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EKFreePeoplesBe Writing Contest 2022

Write a poem/short story that builds on themes found in Etheridge Knight's poetry. Etheridge Knight was a black prison poet who was centrally involved in the Black Arts Movement. Knight was wounded in the Korean war, became addicted to opiates, and served seven years in prison for robbery. In prison Knight began to write poetry. He gained recognition from established poets, and his first book, "Poems from Prison," was published in 1968, coinciding with his release from prison. Knight made a name for himself by using his words. Knight viewed poetry as inseparable from community connection and said that poetry was "a kind of trinity, the poet, the poem, and the people." By infusing his works with personal themes and larger issues, Knight was able to express himself and establish strong connections within the poetry community. Knight was able to change his life of poverty, crime, and drug addiction to become exactly what he expressed to the people: "a voice that was heard and helped his people."