Reginald Dwayne Betts Interview: Redefining Redemption by Finding Poetry in Prison

Reginald Dwayne Betts recalls being tried as an adult and sent to prison for carjacking when he was 16 and how that eventually led him to becoming a writer. Topics explored are Prison Reform, The Power of a Poem, Family and what it means to be a felon in America.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is an award winning poet and lawyer who is the founder and executive director of Freedom Reads, a not-for-profit organization that gives access to literature in prisons through the installation of Freedom Libraries across the country. For over 20 years he has used his poetry and essays to explore the world of prisons and the effects of violence and incarceration on American Society. He has transformed his latest collection of poetry, Felon: Poems into a solo theater show that explores the post incarceration experience and lingering consequences of a criminal record through poetry, stories, and engaging with the timeless and transcendental art of paper-making. He was a recipient of the 2021 MacArthur Fellowship Award.