Life After Prison
The First Three Months


By James D. Fuson

This text is the second installment of a two-part diaristic essay by James D. Fuson, who was a juvenile sentenced to mandatory life without parole in 1994. His sentence and the sentences of thousands of juvenile lifers would be later ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. Fuson was resentenced in 2021. He returned home on September 27, 2022 after nearly 29 years confined by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Read More:
The first part of Fuson’s essay, “End of a Life Sentence: 28 Years, 8 Months, 3 Days, and a Wake-Up,” appeared in Three Fold’s Fall 2022 issue during his final months of incarceration.


past the bars
the parking lot
and the horizon


Leaving

I slept that last night, all the way through.

I wasn’t sure if I could. Everyone told me I wouldn’t. But I did. I woke up about an hour earlier than normal, but I used that time to get ready by taking a shower, sitting down, and mentally preparing, until my bunkie, Mario, woke up.

When the unit finally opened, I spent the next few hours hanging out with Mario and saying goodbye to some of the guys I hung out with. The feeling was nearly surreal. I knew the time was winding down but it was taking forever. I wanted to leave that place more than anything, but at the same time I felt a small amount of sadness that I was leaving behind such a large portion of my life. It was really all I knew.

The reentry staff who had been “preparing” me for life on the outside had said I would leave around eight in the morning. The hour approached as Mario, our puppy Newt, and I sat in the cell, waiting for them to call my name. I knew the kind of car Jonathan was driving, but not the color, and I could see the parking lot from my cell window. I saw a car that looked like Jonathan’s: a large, black family thing, big enough to hold quite a few people. I told Mario they were here and we watched the car, waiting to see who would come out. We waited. And waited. Then we assumed they must have just called the front desk to let them know they were at the prison, so we sat there, waiting for them to call my name. We waited. And waited.

At around 8:30 a.m., I called my friend Olatz, who I knew was with Jonathan. She said they were at a restaurant a ways away. They had arrived before eight and were told to come back around nine. I asked the color of Jonathan’s car. It was white. We had been watching the wrong car for a half hour. I felt silly.

I also asked who was in the car, but she was forbidden to tell me and held her guns even as I asked for clues. I knew there were a few people in there.

I went back to the cell and told Mario, who also got a good laugh at that. We spent the rest of the time just talking about all the things I was going to be able to do, and that he would also do, when he finally made it out. Someone knocked on the door to tell me that one of my friends from another unit wanted me to step out to say goodbye. I did, laughing and getting last-second advice. I told him I wanted to go in so I could hear them call me.

When I walked in, the officer at the desk suggested I must want to stay. They were calling me while I was outside. I ran upstairs where Mario was waiting with my things in front of the door. We hugged, shed a couple of tears, and I put my stuff on a cart. As I pushed it through the unit and out the door, everyone was shaking my hand, dabbing, or giving me hugs. They all knew how long I’d been down and how hard I’d worked at preparing for this day.

I pushed the cart out the door and turned down the walk towards Control Center, the administrative hub of the facility. As I walked down the path, a couple guys shouted out the window: “Good luck,” “don’t come back, we’ll be waiting on you,” that type of stuff. I raised a hand and kept going. I know some would not be watching, because saying goodbye to your friends sucks, and there are some people who would rather it be them.

That was a great walk. The last walk on the inside grounds. As I pushed the cart down the asphalt walkway, the door that would lead me out grew bigger while the units that had warehoused me grew smaller. When I got to the Control Center door, I took one more look back at the commons: three units, the chow hall, a guard shack, United States and Michigan flags flapping atop the flagpole, health service, flood lights, fences, concertina wire.

I pulled the cart through the door. I stepped in front of the bubble, where officers sat at their computers behind very thick plastic barriers. I stated my name and that I was going home. An officer told me to have a seat. Luckily, one of the maintenance workers that I know was in Control Center working on the floor tiles and I was able to keep my mind off of waiting by talking to him.

Then the officer brought a pair of pants and a shirt—totally ugly, but better than state blues. I dressed and continued waiting. The wait wasn’t too much longer.

A woman I’d never seen before came out with a folder and an envelope. These contained my Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) medical records, school records, and a debit card with the money I had in my prison account from being a puppy-raiser and a suicide observation aide. She then walked me through large sliding doors into the nexus where all the first floor activity intersects: shift changes, offices, visits, prisoner intake. We walked to an area very few prisoners see––the one that leads to the front door.

