Sarah Shourd

Sarah Shourd's picture

Sarah Shourd is a multimedia, award-winning journalist, artist and former Stanford John S. Knight Fellow based in Oakland, California. Over the last decade since her own imprisonment, the majority of Shourd’s work has centered around exposing the underbelly of mass incarceration and the inhumanity of solitary confinement. She’s authored two books: one a memoir about the year she spent as a political hostage in Iran, A Sliver of Light: Three Americans in Iran (Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, 2012) and the second an anthology of testimonies she collected from prisoners across the US during her three-year investigation into solitary confinement in prisons across the US, Hell Is a Very Small Place (New Press, 2016). Based on this investigation, Shourd also wrote, directed and produced a play, The BOX, which premiered in San Francisco in 2016 to sold-out audiences and went on to be performed in the old penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in 2019. In 2018 Shourd hosted a podcast, “Of Two Minds,” on divisiveness in America; and in 2019 she co-created a nonfiction graphic novel called Flying Kites: The 2013 California Prisoner Hunger Strike (Haymarket Books, 2020). Her journalism has been published by The New York Times, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, CNN, San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters and many more. For more information please visit:

Last updated: 
Wednesday, June 10, 2020