BASTARDS OF THE REAGAN ERA by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Reginald Betts’s poems tell a powerful story about the war on drugs in America. They’re full of regret and hope and longing. One piece follows an imprisoned person on a bus being transported to the other side of the state. Another thinks about street life as a movie script. He has a number of poems all by the same title dedicated to understanding his city. Throughout the collection, Betts muses on everyone that’s hooked on drugs–from the people selling them and/or cleverly rapping about them to those using on them to those politicizing them as a genocidal weapon. Ultimately, the book explores the power of creating a narrative.

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