Poetry, Prison, and the Pandemic
Our guest today is Reginald Dwayne Betts, a poet, memoirist, and legal scholar. Loyal listeners will remember our conversation from March of 2019. The episode was called “A Poet Gives a 360 Degree View of The Criminal Legal System,” and we talked about Dwayne’s journey from a teenage defendant sentenced to 9 years in prison to a Yale Law School graduate and published poet. A lot has happened since we last spoke. Dwayne published a new book of poetry called Felon and had an exhibit at P.S. 1 MoMA with painter Titus Kaphar called Redaction. If that wasn’t enough, Dwayne also completed a clerkship with a federal judge and is pursuing a PhD in law at Yale. And of course, this episode is being recorded months into a global pandemic, that poses particular risks for people in detention. Today we’ll discuss the impact COVID-19 is having on incarcerated people, what we should do to support the thousands of people who are getting out of detention as a result of the efforts by the ACLU and others, and how art can help us get through these uncertain times.
Listen to our first episode with Reginald Dwayne Betts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a-poet-gives-a-360-degree-view-of-the-criminal-justice-system/id1396174920?i=1000432665627.
This episode, Poetry, Prison, and the Pandemic, covers the following issues we work on –