Marilyn Buck is a poet, activist and an anti-imperialist political prisoner. She began her anti-racist activism as a teen in Texas, organized against the war in Vietnam, and joined SDS and S. F. Newsreel. She fought for the self-determination for all people, and she aligned herself with the Black Liberation Movement. In 1973 she was convicted of purchasing two boxes of handgun ammunition and was given a ten year sentence. After serving four years in Federal prison in Alderson, West Virginia, she was granted a furlough and did not return. The following eight years she was underground.
In 1985 Marilyn was recaptured and tried for breaching another wall -- she was convicted of conspiracy for the successful escape of Assata Shakur from a New Jersey prison. She has been in prison for 18 years, with a total sentence of 80 years.
Marilyn continues her activism inside the Federal women's prison in Dublin, California. She is deeply involved in cultural and educational activities for all prisoners, and translates for Spanish-speaking women inside. She has lifted her own voice through poetry for the whole time she has been incarcerated, and has participated in Poetry for the People workshops inside. In 2001 she won the PEN Prison Writing Program poetry prize and published a collection of poems called Rescue the Word.