Standfast was created in 2019 on Dalton’s release from prison. The term Standfast comes from when the officers count the prisoners for the roll call (that then must be called into the main office and if it’s not right) a standfast occurs and the recount takes place. Each prisoner is kept where they are and the prison shuts down till they are found.
When Dalton got out he felt isolated and alone with no purpose. He wanted a way to help and support other offenders on release so no one was left behind. Dalton started writing poetry when he was young then got back into it in prison and found hope in his words as no one else was like him in the Female hostel he was moved to. After working very hard in prison he found on entering society he received no support as a transgender man. In prison, he had performed raising money for charity in several pantomimes and thought how empowering it had been.
The best writer he knew was Kath, and as he waited for her release he had two words: High Risk. Dalton began collaborating with Kath about a play called High Risk which Kath began writing on true events. They continued to work closely together as they wanted the characters to find their voice and story from their own thoughts and personalities by using their collective poetry in the play. Writing on air became the platform for Standfast to expand and a newer version of High Risk was developed in workshops and became a radio play for Chapel FM. This was followed by HMPride, they are now collectively writing the play What Ifs and Maybes for Writing On Air. As a founding member of Standfast, Kath has created a writing platform to engage people in script writing, poetry and the best home-cooked meals anyone could ask for. Kath supports poetry and art workshops and Dalton has taken workshops in approved premises and community events. Kath’s art is used to support mental health and has benefited many people; it has also been used in theatre productions in the UK and for education programs in Canada. Kath’s poetry has been sung and changed to music with some inspirational community-based collaborations.
Dalton and Kath continue to support and encourage people who have been affected by the criminal justice system to find their creativity and purpose. They continue to do consultancy work and talk about prison, gender, age, the arts and religion.
People you may meet
Dalton Harrison is a dyslexic trans man with a history of prison. An award-winning poet, he is now in his third year studying criminal justice and criminology BA and he believes that is why he did the practical before the theory. Dalton works with Durham University as a teaching assistant with the Inside Out program as well as The Think Like a Scientist program at the University of Toronto and volunteers with the Prisoners Education Trust. Dalton's poetry has been used in Theatre productions and has been made into a contemporary dance called Seventeen by Dance United Yorkshire. Dalton has had his poetry changed into music for the Leeds Lieder Festival and performed on BBC 3 Music Matters. He has performed at Blur the Lines in The Playhouse, Leeds Poetry Festival and Leeds Lit Festival. Dalton has collaborated internationally with the German poet and artist Linn Schiffmann and the project #tofacetransvoice changing his poetry into pieces of art for a touring exhibition. More recently Dalton has collaborated with international poets and poet laureates as part of the BBC contains strong language festivals. He has given talks on gender, prison, education and transition in universities, youth centres and trans groups, and criminal justice settings. As well as doing poetry workshops in hostels, community centres, Leeds Queer Film Festival, Doncaster Pride and trans-Leeds. Dalton has been published on many platforms his favourites include educational review, Inside Time, Pink News, Queer AF, Trans_muted and recently the anthology Twenty-eight. His debut poetry collection The Boy Behind The Wall is a poetry memoir of his life.
Kath is a self-taught, award-winning, artist, performance poet, playwright, up-cycler and sculptor who has had her work displayed as part of exhibitions on the South Bank (2018) and in the Royal Albert Hall (2019). An alumni of Durham University, she works mostly in Acrylic paint on canvas, wood and ceramic tiles, but has been known to venture into mixed media to produce 3D wall art and her sculptures. She aims to capture her thoughts and emotions in her abstract art. All the items here were produced during the pandemic lockdowns. Whenever possible she recycles plastic, glass and cardboard. She has saved from landfill various items including a pair of stools, and three compressed cardboard drums. Based in Leeds she can regularly be found performing her poetry at events, or when at home messing around with paint and power tools in the Art Cupboard! She is a founding member of Standfast production company and, as the writer of High Risk, a hard-hitting spoken word event, performed in the play at the Holbeck Working Mens Club in Holbeck, Leeds, where they raised close to £300 for a local charity. 2019, and live on air as part of Chapel FM`s Writing on Air festival, 2021. She is also a member of The Performance Ensemble and recently participated in the 2023 takeover of the Leeds Playhouse.
Fee is passionate about change and is a Queer feminist and poet and founding member of Standfast Productions. Fee is a student in criminal justice and criminology and has collaborated with Durham University on social work, social justice and criminology workshops while working internationally with prison education programs. Fee has been in the educational review and has been published in Criminal Women by Bristol Poetry Press. She is passionate about men's mental health and works hard at shifting perceptions. She loves tattoos and long walks with chunky headphones and you will often find her in the gym on rest days.