WESPAC member Raffi has kindly introduced us to Kenneth Reams who has been incarcerated for over 25 years. Read below about his situation and take a look at these four pieces of art (two painted by him and two painted by Isabelle) that are available for sale. WESPAC is hosting a discussion with Kenneth and his partner Isabelle on Wednesday, April 26th virtually. We will show the 90 minute film about his case at 6pm followed by a 30 minute conversation with Kenneth if he is able to access the phone at that time. You may register for the Zoom link here
As a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Kenneth Reams was born to a 15-year-old teen mom in 1974. His childhood in harsh poverty was defined by abuse, neglect, hardship, and later crime. For more than 24 years, Reams has lived on Arkansas’ death row in solitary confinement. Fighting against his execution and seeking for the truth to be heard.
Despite this hardship, Kenneth Reams has managed to become an artist, a poet, a writer, and the founder of the nonprofit organization Who Decides, Inc.
Reams’ poetry has been published in several publications, he made the 2013 semi-final round of the National Amateur Poetry Competition and was second-place winner of the 2016 Lifeline Poetry Competition. He has spoken widely on the subject of solitary confinement and the death penalty at a number of universities and public forums.
His artistic work has been exhibited in venues in London, California, Texas, Arkansas, Ohio, North Carolina, and New York.
He has donated his art to support numerous organizations around the U.S such as Murder Victim’s Family for Reconciliation, the Heyman Center for The Humanities, and the National Association of Univer-sity Women — Queens Branch.
Currently. Kenneth Reams is working on a book – Spoken Pen, a collection of prose, short stories, and poems by death row inmates, with on a stage monologue performance: By Eighteen and on future art exhibits.