Please feel free to write Nyki at
Grand Valley, 1575 Homer Watson Blvd,
Atten: Nicole Kish
A Big, Big Thanks to Everyone Supporting Me
I want to thank every person so much for their support and for believing in me. Being imprisoned as a murderer when I am not a murderer is worse than any nightmare I ever could have imagined, and knowing that so many good people know that I did not kill anyone gives me the strength to continue. I put most of my energy in trying to talk about problems with imprisonment itself because if I see something wrong, I cannot look the other way. It seems that you cannot either.
As more and more months pass, I am becoming more and more scared, each day is getting very hard to make it through. At least once everyday I have to stop, breath deeply, and think of each of you, who bravely stand up for me while I cannot stand up for myself. Thank you for being my voice. I cannot tell you how much I regret listening to my lawyers and not speaking out and getting on that stand and screaming as loud as I could.
I wish I could buy an endless amount of stamps and write everyone, but I can't. So I'm doing what I know how to do, and that is trying to give back by breaking the silence and distance between the justice system and our communities, by trying to 'pay it forward' and be a voice for all of the people in here who have no voice, like you have done for me.
It seems like everything to do with the justice/penal system is a big, complicated mess, my case included.
I want my life back more than anything. Everyday and night I wish that the person responsible for the crime I am convicted of would do the right thing and come forward. I wish that any of the people who know the truth would come forward. But I realize that's probably never going to happen. And I also realize that each of you caring for and supporting me through this has saved me, if not from imprisonment then from losing my faith in humanity. So thank you, so very much.
Free Nyki Poetry Contest 2!
A year has passed since the free Nyki poetry contest. The contest brought hundreds of poets together from across the globe in support of wrongfully convicted artist, poet, and community activist Nyki Kish.
Nyki is still in prison awaiting her appeal and as we wait each day to get her back, she strives for social change from behind prison walls. Art and community are tremendously important to Nyki, lets show her once again that they are important to us too. Submit up to three poems of any length and style before November 15th to email@example.com to participate.
Approximately 15 poems will be featured in bound for Glory Magazine, a Hamilton Ontario based arts and literary publication, as well they will be published in a contest anthology, which will include last years featured poems as well.
All authors whose poems are featured will receive a copy of bound for glory.
This years top three prizes include a one of a kind hand bound version of the anthology as well as a copy of Nyki's own anthology.
1st prize -$50
2nd prize -$30
3rd prize -$20
Submissions are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline is November 15th, 2012 (Submissions are now closed)
Previously published poetry accepted
While we reserve the one time privilege of publishing submitted work in both the magazine and poetry anthology, the author retains all ownership/copy-right over all that they contribute
All poems are considered by Nyki, names of the authors are removed prior to consideration, and while this contest's coordinators cannot afford to award every contributor a prize, every poem is valuable and a winner in Nyki's eyes (she even asked that we try to refrain from terms like 'winners').
Please do know that every poem serves to brighten Nyki's day while she struggles through the dark day of prison to get her freedom back.
Nicole Kish or Nyki to those who know and adore her is a talented singer songwriter, artist, poet, and dedicated community activist. Over the past few years, Nyki founded a non-profit organization dedicated to improving literacy and educational opportunities within Ontario’s correctional facilities. As well she co-founded Bound for Glory, a not for profit arts and literary magazine for talented and neglected artists. Sadly however, on March 1st 2011, Nyki was wrongfully convicted of 2nd degree murder for little reason more than that she was there and she was stabbed. Dismissing the complete absence of positive identification, the confession of a former co-accused in regards to having pulled the alleged fatal knife, the lack of any DNA on Nyki and the copious amount on others, and the two separately "lost" surveillance videos gone missing in police custody, which have been alleged to have captured the events of that night, the judge successfully undermined this country's core judicial principal of having to achieve for a just conviction, guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In fact the defense breached that threshold in proving her innocent. In short, backed by a media complacent with the "official" yet inconsistent story of Detective Giroux and the crown, an innocent young woman temporarily if not indefinitely lost her right to a beautiful life. Nonetheless, an appeal is being put forth and we plea to all who have a good heart and possess a care for true justice to support Nyki through these dark times and to demand her release/ ultimate acquittal.
"...innocent people will continue to be damned to this until more Canadians are made aware of the workings of our judicial system and vital changes are made. I'm ashamed that our police forces tunnel vision to prosecute me against all obvious facts will leave many without true closure and equally ashamed that our media is not the public watchdog it ought to be." -Nyki Kish
Please everybody, write Nyki. Nothing would be as meaningful than to do so. Her address is
Grand Valley, 1575 Homer Watson Blvd,
Atten: Nicole Kish
Nyki is an, artist, poet, singer song writer, and adherent community activist. Her music can be found at
Check it out and leave a comment.
support her on facebook.
Or feel free to contact her supporters at email@example.com
“And I want to change the world…”
By Melissa Higgins at
Nicole Kish, known simply as Nyki, is 26 years old. She resides in a maximum security unit at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ontario. Nyki was 21 years old when life as she knew it came to a dramatic and grinding halt in August of 2007.
The events leading up the Nyki’s arrest began during the late evening of August 8th. Nyki and a group of her friends, later referred to by media as “traveling kids“, were in Toronto to celebrate her 21st birthday.
