Shahid Reads His Own Palm

Synopsis: Reginald Dwayne Betts sings mournfully, bearing witness within prisoners' cells, pulling readers to walk through a brutal underworld
Publisher Comments: Inside silence there is a sliver of light that is the seed of the music of these poems, the origin of a melodic range we seldom see in a poet's first collection. These melodies move in a harmonic range affirming human struggle with an extraordinary elegance. This collection of song is definite evidence of the gift.--Afaa Michael Weaver Gripping and terrifying, eloquent and heartwrenching, this debut collection delves into hellish territory: prison life. Soulful poems somberly capture time-bending experiences and the survivalist mentality needed to live a contradiction, confronting both daily torment and one's illogical fear of freedom. From Tell this to the people you love: or think about--the young boy, whose name you won't say, his name written in dirt by the fence closest the weight pit, 'cause prison cells drive men to practice history, writing names--their own, someone else's--into myth--on walls, benches, even dirt . . . Reginald Dwayne Betts received the Holden Fellowship from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. A Cave Canem fellow, Breadloaf Writer's Conference scholarship recipient, and graduate of Prince George's Community College and the University of Maryland, his poetry has appeared in such journals as Ploughshares and Poet Lore. His memoir A Question of Freedom has just been published by Avery Books/Penguin.
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