wordstream, Learners’ Press, a Program of the Victoria READ Society, 1992.
A collection of poetry and short stories written by adult literacy students. The writings often deal with the authors’ experiences.

The wind cannot read.
Edited by Anne Burger et al. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, 1992.
A selection of writings collected throughout B.C. during 1990. All of the authors are adult new readers, many of whom write about their struggles to learn to read and write for the first time.

Wordpower stories.
By Wordpower Learners, Leonard Squire et al. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Literacy Council, 1994.

You’re not alone.
Victoria READ Society. Victoria, BC: Wordstream, Learners’ Press, a Program of the Victoria READ Society, 1991.

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Prose and Poetry

Blue ink in my pen: student writing about art.
Prospects Literacy Students. Edmonton: Edmonton Art Gallery, 1995.
A group of adult literacy learners visited the Edmonton Art Gallery once a week for five weeks, where they are tutored about different aspects of looking at art. The book is composed of their thoughts and feelings about the art, in prose and poetry form.

Boiling over: a collection of writings from the heart of Vancouver.
Edited by Sally Gellard. Vancouver: Basic Education Dept., Vancouver Community College, 2003.
A collection of writings (mainly poetry) produced by members of a writing group that met regularly at First United Church in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

Building the fire: aboriginal family literacy.
Edited by Katherine Gullion. Lakeland, AB: LEARN, Lakeland College, 1996.
Two volumes consisting of a collection of writings by participants in the Aboriginal Family Literacy Program of Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre and LEARN Lakeland College as well as the initial project report.

Gift of happiness.
Victoria READ Society. Victoria, BC: Wordstream Learners’ Publishing Group, Victoria READ Society, 1994.
A collection of poetry and short stories written by adult literacy students. The writings often deal with the authors’ experiences.

I did it, so can you!: a collection of stories from adult learners of Prince Edward Island.
Morell, PEI: Morell Region Community Learning Centre, 2002.

In our own words: our learners’ stories.
Students of The Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program. Nanaimo, BC: Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program, 2012.
A collection of stories and poems by students of the Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program.

In this country: personal stories about Northern B.C.
Edited by Bill Graham. Burns Lake, BC: Northern Literacy Readers, 1994.
This book is a collection of stories about life in Northern B.C., written by students in adult education programs. The writings are based on the personal experiences of the authors and are intended for new and intermediate readers.

Learner stories: LaDS (Literacy and Disabilities Study).
Bow Valley College and the Neil Squire Society. Calgary, AB: Bow Valley College, 2005.
Adults who attend programs that use the SARAW talking computer program wrote these stories. All of the stories except one were written by adults with disabilities. Each story is accompanied by an introduction to the author written by the learner’s tutor or teacher or the coordinator of the program.

The learner’s voice.
Compiled and edited by Peigi Willcocks and Nansi Blenkiron. Victoria, BC: Project Literacy Victoria, 1994.
A collection of writings by learners.

The learner’s voice: a collection of writing by the adult learners at Project Literacy Victoria, Volume IV, Fall 1997.
Adult Learners of Project Literacy Victoria. Victoria, BC: Project Literacy Victoria, 1997.
A collection of stories, poetry and writings by the adult learners at Project Literacy Victoria.

The learners’ voice 2003.
Adult Learners of Project Literacy Victoria. Victoria, BC: Project Literacy Victoria, 2003.
A collection of poetry by the adult learners at Project Literacy Victoria.

Learners’ voices: the book voyage.
Edited by Margaret banaszkiewicz. Ottawa: Movement for Canadian Literacy, 1990.
A collection of learner writings. Text in English and French; includes some text in Inuktitut.

Live and learn.
Adult students, tutors and staff of the Toronto East End Literacy Project.
Toronto: The Project, 1988.
A collection of learner writings from students at East End Literacy in Toronto.

Living and learning in the Peace: essays written by adult learners.
Dawson Creek Literacy Society. Dawson Creek, BC: Dawson Creek Literacy Society, 2003.
Learner writings, 2003 edition.

More like a camp-out.
Monica Dick. Duncan, BC: The Reading and Writing Centre, Malaspina University College, 2002.

