Prison and Poetry
Reginald Dwayne Betts will speak about his poems on prison, his experience in law school and the issue of race in criminal law.
Date & Time:
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
University of St. Thomas School of Law
At the age of 16, Reginald Dwayne Betts and a friend carjacked a man who had fallen asleep in his car at a mall. Betts was charged as an adult and spent more than eight years in prison, where he completed high school and began reading and writing poetry. Today, Betts is a student at Yale Law School and is the author of a memoir and two books of poetry.
His memior, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (Avery/Penguin, 2009), was awarded the 2010 NAACP Image Award for non-fiction. His books of poetry are Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James, 2010) and Bastards of the Reagan Era (Four Way Books, 2015). Betts is a 2010 Soros Justice Fellow, 2011 Radcliffe Fellow, and 2012 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow. In 2012, Betts was appointed to the Coordinating Council of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention by President Obama. He is a graduate of Prince George’s Community College, the University of Maryland and the MFA Program at Warren Wilson College.
At St. Thomas, Betts will speak about his poems on prison, his experience in law school and the issue of race in criminal law.
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