Telling The Untold Stories, Dwayne Betts: New York

Dwayne Betts is an author, poet, and juvenile justice activist. He is writing a book about the ways that crime and mass incarceration affect the families of both victims and incarcerated, social workers, teachers, and others who will never see the inside of a jail cell.

Betts earned a BA in English from the University of Maryland and is pursuing his MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College, where he holds the Holden Fellowship. A frequent lecturer and commentator, he was nominated for the 2008 Pushcart Award for Poetry, was a finalist for the 2007 Ruth Lily Fellowship in Poetry, and was a Cave Canem Fellow in 2006 and 2007.

Betts’s memoir, A Question of Freedom, published in 2009, was recently honored by the NAACP’s 2010 Image Awards as “Outstanding Literary Work” by a debut author. In addition to his writing and speaking, Betts is also a committed educator, having served as the Program Director for the DC Creative Writing Workshop since 2006.