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The Rose That Blossomed from the Prison Yard by Derrick Brooks

The Rose That Blossomed from the Prison Yard

by Derrick Brooks

241 pages
The Rose that Blossomed from the Prison Yard collects poems written in prison by Derrick Brooks. His poems describe the political reality of being Black in American society, the pain of a childhood in urban poverty and the love that sustains him.

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Category: Poetry
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About the Book
Derrick Brooks grew up in urban poverty with adult drugs, prostitution and hustling as the frame of his life. He knew love, there was always love, but there was not much else for the innocence of a child in his childhood. By 12 he was hustling. By 16 he had entered prison for the first time.

Poetry saved Derrick in prison, became a reason for his days. His are poems of the political reality of being Black in our society. Of the pain of his childhood while also of love. If you let them, these poems will change you.


Derrick Brooks’ poetry presents itself on the printed page, but it is poetry that speaks loud as if on a stage. Brooks speaks his truth and the truths of the culture and society that defined his experiences in a dysfunctional home, on the streets, in prison, and on the road to revelation. But there is tenderness and regret here as well; a rose that blossomed from the prison yard.
- Albert DeGenova, publisher of After Hours and author of Black Pearl
In this literal prison, Brooks finds a gripping focus that frames the contradictions and dilemmas he lives with behind its walls. His poems acknowledge his own suffering and that of others through portraiture that allows his and their humanity to pull together, to resist hate and hopelessness, to keep a flame alive. His verses are studded with half-rhymes, unexpected emphases, gatherings of intensity and slams against the walls.
- Steve Benson, author of Blue Book and Open Clothes



About the Author
Derrick Brooks Derrick Brooks, a 38-year-old Black man, was raised in Racine, Wisconsin poverty. He so succumbed to his living situation and the streets that by the age of 16 he was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison. There he used writing poetry, meditation and mindfulness to move himself forward towards change.



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