Mark Olmsted's Ink from the Pen 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
I’m a long-time reader of Mark’s work, and he has always insisted on my absolute candor. So, honestly? This is the best thing he’s ever written – and that says a lot. It is bracing, funny and redemptive without being preachy. It was hard to imagine Mark going to prison at all; now it’s even harder to imagine Ink from the Pen not having been written. – Claudia Keenan, PhD, www.throughthehourglass.com
Mark Olmsted writes with clarity, tenderness, and wit about life “inside” as a gay addict—but also, and this is what makes it both entertaining and moving, as a very fine writer who is constitutionally allergic to sentiment or self-pity. “This is how it is,” he tells us, and we know he’s telling the truth.
Julia Glass, Three Junes, The Whole World Over, And The Dark Sacred Night, A House Among the Trees