Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison

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Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison is the only zine devoted solely to the voices of women imprisoned in the United States. Originally conceived by several women incarcerated in Oregon's first (and only) female prison, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, the zine has since grown to include stories from women incarcerated throughout the country.

These women cover issues such as corruption, waste, lack of proper medical care, and abuse. They also focus on issues that are specifically feminine (and thus not covered by men in prison) such as pregnancy and parenting in prison, deciding to give a baby up for adoption, having the courts take a child away, rape and cover-up by prison officials, etc.

"It is my hope through this newsletter, our voices will be heard and maybe organizations, institutions, universities, media or lawyers read about our concerns and choose to help us fight in Congress and in the courts. We do not become a different human race after being in prison nor will we be released to Mars. Upon our release we may be your neighbor, secretary, co-worker, etc, so let's help each other in light of a better society." --Yraida Guanipa, prisoner at FCC Coleman in Florida. (Tenacious #9)


Tenacious zine started in 2003 after Vikki Law was approached as an outside publisher and co-editor by women incarcerated in Oregon; they needed a self-determined forum for female prisoners' voices after the mainstream media kept ignoring their proposals. Vikki wrote a piece called "Incarcerated Women Create Their Own Media" for the feminist magazine, Off Our Backs, detailing this background, and recently published a book entitled Resistance Behind Bars from her involvement in prisoner support and incarcerated women's struggles.