There were two guards at the final checkpoint. One was super nice, who I had known since the first day I arrived at that facility. She was very supportive and seemed genuinely happy to see me going. The other, fairly new to the MDOC, was very snotty and had snide remarks about prisoners getting back out to commit more crimes. I didn’t respond to her comments, because ultimately they didn’t matter. A man in a suit, another person I had never seen before, approached me. He had an envelope with my parole order and stipulations. He read them to me and I had to sign them to show that he did and that I understood them. He wished me good luck and the woman and I made our way down the front entrance lobby.

We walked past the front reception desk. Here was nothing to sign, nothing to be read. The guard at the desk just said good luck and we kept walking. Before I stepped out the door, the woman I had been walking with told me to make sure no one runs up to the front door and no one takes any pictures. I wasn’t sure how I was going to communicate this information to anyone, so I just said okay.

I pushed my cart through the front doors, and there was no one there.

I had thought Jonathan, Olatz, Mike, and whoever else was there would be right at the door. I walked farther out, feeling the free air touch me, listening to the sound of distant traffic, feeling the cold welcome me outside. And then I saw Jonathan’s car and everyone getting out. Anna and Jamo were there too. The woman told me to have them bring the car up. I yelled for that, and everyone except Mike got back in the car. He sauntered over in his rolled-up pants and flip-flops, hands in his pockets, smiling all the way. He got to me before the car did. He said, “Welcome home,” and gave me the biggest hug I had felt in three decades. We held it there for a while, not saying anything. Then the rest pulled up. And of course, everyone started taking pictures. No one said anything.

We passed around hugs, said words, shed a couple tears, and then put my stuff in the car. I was given the front passenger seat, and we drove off. I did look back once––to give Macomb Correctional Facility the middle finger.



First Hours of the Best Day Ever

After giving the middle finger, prison was no longer the cage through which I saw the world. We were all talking and laughing and happy in each others’ new dynamic and presence.

Jamo gave me a Faygo Redpop and Better Made potato chips. Olatz gave me a Suicidal Tendencies T-shirt. Mike gave me a pen and a notebook. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t write. But I put that shirt on, the nicest shirt I’ve ever owned.

The ride home was amazing. Friends not regulated by policy. Scenery not screened through fences. A ride in a vehicle where I’m not shackled hand and foot.

Once we got to the loft, we unloaded my things and we all hung out, everyone showing me around the place: the bed, the kitchen, the TV, the terrace.

A few people called and a couple stopped by, all to say hello and welcome back. My first time on a cell phone was probably very entertaining to everyone around me as I tried to figure out how it worked.

I sprawled out on my new bed. After decades of lying on a tiny, thin, hard mattress on a steel frame, this soft, queen-sized mattress and box spring was the best.

I situated myself in the loft, and we all walked down the street to a restaurant. Cars were driving by, people walking by, the sound of wind in the trees, houses, and other normal-looking buildings. Even the air itself felt different, unfiltered by chainlink and concertina.

Traffic on the main street was a bit much. I wasn’t used to it. Lots of cars, lots of sound, all very fast.

But the meal we ate. So delicious. So good. It was the absolute best thing ever. I felt it was the world welcoming me home. We all ordered something different. I had eggs over easy. Hash browns. Bacon. Texas toast. That was my first meal out. It was amazing.

When we got back to the loft, people had to go back to their lives. Jonathan went home. Jamo and Anna went to work. So Mike and Olatz decided to take me around. We went to a coffee shop and then to Belle Isle, where we walked a trail along the shore through the trees with the smell of the river in the air. I even threw a few rocks in the water.

Afterwards, we headed back to Jonathan’s where we all, including Jonathan’s wife Katie, their kids River and Willow, and their dog Maple, went to the park. I got on a swing and walked Maple around, feeling free.

Then we piled into a car and headed to a pizzeria where we had freshly made pizza of different varieties. The best pizza ever.

The night wound down, everyone tired or exhausted, full of food and fun and good feelings. We ended with a bonfire and happy feelings.

I watched the flames burn away the last twenty-eight-and-a-half years until all that was left was hope and a new beginning.





Living Alone

This is the first time in my entire life that I have lived alone. Ever.

