Reginald Dwayne Betts, author of Felon: Poems, has written three volumes of poetry and one memoir. He 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, and has earned Guggenheim, NEA, Soros Justice, Radcliffe, Ruth Lily, and New America Fellowships and an NAACP Image Award. Betts holds a BA from the University of Maryland; an MFA from Warren Wilson College, where he was a Holden Fellow; and a JD from Yale Law School, where he was awarded the Israel H. Perez Prize for best student note or comment appearing in the Yale Law Journal. He is a PhD in Law candidate at Yale and, as a Liman Fellow, he spent a year representing clients in the New Haven Public Defender’s Office. Betts is also the founder and director of the Million Book Project, an initiative supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will place curated 500-title collections inside 1,000 prisons across the United States, including Puerto Rico.

Published Works

Felon: Poems
Bastards of the Reagan Era
A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison


SHELF LIFE—Felon: A Reading & Conversation with Reginald Dwayne Betts

Poet Reginald Dwayne Betts will discuss his latest collection, Felon, in a reading and conversation with Amy Woolard, including a contemplation of civic participation accessible to those who have been …

February 4, 2021 | 12PM – 12:45PM

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