Listen: Damion Coppedge, poetry, chess, and Buddhism in prison

Damion Coppedge



Damion Coppedge is a poet, a chess teacher, a Buddhist. He honed these aspects of his life during the 22 years he spent in prison. He is now making his way in the world, living in a half-way house in the Bronx since his release on July 31. He appeared in The Enterprise six years ago in a chess column written by the late Clarksville lawyer and activist, Peter Henner. They played chess by mail. Coppedge also corresponded with a young chess prodigy in Uganda, Phiona Mutesi, who lived in the slums of Katwe. Disney made a film, “Queen of Katwe,” about her meteoric rise in the chess world, based on a book by Tim Crothers, which includes a letter from Coppedge to Phiona. This week’s podcast starts with Coppedge reading one of his poems and ends with his advice: “If you have a desire to do something … and you can’t find a way to get people to see your vision, just do it.”




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