Reginald Dwayne Betts
Reginald Dwayne Betts transformed himself from a sixteen-year-old kid sentenced to nine years in prison to a critically acclaimed writer and graduate of the Yale Law School. The founder of Freedom Reads, a first-of-its-kind organization working to radically transform access to literature in prison, Betts is a poet, scholar, and advocate for the reform of the criminal justice system. For this event, Betts will be delivering a theatrical performance, Felon: An American Washi Tale, based on his acclaimed collection Felon (W.W. Norton, 2019) that interweaves poetry with personal experience to deliver a powerful exploration of art, fatherhood, punishment, and mass incarceration. Betts is a recent recipient of a MacArthur Grant, and the author of three books of poetry, as well as the memoir A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (2009).
Betts's performance will take place on April 19 at John M. Greene Hall at 7:00 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by The Jandon Center for Community Engagement, Theatre, Africana Studies, English Language & Literature, and the President’s Innovation Challenge Grant/Year on Democracies.