Purchase Reginald Dwayne Betts’ “Felon: Poems”

Date(s) - 06/17/2021 - 07/06/2021
All Day

As part of Achievement Unlocked, PJDC is partnering with Oakland’s Marcus Books, the nation’s oldest Black-owned independent bookstore, to sell copies of Reginald Dwayne Betts‘ collection of poems in “Felon: Poems.” As described at GoodReads.com:

Felon” tells the story of the effects of incarceration in fierce, dazzling poems—canvassing a wide range of emotions and experiences through homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, fatherhood, and grace—and, in doing so, creates a travelogue for an imagined life. Reginald Dwayne Betts confronts the funk of post-incarceration existence and examines prison not as a static space, but as a force that enacts pressure throughout a person’s life.

The poems move between traditional and newfound forms with power and agility—from revolutionary found poems created by redacting court documents to the astonishing crown of sonnets that serves as the volume’s radiant conclusion. Drawing inspiration from lawsuits filed on behalf of the incarcerated, the redaction poems focus on the ways we exploit and erase the poor and imprisoned from public consciousness. Traditionally, redaction erases what is top secret; in “Felon,” Betts redacts what is superfluous, bringing into focus the profound failures of the criminal justice system and the inadequacy of the labels it generates.

Challenging the complexities of language, Betts animates what it means to be a “felon.”

Since its opening in the 1960s, Marcus Books’ mission has been to provide opportunities for Black folks and their allies to celebrate and learn about Black people everywhere.

We only have a limited number of signed copies by Dwayne Betts so get your orders in soon!


$23 – To have a copy of the paperback edition shipped to your home and/or office – includes sales tax and shipping.

$18 – To order a copy of the paperback edition for pick up at Marcus Books (3900 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Oakland – directions/hours). Marcus Books is a treasure. Come pick up the book, say hello to the owner, and peruse the fantastic collection of books.

**Please note that due to the current pandemic, shipping and pick-up times may have slight delays. Please contact Ji Seon Song at song@pjdc.org if you have any questions.

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