John Purugganan

John Purugganan

John Purugganan has been serving a sentence of life without parole since 1989 in a California prison. His play, LET'S KEEP DANCING, has recently received a development reading by The Public Theatre in New York City.

He was an associate editor of and contributor to “Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough,” a collection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from prisoners serving life without parole, an...
John Purugganan has been serving a sentence of life without parole since 1989 in a California prison. His play, LET'S KEEP DANCING, has recently received a development reading by The Public Theatre in New York City.

He was an associate editor of and contributor to “Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough,” a collection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from prisoners serving life without parole, an anthology published by The Other Death Penalty Project. His essay “You’re In Prison” was published by The Sun in October 2006 (Issue 370) and was subsequently listed in the “Notable Essays of 2006,” section of the Best American Essays 2007, edited by David Foster Wallace and Robert Atwan. His essay “My Cellies,” published by qarrtsiluni in 2011, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His essays have been anthologized in a number of textbooks, including "Honor Comes Hard: Writings from California Prison System’s Honor Yard", edited by Luis J. Rodriguez and Lucinda Thomas, as well as in "Psychology and Personal Growth", by Nelson Goud and Abe Arkoff. His essay “Death Without the Possibility of Parole” received an honorable mention by the PEN America Prison Writing Awards 2012-2013, and both his poetry and non-fiction writing were listed as finalists for the INK: Prison Writing Contest, hosted by Vidahlia Press and Publishing House in 2014.

Plays

  • Let's Keep Dancing
    Two prisoners on death row talk about their lives before and during prison and the conflicting nature of the death penalty, life-without-parole sentencing, and crime and punishment.