SELECT PRAISE

BASTARDS OF THE REAGAN ERA, Mr. Betts’s second volume of verse, demonstrates his ability to use the musical power of words to convey what it is like to grow up black and marginalized, and the crushing, humiliating experience of prison.
— MICHIKO KAKUTANI VIA THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
The phenomenon of prison, completely distinct from the pursuit of a safe community, has always been about the breaking of human beings.
— REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS VIA TIME
It should not have been a surprise to anyone that part of what I got out of my time in prison was nearly a year and a half of solitary confinement.
— REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS VIA YALE LAW JOURNAL
I had never thought about poetry as a way to communicate. I never thought about it as a way to talk about things other than love.
— REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS VIA HUFFINGTON POST BLACK VOICES
Young people don’t read because they don’t see other people they can associate with being cool reading. I’ve got a space where we can come together.
— REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS VIA THE WASHINGTON POST
The entire language about concurrent sentence, parole, probation, resentencing report. All of these words that have nothing to do with real life, I have no reason now to ever have a conversation about them, but they become something that defines you.
— REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS VIA THE NEW YORKER
A poem can say everything you say in a novel in much less space. They’re musical. People hear the music in poetry.
— REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS VIA USA TODAY