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Reginald Dwayne Betts

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 @ 11:00am



Grunin Center
1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754

Main Stage, Free

Advance Registration Required

The event will also be live-streamed

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a poet and lawyer. A 2021 MacArthur Fellow, he is the Executive Director of Freedom Reads, a not-for-profit organization that is radically transforming the access to literature in prisons through the installation of Freedom Libraries in prisons across this country.

For more than twenty-years, he has used his poetry and essays to explore the world of prison and the effects of violence and incarceration on American society. The author of a memoir and three collections of poetry, he has transformed his latest collection of poetry, the American Book Award winning Felon, into a solo theater show that explores the post incarceration experience and lingering consequences of a criminal record through poetry, stories, and engaging with the timeless and transcendental art of paper-making.

In 2019, Betts won the National Magazine Award in the Essays and Criticism category for his NY Times Magazine essay that chronicles his journey from prison to becoming a licensed attorney. He has been awarded a Radcliffe Fellowship from Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Emerson Fellow at New America, and most recently a Civil Society Fellow at Aspen. Betts holds a J.D. from Yale Law School.

The Blauvelt Speaker Series is funded in part by the generosity of the late Bradford Thomas & Eleanor G. Blauvelt and the Wintrode Family Foundation. This year’s 2023-2024 additional sponsors include Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle & Sacks, LLC, The Citta Foundation, Arlene and Frank Dupignac, Jr., Kean University, Stella and Marshall Kern, New Jersey Natural Gas, and Novins, York, Jacobus & Dooley.

Photo by Mamadi Doumbouya




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