Picked by RB:
Why: See below.
What’s to be said that hasn’t already been said about this brother. To try to list all of his accomplishments in one sitting would be impossible, and to try summarize his story and growth as a writer, poet, husband, father, and activist would not do this brother any justice. What you need to know is this: He was raised in Suitland, MD. But that alone won’t tell you everything. At sixteen years old, He carjacked a man and began the journey that would end with a nine year prison sentence that would change his life forever.
After spending most of his teenage years and early 20s in prison, Dwayne walked into the world committed to proving his life wouldn’t be reduced to the thirty seconds he held a gun in his hand. But that fact alone won’t tell you everything.
What if I told you he wrote an amazing memoir about that experience called A Question Of Freedom ? What if I told you the memoir won award after award and landed him on CNN, Tavis Smiley, and NPR? What if I told you that he featured at The Nine On The Ninth back in February of 2007, reading his amazing poetry, before the memoir, before the cameras and before the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work- Debut Author ?
Would any of this compel you to come check out Reginald Dwayne Betts? It should. And if not for any other reason, you should come check out Dwayne because he’ll be reading from his debut book of poetry, Shahid Reads His Own Palm, which drops that first week of May, and will be available to purchase at the Busboys and Poets bookstore, along with his memoir as well.
So. We’ll see you in the audience right? Right.
Now comes the fun part: Tying everything together.
The Nine On The Ninth is a now legendary monthly poetry series that debuted back in October 2005. It’s a feature driven format, which means, the feature opens the show and the open mic follows.
We do this to make sure you get the full effect of each and every specially selected feature we bring to the Langston Room stage, and we’ve had plenty; From Def Poetry Jam’s Bassey Ikpi, Tala A. Rahmeh, Tara Betts, Roger Bonair-Agard and Regie Cabico, to award winning poets Tyehimba Jess, Truth Thomas, Chrystylez Bacon, Bomani Armah, and young phenoms like 16 year old Taylor Johnson.
Immediately following the feature we hold a 10 to 15 minute nine question interview and audience Q&A with the artist that we call the BluePrint Sessions, before we finally slip into the limited open mic to close out the event. Thus you get a full show and have your appetite for people and poetry satisfied. Now then……
Let’s recap. Where do you need to be Sunday evening, May 9th, 2010?
WHAT: The Nine On the Ninth Monthly Poetry Series
WHEN: Sunday May 9th, 2010 / Doors open between 8:00- 8:15pm. Show starts @ 9pm
COST: Free (however, donations are strongly encouraged. We got to pay the Features.)