I lived with my parents and grandparents until I went to prison, and then I had bunkie after bunkie––always around someone, constantly. I have never lived by myself alone, and the places I’ve been have always been small. Growing up, I had a  small bedroom in a small house. Every prison cell I’ve ever been in has been even smaller and shared with another person. There’s never been any privacy either. In prison, there are always lights on and noises, like industrial fans blowing throughout the day and night.

Now I am truly alone.

I’ve been very lucky since I’ve gotten out of prison. I’ve been able to spend some months in my friend’s loft. I have the whole thing to myself, as he had moved out months before. Compared to where I’ve lived, a mansion. The loft is large and spacious. Just very big. Quiet. And loud. And dark. It’s a lot.

Those first nights, as I lay in a soft, queen-sized bed in the dark and the quiet, I heard other things. House noises. Creaking and knocking. Sounds that I thought were footsteps or someone scratching at the door. I would wake up from a sound sleep, looking blindly into the darkness, trying to focus my vision. A few times, I actually got out of bed to investigate the sounds. Of course, there was nothing.

I got used to the sounds, sleeping through the night. Even the dark didn’t bother me anymore. It was and still is such an impenetrable wall. At first it seemed I was teetering on the edge of some endless void, where there could be anything in the dark. But it has become an embracing cocoon that revitalizes me, gives me a break from the hustle of life.

Getting used to these spaces is still a work in progress. Even though I have 20 times or more the space I had in prison, I tend to keep things in little clusters. My work desk is covered in folders and paperwork. My coffee table, which is two footlockers, is cluttered with various things. Maybe once I add a cabinet and shelf space, I’ll learn to become better organized, but it still resembles the tight clutter from my time in prison, where all you had was a small desk, a locker, a footlocker, and a bed.



Standing on the Terrace (Roof)

The place I stay in is on the second floor. Most of the building is single-story, so my loft is level with the roof. And there’s a door that leads out onto it.

I went out there my first day out, and go there almost every day, to just look out over the city I’m in, appreciate the wholeness of it.

When the weather isn’t bad, I bring a chair and sit for a little bit, write something reflecting the moment. I can hear the traffic, the church bells, the Muslim call for prayer, the birds, the wind. When I’m out there, I feel so much closer to the sky, where I imagine I can touch the clouds.

a man walks by
a bird lands on the ledge
children’s laughter in the distance
wind through the trees
birds on a telephone post wire
a wire bobbing
a horn honks
a piece of paper in the sidewalk
vertigo
a car parks
a man on a bike rides by
a mailwoman walking
a plane flies overhead
clouds drift by
on the roof
a drifting cloud
caresses my cheek



Desensitized

I was talking to Jonathan and he asked me if I knew how my old bunkie Mario was doing since I left prison. I casually replied, “He’s doing good. His last bunkie got killed a couple of weeks ago, but he’s doing fine.” Then I started talking about Newt, the Labrador retriever Mario and I were raising and training together.

Jonathan looked at me questioningly. I explained that Mario was taking Newt to the yard every day and exercising him on his own until they found a permanent replacement for me.

“No. The murder?” Jonathan asked. “You just said his bunkie was killed. What the hell?”

I told him it was only the most recent incident at the prison.
 
Jonathan asked me how many incidents there have been.

In the last eighteen months or so, there were a string of deaths––murders, suicides, and accidental deaths.

While I was there, a man was stabbed while lying on his bunk. He crawled out of his cell, leaving a bloody trail, holding the puncture wounds in his neck. He died in the hallway.

A man was stabbed and thrown over the railing of the second floor for some money he owed.

Another man was punched so hard in the face that he died of a blood clot in the brain while at the hospital. And that was because he bumped into someone.

There was a man who begged for help, who told the guards that he couldn’t take it anymore. He didn’t want to die, but he didn’t want to live anymore. He needed to talk to someone, to be put somewhere where he couldn’t hurt himself. He was ignored. Later, he was found dead in his cell, hanging from a homemade noose.

During that time, there were other deaths: more stabbings, more suicides, and overdoses from illicit drug use. And this doesn’t even count the deaths from COVID-19.

Whenever someone dies in prison, their bodies are left where they last fell, which is often in the hallway because the facility nurses drag them into the hallway to try to revive them. They lie there for hours until a coroner comes to collect them. Oftentimes, this means they’re lying in the hallway, sprawled out behind a privacy screen that doesn’t even come close to reaching the floor, so everyone can still see them. And there’s always a guard posted next to the bodies, as if they might get up at any second.

