It was time for another one of Mrs. Paulson's top ten lists. Mrs. Paulson asked the class to take out their pens and paper and get ready to take notes fast. She watched the class retrieve their writing implements and get ready.
"Are you ready?" she asked.
"Yes," a choir of voices said.
"Let's go!" Mrs. Paulson said. Then she started to read these facts about the poet Etheridge Knight.
1. Knight was born on April 19, 1931, and died on March 10, 1991, of lung cancer.
2. He joined the army at the age of sixteen and was discharged after being injured in Korea.
3. He returned to the United States with a narcotics addiction to the morphine with which he was being treated. He fell into a life of addiction and crime and was sent to prison in 1960.
4. While in prison, he developed a skill for writing and wrote Poems from Prison. His book was published in 1968, the year he was released and was wed to Sonia Sanchez.
5. Knight continued to struggle with drug and alcohol addiction after being released from prison.