In 1983 Soviet courts found poet Irina Ratushinskaya guilty of "the dissemination of slanderous documentation in poetic form." For this heinous crime she was sentenced to seven years of hard labor and five years of internal exile. This book is a moving account of her experiences inside the Soviet camp Barashevo. What is more, it is a heartfelt testimony to the spirit and courage of the female "politicals" who shared and enriched her life there. These women formed a community based on those principles denied to them outside-individual freedom, dignity and democracy.