The pictures of the dead and their names are posted on a bulletin board in every unit, with some Bible scripture memorializing them, even if they weren’t Christian.

Jonathan’s reaction to my indifference to people dying has stuck with me. I don’t feel cold and uncaring. Just the opposite––I feel sad when someone dies, especially if it’s someone I’m familiar with. But mourning is a luxury we’re not given in prison. We still have to report to our assignments or be at whatever callouts we have because, if we miss them, we run the risk of being written up and put on sanctions. We can sign up for counseling, but then we run the risk of showing emotional instability when it’s time to see the parole board.

I was given the rest of the day off of my maintenance detail when I was notified that my father had died back in 2002. That was around noon, the workday almost already over.

We have to move on. Keep going. The chow lines still run at predetermined times. So does the yard. So do the callouts and assignments. You still have to be on your bunk for count.

Worst of all, you’re never alone. Ever. Guards, bunkies, other prisoners roaming around. Cameras constantly watching. There is never an opportunity to just sit down and sob without someone there to observe you and ask what’s wrong or to offer empty condolences. There is never any time to be alone with your grief and to process it.

Fortunately, I haven’t lost anyone since I’ve been out. I wonder how I will respond to it. Will I still go to work that day? Will I pretend that there’s nothing wrong? Will I be able to take advantage of my solitude and mourn? I don’t know.

Thinking about saying goodbye and letting go, another aspect of prison is that inmates in Michigan are always transferring from prison to prison. Whether it’s due to security level change, bedspace needs, punitive measures, one prison closing and another opening, or just pure random shuffling, the people you associate with, even those you call friends, can be there one day and gone the next. In all likelihood, you’ll never hear from that person again if they have a lengthy sentence to do.

Communication between prisoners in different facilities is strictly prohibited. No letters, phone calls, messages. Nothing. You only have the people in front of you for only as long as they are in front of you—no one else exists, except as a memory.

How will decades of living like that affect me out here? I’ve already noticed my tendency to forget to keep in contact with people. When they’re not in my face, they don’t exist in the moment. Is this normal? Do people who have not been in prison go through this, where the people in their life fade from memory too quickly if they don’t have daily, or even semi-regular contact? And I do this with people close to me, including family. But no one really notices, or at least no one ever says anything about it.



Out of Place

Professors. Artists. Sculptors. Prisoner.

Two of my closest friends are both professors and accomplished artists, founders of educational organizations, family men, connected with the upper crust (and the lower as well).

I am not those things.

I don’t have colleagues or a family or a house. I write. I’ve done art. But I’m not accomplished. There have been no galleries dedicated to my work. I’ve never been to a faculty meeting.

Since I’ve been out, I’ve been to bonfires, gatherings, and parties with friends of friends and have met more of these professors and professional artists and filmmakers and architects and curators. And their conversations are just noise.

Not out of my disinterest, but from not understanding or relating. They talk about things I can’t comment on with any knowledge or sophistication.

I can tell them all about the prison industrial complex and the criminal justice system. I can tell them about graphic novels and manga. Maybe some horror movies. How about heavy metal, hip hop, or industrial? I can tell them about the wonderful sights I pass on my bike ride to work at the doggie daycare, because it’s all new and exciting to me.

Most of the people I meet are nice and friendly. They love to chat, tell stories, and discuss work. I just nod, smile, and tell them how cool and exciting it all sounds.

And even when I’m around people who are more interested in the things I’m interested in, there’s still a disconnect. After almost 30 years in prison, I’m so behind on everything it’s like I’m brand-new to a subject, surprised by innovations and trends.

I don’t know the histories or shortcuts or a better alternative, all depending on what I’m talking about.

I’m a fish out of water, all the way up in a tree.



The Things I Hear Most

The world is much different from the time I left it. Books, cassettes, VCRs, modems, word of mouth—back 30 years ago, you had to work to find things or get information. There were few computers, and if you had one, you were on the well-to-do side of life. Everyone had a whole list of phone numbers memorized. And people didn’t ask you much about your life, except maybe where you went to school or where you worked, perhaps about kids.

But I hear so many of the same phrases since I’ve been out that stick in my mind, spoken or asked by almost everyone, friends and strangers alike.

