Deborah Tobola’s personal memoir HUMMINGBIRD IN UNDERWORLD: TEACHING IN A MEN'S PRISON aptly reflects the title’s namesake.  Her delicious imagery and poetry, as well as first class writing style is as colorful, iridescent and luminous as a hummingbird’s feathers.   As a hummingbird displays unique dexterity, ability and agility to fly (always upright) in various planes; forwards and backwards, so does Ms. Tobola as she recounts her life and work.

Seamlessly moving back and forth between worlds growing up as a child in southern California and her adult life experiences teaching in the field of Arts in Corrections, her book is riveting and commands our attention from first to last page. 

Exquisite writing style aside, Ms. Tobola gives the reader a glimpse into a world less known by most - the harsh setting contrasted by the redemptive quality of men (given the opportunity to be acknowledged and create original theater) in a men’s California prison.

I highly recommend this book! You will not be disappointed.


Leslie Lakes, Director

Copyright © 2019 by Deborah Tobola

She Writes Press, Berkeley, CA

ISBN: 978-1-63152-505-6

Cover Design by Leah Lococo / Front Cover illustration © Shutterstock

Drawing of hummingbird against prison bars by Guillermo Willie