Ink from the Pen is the story of an educated, HIV+ gay man whose decades-long walk on the wild side came crashing down in 2004, when he found himself facing nine months in prison for dealing the crystal meth he’d become addicted to during the worst of the AIDS epidemic. An accomplished writer, Olmsted soon discovered his love of words was precisely what would get him through the experience. With a keen eye for the finely-observed detail and an unerring capacity to deftly convey the poignancy and absurdities of incarceration, Mark learned that creativity is one of the most powerful survival tools there is.“This is a haunting and beautiful story from the depths of the California state prison system, of people found and left behind, acts of defiant joy, tender moments of generosity, soul-searching, and looking desperately for glimmers in the darkness. Characters with such rich and vivid names as Jack Hammer, Drifter, Thumper and Chainsaw may have been forgotten by society, but Olmsted puts them in such indelible ink you will carry them with you long after you close this remarkable memoir.” – Kathy Hepinstall, The Book of Polly

Medium member since September 2022
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Mark Olmsted

Mark Olmsted

Book Author

Author, "Ink from the Pen: A Prison Memoir" about my time behind bars. See GQ dot com “Curious Cons of the Man Who Wouldn’t Die” for story of how I got there.