Just Google it.
Look it up on YouTube.
I don’t know the number.
I don’t know my number.
I know this might be a personal question but …
You don’t have to answer if you don’t want …
… for how long?
How old were you?
For what?
Do you feel overwhelmed?
Don’t click on it!
Make sure you use the Incognito Tab or InPrivate Window.



PTSD

I was warned. They said I would have PTSD. I laughed at the idea. Denied it. I said I was too levelheaded and rational to have it.

During my first couple of weeks out, as my friends took me out everywhere––Belle Isle, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the theater, restaurants, and many more places––I was mindful of the laws. Jaywalking, speeding, trespassing … whatever it was, I reprimanded anyone who was violating the least of civil infractions. When they told me to take it easy, I would tell them that I’m the one on parole and any police contact could send me back to prison. Just the thought of interacting with law enforcement made me anxious. And whenever they were around, whether it be patrolling, idling, even minding their own business, my anxiety levels shot up. Were they watching me? Did they suspect me of something? Did they already check my identity and know I’m on parole?

I thought it was just the same paranoia and mistrust of law enforcement most of the people I hang around with have, until I was riding my bike home from work recently. I heard sirens in the distance, and they were persistent and growing louder. I stopped, turned to look. A state police car was speeding down the boulevard, lights flashing, siren blaring. It was a slow buildup, but when the car got near, it was just so loud, audibly and visually. I watched it as it sped past and continued down the street until it was out of sight and I couldn’t hear the sirens anymore.

I started pedaling and immediately heard another siren. I stopped to watch. Same thing––the buildup of sirens until it was all flashing lights and caterwauling speeding by.

My heart was racing, my breathing was shallow. I realized they had been since the first car. It was then I knew that I had it—PTSD. And it was triggered by the police. This realization hit me hard. I was in mental and physical distress just from watching the police “in action.”

I continued on towards home. I had turned a corner and was going down another street for a while. And I still heard the sirens. They were the same ones with the same timbre, but faint, distant. Was it real? I honestly wasn’t sure. I questioned it several times, if the sirens were only in my head. There was absolutely no way possible I should have been able to hear those sirens based on where I was going and where the police cars went.

I was a little worried by this.

But as I got closer to the highway, the sirens grew louder. And then I saw them, speeding along the highway, maybe to an accident.

I stopped my bike again, assessing myself, making sure I was alright.

Since then, I’ve thought about the scenario. I haven’t really talked much to anyone about it, but I have done a self-analysis. Decades of being under scrutiny, questioned, suspected, accused, condescended to, and just having an absolutely adversarial us-versus-them relationship with prison guards has traumatized me.

I panic around them. My body physically reacts. I question my sanity. That is what incarceration has done to me.

I think this also translates to my experiences with non-police. The first few weeks out, I felt that people could feel or sense something different about me, like they knew I had just come out of prison. I still feel like people are watching me, like they think I’m dangerous or going to do something wrong. I won’t go into a store without buying something, anything. Even if they don’t have what I’m looking for, I’ll buy something small because I feel like the cashiers or floor people or people watching the cameras are wondering why I’m there, if I’m not going to buy something.

Sometimes I think people wonder what I have in my backpack, or why I’m dressed in black or wearing a hoodie. Why am I out after dark?

I was working the closing shift at work and my supervisor and I were the last two there. We put everything away, the dogs were in their kennels, everything was cleaned. We turned off the lights and walked to the lobby of the building. And then I realized I forgot my tumbler in the back. I told the supervisor, he laughed, then I went to go get it, the whole time conscious that I was alone in this place of business, in the dark. I imagined him watching me on the cameras or wondering if I set the whole thing up.

I still have trouble shaking the feeling, but I make sure I just do what I think “normal” people do. Except I still always buy at least a small item before I leave a store.

Another possible symptom of PTSD comes from the air sirens.

In prison, once a month, they sound an extraordinarily loud siren facility wide. They call it emergency count or mobilization. It’s similar to the siren the city will test on the first Saturday of the month. Except in prison, it could be on any day, although it’s usually reserved for sometime towards the end of the month, day unknown.

The other difference between the city siren and the prison siren is that the city siren will be for an imminent tornado, while the prison siren means a mass shakedown, hours stuck inside the cell, a facility-wide property check (a mock pack-up), or some other oppressive action by the prison.

When that siren goes off, wherever you are at, whatever you’re doing, you have to stop and immediately return to your cell. Do not go to the bathroom, do not get any water. Close your cell door and get on your bunk. Although you can get off your bunk after two guards make their count rounds, you can’t leave the cell until the facility returns to normal operations. You’re supposed to be able to go to the bathroom and get some water after an hour in the cell, but this is largely left up to the discretion of the guards.

