Book Club Discussion Questions: Felon by Reginald Dwayne Betts

My book club met over the weekend to discuss a book of poems, by Reginald Dwayne Bettes called Felon.


I knew selecting this book for our group would challenge us. Some of the members had never read a book of poetry before. Others felt they “don’t get poetry.” Even so, our group overwhelmingly enjoyed this book and we had a lively, emotional discussion.

We were joined by my friend, poet Angelo Geter, who brought a whole different level of knowledge to the discussion, and helped us understand poetry techniques.

Angelo also helped me create discussion questions for our meeting, since I wasn’t able to find any online.

I hope these questions can help you have an entertaining, yet meaningful discussion with your book club about Felon.

Book Club Discussion Questions for Felon by Reginald Dwayne Betts

  • What was your favorite poem and why?
  • What was your least favorite poem and why?
  • Were you surprised by anything in this book?
  • What did you struggle with while reading these poems? What did you not understand?
  • What did you think specifically of the redaction poems? Why do you think he chose the words he left visible?
  • What do these poems say about being human?
  • What terms or images did you notice more than once in the collection? Why do you think those were repeated?
  • What affect has alcohol had on the speaker’s life and how does that affect how you view his story?
  • How did you feel about the bluntness and occasional profanity used in the poems? Why do you think he used those specific words?

I hope you find these questions useful as you discuss this powerful poetry collection. As always, I’d love to hear how this list worked out for you, and if your group added some of their own.


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