That evening, an unrelated group of coworkers went out together to try to improve “morale among the workers“. The evening did not go well for the group and eventually the majority went their separate ways. The two remaining members, George Dranichak and Ross Hammond, went to a music club. The location was Queen Street West and Bathurst Street. They remained at the club until about 11:30 p.m., when they left and decided to get more cash at an ATM.
Allegedly, Dranichak and Hammond were approached near the ATM by a female who asked the men for $20. She was described as wearing loose clothing, having a ponytail of dirty light brown hair, and being young. The two men made a series of vulgar comments to the female. According to court records, two additional males and a female who was later identified as Nyki Kish by Dranichak after he watched video taken by CityTV, approached and became involved in the argument.
Dranichak described the attempt he and his friend made to move away from the group. When the two reached the south side of Queen Street the men became separated. Dranichak said he was attacked by the female and blonde haired male. The attack was described as consisting of the female, later identified by the man as Nyki, hitting the man in the knee with her bike. The male then reportedly began to punch Dranichak and kick him. After saying he was pushed into a window, Dranichak said he escaped by getting into a taxi.
Witness descriptions of the event varied considerably. One witness, Mystica Cooper, stated that the girl with dark hair on a bicycle did not take part in the altercation. She described the group involved in the attack as being a female with dirty light brown hair worn in dreadlocks, and three males. Though Cooper saw a girl with brown hair, riding a bike, she said the girl was not involved. The girl with dark brown hair asked Cooper for a cigarette. By the time a police car arrived on the scene, Cooper left with friends to go to a bar.
A significant amount of people observed the events that unfolded that night, but the accounts were inconsistent. A reporter wrote, “Though none of the approximately 20 witnesses directly saw Mr. Hammond get stabbed, their accounts of events that night allowed Judge Nordheimer to piece together a narrative.”
But was that narrative accurate?
By the time the fight reached a conclusion, two facts were certain. Nyki and Ross Hammond were stabbed. Nyki survived her injury and Hammond did not. A website constructed to raise awareness about Nyki’s case explained that DNA was found on people involved in the event, but none was found on Nyki. There were surveillance videos that were said to have recorded the events that took place that night; however, both videos were reported to have gone missing out of police custody. The site also touched on a confession given by one of the other people accused of the crime “in regards to having pulled the alleged knife”.
Nyki was ultimately convicted of second degree murder, based on confusing and highly contradictory eyewitness testimony. Despite the problematic aspects of the multiple eyewitness accounts, the charges against the other three people described as being involved were dropped.
Matt Baratta lives in Georgia. He learned about Nyki’s case on an Amanda Knox support group. He had become intrigued by the Knox case and was “stunned at the similarities” between the two cases.
Matt was instantly drawn to Nyki’s case, believing that she had been unjustly convicted. He sent Nyki’s mother a message and shared some previous writings he had done – including one about the Amanda Knox case – asking her if she wanted him to write about Nyki. He subsequently spent a month thoroughly researching her case before writing his article.
Since learning of this particular case, Matt has become close with Nyki and her family. He described his advocacy as a three-pronged effort consisting of writing to inform others about her case, providing emotional support to Nyki and her family, and helping financially.
Matt recently met Nyki for the first time when he traveled to Canada. He stated that meeting Nyki only reinforced his beliefs about her. “She constantly thinks of others, including her pod mates. She asked me lots of questions about my life and my interests. She is amazing”.
Matt urged people to read more about Nyki’s case on her site and to share her story with others who might be motivated to help. “Nyki is innocent,” he explained. “And has so much to offer society.”
He recommended a number of ways for people to help, including writing letters of support to Nyki because “it gets very lonely and isolated in prison”. He also suggested sharing her story. Financial donations to assist with her case are always welcomed and helpful as well. Currently Nyki’s case is on appeal. She has one chance to obtain relief through the Canadian court system.
Nyki is an intriguing woman on many levels. One of the first things I discovered as I began to dig deeper into her case is the advocacy she has done on behalf of others. Not only is she an exceptional writer and musician, but she is a community activist. In Hamilton, Ontario she helped to found a program known as “Books to Bars“. The purpose of this program is to “organize, package, and deliver donations of anywhere from 100-450 books to nearly a dozen remands, detention centres and prisons”.
While Nyki’s friends and family have advocated for her freedom, Nyki has turned her attention to a much bigger goal. “Aside from my love of family, friends and freedom, I have only one thing in my heart today,” she wrote in her blog on July 15th. “It is complete dedication to do all I can to effect positive change in here from now on, and to not let the terrible wrongs I see go unnoticed anymore.”
In a three-part blog series, Nyki outlined the policies and structural conditions within the Grand Valley Institution for women. She has composed these writings “to help readers form a clear picture of the realities of imprisonment”.
Her writing is unusually insightful and at times harrowing. Her blog is a must-read for those unfamiliar with the alienating, and at times degrading, prison environment. Though the events described took place in Canada, Nyki’s experiences parallel those of many others throughout various regions.
One of the reasons I felt a need to write about Nyki’s case is not just because of the unfairness of her conviction, but because she is a far from ordinary woman who dreams of living on a boat and changing the world.
“I dream of a world,” she wrote on September 2nd of this year, “where some people do not have to suffer for others to prosper, where our existence does not destroy this planet, where our actions come from a place of understanding, not fear. And I believe this is entirely possible.”
I believe it too. I hope that someday soon Nyki will be free to continue in her efforts to help others and educate the public about the topics she is passionate about.