This process is ingrained into prisoners. It has taken place at every prison for decades. You wonder what’s going on if they do not call it. When the siren goes off, your body reacts, your heart quickens, you rush to gather your things, to try to get things done, anything, before you step into that cell. It is a part of the prisoner’s life.

So on my first Saturday of November, while walking back to my place, the city siren went off. I had all the initial reactions of someone inside—the heart-jumping need to get back quick. At the time, I didn’t know this was every month, so I didn’t know what was going on, why the siren was being sounded. I even got my phone out to record it, because I couldn’t believe I was hearing this out in the free world.

The whole time the siren went off, I thought of the shakedowns and lockdowns. I wondered, even though I knew it wasn’t a possibility, if a car full of guards would show up to search my place.

Unrealistic and irrelevant thoughts, but present in my mind anyway.



Still Smiling on a Beautiful Day

One thing that I’ve noticed about myself since being released from prison is that I feel that every day is a beautiful day. So far, nothing has made me mad or sad or otherwise caused me to feel that it was a horrible day. And it’s not like the universe hasn’t tried.

On a Thursday morning, I was riding my bike to work. It takes me anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes to get there, depending on traffic.

I was about two-thirds of the way there, crossing a street. I hit a bump and the chain pops right off the bike. I make it to the sidewalk and try to fix it. After about five minutes, I know I have to start walking or I’ll be late for work. On my way, I arrange for a ride home later and check for the local bike shop’s open hours. I made it five minutes late, but I had called ahead.

During my lunch break, I take my bike to the bike shop, but they’re closed, open only two days a week and not updating their website.

After work, I had a couple of different people look at the bike, all of whom declared it unfixable outside of a shop. This was problematic. My work shifts were making it impossible to get the bike fixed, but I needed it to get to work. Luckily, I was able to arrange for temporary transportation.

The next day, again during my break, I went back to this bike shop while they were open. I explained to them the problem with my bike and they told me to just bring it in. But when I saw their collection of bikes, I thought, how great it would be to have a backup. So I bought one on the spot, decently priced, worked on and tuned up. It felt great when I test rode it.

Two days later, while riding to work early in the morning, the right pedal came right off. I couldn’t believe it. And this time, I was much farther from work than the last time I had bike trouble. I would never make it in time. Thankfully, my friend who had been giving me rides woke up and came for me. I made it to work on time and he took my bike home for me.

My reaction to all this, my innermost feelings towards this string of events, was that everything’s fine. It’s still a wonderful day and even if my bike breaks down once a day, I’m still having a great time.

And that’s not the only obstacle life puts in front of me. I ride my bike in rain, sleet, and snow. It’s great to be able to enjoy the freedom to do it. Someone tried to hack my laptop and really made me panic about it. But in the end, what could they do to really hurt me? Despite all the bells and whistles, klaxons, and virus warnings, they couldn’t send me back to prison. My life savings are a paycheck and a half––it seems their effort probably cost more than they would have taken. On the way back from work, I was harassed by some drunk guy in a car who thought I insulted him. I apologized and got out of there. I felt no anger at that man, just sympathy for whatever was bothering him in life.

Every day is a wonderful, beautiful, nice, amazing day and I can’t imagine anything truly ruining it. Tough times and tough moments are only temporary states. It will always get better and it can definitely get worse. But I now have the freedom to choose how I deal with issues out of my control, how to handle these obstacles. And I choose to not let them bother me. Because no matter what happens, regardless of what life throws at me, my worst day out in the whole wide free world will always be better than my best day in prison.




Born in Detroit, Michigan, James D. Fuson is a writer and artist. His work has been featured by The New Yorker, Washington Square Review at New York University, University of Michigan Press, the Detroit Institute of Arts, National Public Radio, Free School Press, Ugly Duckling Presse, and the Detroit Film Theatre, among others.

Read next: Sweet Extinction by Francis McKee





Founded in 2020, Three Fold is an independent quarterly based in Detroit that presents exploratory points of view on arts, culture, and society in addition to original works in various media, including visual art, literature, film and the performing arts. We solicit and commission contributions from artists, writers, and activists around the world. Three Fold is a publication of Trinosophes Projects, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.