Creative Writing

Published on October 29th, 2020 | by TLV News


VOX & TLV Prison Writing Series: “The Gentleman’s Resort of Sunflower County,” by Larry Singleton

Having been assigned the task of elaborating on my summer vacation and this period of time having so many enthralled, astute occurrences, I chose only a small segment of this formidable enthusiastic summer to entice your envy.

I have titled this report “The Gentleman’s Resort of Sunflower County-Parchman,” which I attended. In retrospect, I submit and acknowledge that this resort is only for a very select few vivacious, insolent individuals! Plainly speaking, after application, not everybody is invited to attend this resort. To qualify and be able to board the courtesy passenger van that transits throughout Mississippi, you must first be approved by an individual selected by voters in your specific county. That person and only that person can assure you a reservation. That person negotiates the length of time you are permitted to spend at this exclusive resort. After all approvals for your stay, you arrive, unload from the bus, and go to the check-in desk to be processed, where you receive your housing assignment and the clothing you are to wear.

Please notice that all guests wear either one of three colored pants: red, black, or green. This is to insure that regardless of financial worth, everyone attending this resort is on equal footing. You may be housed with a millionaire or a pauper. Every guest is treated equally by the employees.

The resort housing is comprised of multiple sized and varied designed buildings.

This resort, along with two other locations, one in central Mississippi and the other in the Southern part of the state, are owned by the Men’s Diabolical Oaf’s Club, Inc., commonly called MDOC.

Now some generalities about Parchman Resort. While here, you learn the intricate and special features and become familiar with these specialties to make your stay more enjoyable.

There are employees everywhere. All are there and assigned to assist you in and for your impertinent and ostentatious idiosyncrasies. As an example of their abilities and halcyon character, they are at your pleasure to debate, wrestle, box—without or with gloves—at any time and any place. Those are a few of the many sports for your choosing.

For those guests who desire knowledge of trades, such as carpentry, plumbing, painting, HVAC (air conditioning), plant taxonomy, agriculture, metal craft, clothing manufacturing, and cattle care, all those trades are taught by hands-on experience.

As you have probably noticed, this company does not provide a menu for meals. Like many other surprises here, the cuisine is also a surprise. The uniqueness of the entrees are the specialties of our chefs. One of our chefs specialty happens to be pasta, fixed 101 ways, the other chef’s specialty is potatoes, fixed 101 ways. All fixed with meats, sauces, and gravies. These specialties are accompanied by side dishes of boiled, tasteless cabbage, turnip greens, and other culinary specialties. The employees are not permitted to partake of guests’ foods; they are relegated to their sandwiches and chips or Vienna sausages and crackers.

So, if you find yourself desiring something different, then make application to visit by participating in one of the events described in the resort’s brochure that will guarantee you a visit to our Parchman Gentleman’s Resort.

In the event you ask, when you see all the buildings with 10-feet-high chain-link fence, with razor wire atop the fences, the reason is to keep outsiders out! They want to bring mobile phones with them to take pictures of the unique resort. They are not allowed.

Come and visit. You will probably not like everything, but the Mississippi Department of Corrections is terribly unique. Well, you probably won’t like anything at the prison at Parchman, Mississippi.

How was your summer? This was mine! 

Mississippi Prison Writing

VOX Press’s Prison Writes Initiative (P.W.I.) began in the spring of 2014 at Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman Farm).

Initially, VOX set up workshops to cultivate inmate writing for publication. Since then, the program has expanded into five prison facilities and has become an educational program in its own right. So far, two volumes have been published: one in 2014 and another in 2016. Those books featured writing solely from Parchman.

The forthcoming third publication, Mississippi Prison Writing, differs from the other two books in that it features writings from many segments of the inmate student population: men, women, youth, disabled, veterans, and elderly students, from three different Mississippi prisons.

Leading up to the newest book’s publication, The Local Voice and VOX Press will feature a series of excerpts from the upcoming new volume. For further information on Mississippi Prison Writing contact Louis Bourgeois at or 662-816-8058.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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