Daniel Holmes, the poet and author who spent eight years in Malta’s prison for growing cannabis plants in his Gozitan home, will be interviewed live by Lovin Malta’s Chris Peregin this Sunday.
Holmes, who is banned from returning to Malta until 2023, will be interviewed at 5.30pm on Sunday 15th from Wales as part of a live-streamed discussion forming part of the National Book Festival.
The festival is free and will be held entirely online between the 11th and 15th November, and will also feature interviews with other incredible authors like Sir Salman Rushdie.
It will be the first time Holmes is seen in Malta since his release in 2018, physically or virtually. It will also be his first media appearance ahead of the publishing of his debut novel, ‘A Memoir From Malta’s Prison: From A Cage, On A Rock, In A Puddle’, published by Lovin Malta and sponsored by the National Book Council.
The book will give readers a first-hand glimpse into the rarely seen world of Maltese prisons. Describing everyday prison life and trying to keep sane, the novel is set to be a first for modern Maltese prison literature.
Daniel Holmes was sentenced to 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 has 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.
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 of, with others found with larger amounts receiving far lenient sentences.
Lovin Malta joined Holmes on his first day out of prison as he was sent back to Wales in the middle of the night.
Pre-orders for the book will be released soon.