Reginald Dwayne Betts - "Felon" - Eve L. Ewing

Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Reginald Dwayne Betts

Reginald Dwayne Betts discusses Felon: Poems. He will be joined in conversation by Eve L. Ewing.

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.

Virtual event


About the book: In fierce, agile poems, Felon tells the story of the effects of incarceration—canvassing a wide range of emotions and experiences through homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, fatherhood, and grace—and, in doing so, creates a travelogue for an imagined life. Reginald Dwayne Betts confronts the funk of post-incarceration existence in traditional and newfound forms, from revolutionary found poems created by redacting court documents to the astonishing crown of sonnets that serves as the volume’s radiant conclusion.

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. Dwayne’s other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowship, Soros Justice Fellowship, Radcliffe Fellowship, Ruth Lily Fellowship, New America Fellowship, and an NAACP Image Award. He holds an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

About the interlocutor: Dr. Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist of education and a writer from Chicago. She is the author, most recently, of the poetry collection 1919 and the nonfiction work Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago's South Side. Her first book, the poetry collection Electric Arches, received awards from the American Library Association and the Poetry Society of America and was named one of the year's best books by NPR and the Chicago Tribune. Ewing is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Currently she is working on her next book, Original Sins: The (Mis)education of Black and Native Children and the Construction of American Racism, which will be published by One World. 

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