My front yard: a project of the Dartmouth Literacy Network. Canada; my front yard.
Dartmouth, NS: Dartmouth Literacy Network, 2002.
“Learners from the Dartmouth Literacy Network took part in making this workbook for adult learners who are at Level I in their reading. They researched various parts of Canada and wrote stories about history, geography, government, and lifestyles. Over the course of six months the group also took part in creating the exercises and laying out the book.”

Opening doors to learning: a literacy reader: a compilation of artwork and literature done by residents within northern area correctional centers.
Air Ronge, SK: Northlands College, 2002.

Read, write & enjoy!: stories and exercises for adult new readers.
Edited by Donna M. Smith. London, ON: London Literacy Network – Project Literacy, London Public Library, 1997.
Reproduces seven stories from the “Project Literacy Series II” series, as well as three others.

Set your dreams free.
Victoria, BC: Wordstream, a Project of the Victoria READ Society, 1993.
A collection of poetry and short stories written by First Nations adult literacy students. The writings often deal with the authors’ experiences.

Sharing our words: being part of the circle.
Abbotsford, BC: UCFV, 2004.
A collection of stories and poems by students from various communities, presented as part of the Learners Talking to Learners event at UCFV Abbotsford, on April 23, 2004. Writers from the communities of Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, and Hope are represented.

Tears on a sidewalk: seeing the past change the future.
Victoria, BC: Wordstream, a Project of the Victoria READ Society, 1993.
A collection of poetry and short stories written by adult literacy students. The writings often deal with the authors’ experiences.

Voices of Canadian Literacy.
Edited by Lee Weinstein. Kingston, ON: John Howard Society of Canada, 2002.
This volume of adult learning writings has an accompanying teacher’s guide and workbook.

Voices within: poetry anthology.
Alouette Correctional Centre for Women. Maple Ridge, BC: ACCW, 2009.
An unpublished collection of poetry by women in the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women.

We can all find a way.
Victoria READ Society. Victoria, BC: Wordstream, Learners’ Press, a Program of the Victoria READ Society, 1992.
A collection of poetry and short stories written by adult literacy students. The writings often deal with the authors’ experiences.

Words are what I’ve got: writings by learners from all around the world during International Literacy Year.
Compiled by the International Task Force on Literacy. Toronto: Sister Vision Press, 1991.
Text in English, French, and Spanish.

Working together. New start reading series.
Students for Action. Toronto: East End Literacy Press, 1985.

Writers, young and old…: stories by members of Prince George Senior’s Writing Circles and Fundamental Level English Students.
Coordinated by Maree Thair. Prince George, BC: College of New Caledonia, 1997.
Funded by: Human Resources Development Canada, Province of British Columbia, National Literacy Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Skills and Training ; in collaboration with: Prince George Regional Community College Care Society, Prince George & District Senior Citizens Activity Centre, College of New Caledonia, Prince George, BC.

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Prisoner Writings

Choose to change: courage, hope, willingness.
Brandon Correctional Institution. Fredericton, NB: National adult Literacy Database, 2002. Also available online: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/choose/choose.pdf
This booklet is available in print, online and in audio online. It was designed by inmates with a focus on Native youth.

Opening doors to learning: a literacy reader: a compilation of artwork and literature done by residents within northern area correctional centers.
Air Ronge, SK: Northlands College, 2002.

Prison voices. Revised ed.
Edited by Lee Weinstein and Richard Jaccoma.  Black Point, NS: Fernwood Pub., 2007.
“This is an inmate-written book, made to encourage reading and writing in prisons.”  It features 12 contributors.  Each chapter contains one person’s writings, an interview, and photographic portraits.

Voices within: poetry anthology.
Alouette Correctional Centre for Women. Maple Ridge, BC: ACCW, 2009.
An unpublished collection of poetry by women in the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women.

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Women’s Writings

Change.
Facilitated by Janet Isserlis and Louis Ettling. Vancouver: 1996.
An anthology of writings by women, many of the accounts dealing with personal issues and immigrant perspectives.

Voices within: poetry anthology.
Alouette Correctional Centre for Women. Maple Ridge, BC: ACCW, 2009.
An unpublished collection of poetry by women in the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women.

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