The Public & Private: A Poetry Workshop with Reginald Dwayne Betts

Friday, April 30, 2021 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Reginald Dwayne Betts


Join us for a poetry workshop led by poet and legal scholar Reginald Dwayne Betts. The workshop will focus on juxtaposing the public and private in verse as a way to deepen one’s connection to their central subject and private narrative. It will also explore the possibilities of haiku as meditation and entryway. Readings and discussion will be followed by short writing sessions to generate new work. Attendees are encouraged to bring a few objects from nature with them to the workshop.

Presented in partnership with the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights; the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture; the Reva and David Logan Center Community Arts Program; and the UChicago Program in Creative Writing.

We’re pleased to offer a copy of Dwayne’s latest poetry collection, Felon, to any workshop attendees with lived experience of the carceral system.


About the author: Reginald Dwayne Betts is a poet, lawyer, and the founding director of the Million Book Project. His books include his latest poetry collection, Felon; the memoir, A Question of Freedom; and two previous collections of poetry, Shahid Reads His Own Palm and Bastards of the Reagan Era, which won the PEN New England Award for poetry. In 2019, Betts won the National Magazine Award in the Essays and Criticism category for “Getting Out,” his New York Times Magazine essay that chronicles his journey from prison to becoming a licensed attorney. He holds an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Dwayne’s awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowship, Soros Justice Fellowship, Radcliffe Fellowship, Ruth Lily Fellowship, New America Fellowship, and an NAACP Image Award. He has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, as well as being interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air, The Travis Smiley Show, and several other national shows.

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