Arisa White, John Murillo and Reginald Dwayne Betts

The Brooklyn Poets Reading Series returns on Thursday, April 29, at 7 PM, featuring poets Arisa White, John Murillo and Reginald Dwayne Betts. Copresented by the Brooklyn Public Library as a BPL Presents event, the reading is free and open to the public. All guests must register through the link below to receive an invitation to join the event on Zoom.


Arisa White is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Colby College and a Cave Canem fellow. She is the author of Who’s Your Daddy (Augury Books 2021), coeditor of Home Is Where You Queer Your Heart (Foglifter Press 2021) and coauthor of Biddy Mason Speaks Up (Heyday Books 2019), winner of the 2020 Maine Literary Award for Young People’s Literature. As the creator of the Beautiful Things Project, Arisa curates poetic collaborations that center narratives of queer people of color. She serves on the board of directors for Foglifter and Nomadic Press.

John Murillo is the author of Up Jump the Boogie (Cypher, 2010; Four Way Books, 2020), finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award, and Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way 2020). His honors include two Larry Neal Writers Awards, a Pushcart Prize, the J Howard and Barbara MJ Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Cave Canem Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as American Poetry Review and Poetry and the Best American Poetry anthologies in 2017 and 2019. He is an assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University and also teaches in the low residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College. He lives in Brooklyn.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a poet and lawyer. He is the director of the Million Book Project, an initiative out of the Yale Law School’s Justice Collaboratory to radically transform the access to literature in prisons. Recently, the Mellon Foundation awarded Betts a 5-million-dollar grant to implement the Million Book Project. 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, the American Book Award winning Felon, into a solo theater show. 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, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Emerson Fellowship at New America and, most recently, a Civil Society Fellowship at Aspen. Betts holds a JD from Yale Law School.

Texts of the poets' poems will be screen-shared during their readings. To request additional accommodations or more information, please contact Jason Koo.

Note that by attending our events, you agree to the terms of our code of conduct. Brooklyn Poets reserves the right to dismiss from our programs any participant found to be in violation of this code. Thank you for respecting our community.