Visiting Days



Visiting Days is a full-length collection of persona poems "set" in a maximum-security men's prison. It will be published by Willow Books in the spring of 2019.

While I was deeply inspired by the students I've had/friends I've made over my years working in such an enivronment, these are imaginary voices.


"Much like Marvin Gaye did in music, Gretchen Primack is committed to the task of telling the world “What’s Going On” in poetry. She has taught in prisons, the reciprocal lessons of which she has taken on the mask to share. In writing about the invisible ones, the discarded ones, the mass incarcerated skeleton in America’s closet, Primack unapologetically affirms the fact of their existence--their routinely cruel, unusual punishments, and their humanity. This courageous work, authentic in the feel of its persona poems, masterful in its balance of poetic impressionism and realism, will “make you wanna holler / throw up both [your] hands."

—Truth Thomas

"Like with Kind, her exquisitely crafted poetic argument for moral veganism, Gretchen Primack’s incredible empathy for the unconscionably caged emerges with her love for humanity on the elegantly rendered pages of Visiting Days. Her firsthand experiences with the incarcerated have resulted in characters so vivid and corporeal, I would have presumed the poems were biographical sketches of living, breathing human beings had it not been for the note clarifying that the volume is a work of fiction. Given the shameful reality that the U.S. reigns supreme as the nation imprisoning more of its people than any other, Visiting Days is vital—a volume that should be required reading for all."

—Kia Corthron