Ian Manuel is a poet, activist and recent MacDowell Fellow. Ian’s poetry was featured in Bryan Stevenson's bestseller, Just Mercy. In 1990, Ian was living in Tampa in one of the poorest, most violent housing projects in the state. At 13, he was involved in a shooting which left him one of the youngest prisoners condemned to die in prison in the United States. He was so young that he was put in solitary confinement, where he remained for the next 18 years. Ten years ago, Equal Justice Initiative took on Ian’s case as part of their fight to end excessive punishment of children, hoping to ban life without parole for children who were convicted on non-homicides. Ian was released after 26 years in prison. Since his release he has spoken at NYU, Butler University, Florida State University, The School of Visual Arts, Horace Mann, and many more prestigious colleges & organizations. He is Living in Brooklyn, and writing an innovative memoir that will make you believe in his mantra. The impossible is obtainable.