After spending over eight years locked in Malta’s Corradino Correctional Facility, Daniel Holmes, one of the island’s most famous prisoners, will be releasing a tell-all expose’ of his time inside.
From the conditions he and his fellow inmates struggled with to the everyday politics behind bars, Holmes’ debut A Memoir From Malta’s Prison: From A Cage, On A Rock, In A Puddle is set to reveal what a long-term prisoner in Malta could expect in the early and mid-2010s for the first time ever.
While imprisoned, Holmes rubbed shoulders with some of the island’s most well-known criminals and recounts his conversations with them, as well as the way they ran things on the inside.
Lovin Malta joined Holmes on the day he was released from prison and sent back to the UK on a flight in the middle of the night – watch the full documentary below.
Malta’s prison has been notoriously secretive over the years, with unexplained deaths occurring alongside an explosion of new foreign inmates and restructuring under a new prison director.
Holmes’ debut memoir will shine a light where few have looked before.
Holmes will be releasing his memoir at the Malta Book Festival, where he will be interviewed via live-stream alongside a bill that features world-famous authors such as Sir Salman Rushdie.
The Malta Book Festival will be running from 11th to 15th November – for more information on the festival, you can follow this link.
Daniel Holmes was sentenced to nearly a decade in prison after being found growing 26 cannabis saplings in his Gozo home.
Along with a British friend of his, Barry Lee, Holmes was dragged through the Maltese justice system and paraded as a drug kingpin. Though Malta’s since legalised the medicinal use of cannabis and decriminalised the personal use of cannabis, their arrests came during a time when there was very little leeway given to anyone found with drugs, even soft drugs like cannabis.
Their collective treatment was so severe and there was little hope for them to find justice. Barry Lee ended up committing suicide in prison, hanging himself with a belt in his prison cell. Holmes was left alone.
Multiple protests were held in Valletta by hundreds of activists who demanded his freedom as his story picked up international coverage. Activists argued that Holmes was simply being made an example off, with others found with larger amounts receiving far lenient sentences.
During his time in prison, Holmes fathered two daughters with his wife via conjugal visits.
Among his many anecdotes, he recounts how he attempted to use his time in prison well and learn Polish as his wife is Polish.
When he asked for a Polish book to learn from, prison officials gave him a Russian book, allegedly telling him: “aren’t the languages close enough?”
An intelligent and witty man, Holmes spent his time in prison detailing the chaos and madness, be it from drug abuse, powerful criminals or a prison system that just didn’t care about inmates.
His debut memoir will give an outsider’s insider perspective into the way Maltese prison was run over a decade.
Holmes wrote the entire time he was locked up. His father, Mel, maintained his online blog, where he would upload poems from prison. These poems landed Holmes the Gold in the Koestler Arts Awards in 2018, and have been featured in a number of modern poetry compilations.
A Memoir From Malta’s Prison: From A Cage, On A Rock, In A Puddle will be the first book published by Lovin Malta.
Covering his story over the years, it became clear that his story needed to be told in his own words. Holmes had been working on the manuscript for the book throughout his years inside. With some incredible work by some of Malta’s top editors, the book will leave readers in awe, and wondering what else is going down in Malta’s prison.
The book will be released in November and will be available for purchase very soon. Look out for it, and do not miss his live-streamed interview on Sunday the 15th November.