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In conversation with Reginald Dwayne Betts

“Who said nobody deserves a second chance?”

At the age of sixteen, Reginald Dwayne Betts and a friend carjacked a man. 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. He is now a poet and the author of three books, including the recently published Bastards of the Reagan Era, the 2010 NAACP Image Award-winning memoir A Question of Freedomand the poetry collection Shahid Reads His Own Palm

Betts is currently enrolled in the PhD in Law Program at the Yale Law School and has earned a J.D. from the Yale Law School, an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College’s M.F.A. Program for Writers and a B.A. from the University of Maryland

“I left prison convinced that the third of my life lost to maximum security wouldn’t haunt me. I was wrong.” — Reginald Dwayne Betts, The New York Times

Photo © Rachel Eliza Griffiths


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