Etheridge Knight (April 19, 1931 – March 10, 1991) was an African-American poet who made his name in 1968 with his debut volume, Poems from Prison.
You can be sure that most Americans have been affected by the prison system in some way.
The Orleans Parish Prison — despite the name, it’s a county jail — took a beating during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and many prisoners had to be moved to tents, where some still live, on the grounds of the prison. Others live in cells. A new facility is under construction, and nearing completion.
“Died in Korea from a shrapnel wound and narcotics resurrected me. I died in 1960 from a prison sentence and poetry brought me back to life.” —Etheridge Knight