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W.W. Norton & Company 10/15/2019. New hardcover. in Brand New jacket.
Felon tells the story of one man in fierce, dazzling poems-- canvassing his 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 postincarceration existence and examines prison not as a static space, but as a force that enacts pressure throughout a person's life. Challenging the complexities of language, Betts animates what it means to be a "felon."
What she tells me: prison killed you
my love, killed you so dead that you're not
here now, you're never here, you're always.