Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak

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9781587296062: Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak
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This collection gives voice to the men held at Guantanamo. Available only because of the tireless efforts of pro bono attorneys who submitted each line to Pentagon scrutiny, ""Poems from Guantanamo"" brings together twenty-two poems by seventeen detainees, most still at Guantanamo, in legal limbo. These verses - some originally written in toothpaste, others scratched onto foam drinking cups with pebbles and furtively handed to attorneys - are the most basic form of the art.

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Review:

" Poetry, art of the human voice, helps turn us toward what we should or must not ignore. Speaking as they can across barriers actual and figurative, translated into our American tongue, these voices in confinement implicitly call us to our principles and to our humanity. They deserve, above all, not admiration or belief or sympathy-but attention. Attention to them is urgent for us." -Robert Pinsky

" "Poems from Guantanamo" brings to light figures of concrete, individual humanity, against the fabric of cruelty woven by the 'war on terror.' The poems and poets' biographies reveal one dimension of this officially obscured narrative, from the perspective of the sufferers; the legal and literary essays provide the context which has produced--under atrocious circumstances--a poetics of human dignity." --Adrienne Rich

" At last Guantanamo has found its voice." --Gore Vidal

"At last Guantanamo has found its voice."--Gore Vidal

""Poems from Guantanamo" brings to light figures of concrete, individual humanity, against the fabric of cruelty woven by the 'war on terror.' The poems and poets' biographies reveal one dimension of this officially obscured narrative, from the perspective of the sufferers; the legal and literary essays provide the context which has produced--under atrocious circumstances--a poetics of human dignity."--Adrienne Rich

"Poetry, art of the human voice, helps turn us toward what we should or must not ignore. Speaking as they can across barriers actual and figurative, translated into our American tongue, these voices in confinement implicitly call us to our principles and to our humanity. They deserve, above all, not admiration or belief or sympathy-but attention. Attention to them is urgent for us."-Robert Pinsky

Kate Allen, director, Amnesty International UK:
"The poems in this collection were written against enormous odds. The men detained in Guantanamo Bay are routinely held in solitary confinement, condemned without a fair trial, many of them tortured. Through it all, some have taken sanctuary in poetry, and through this small volume we hear voices and glimpse their innermost feelings. Their poems are a remarkable and moving testament to the power of the human spirit."
Yochi J. Dreazen, "The Wall Street Journal:
""Inmates at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, used pebbles to scratch messages into the foam cups they got with their meals. When the guards weren't looking, they passed the cups from cell to cell. It was a crude but effective way of communicating.
The prisoners weren't passing along escape plans or information about future terrorist attacks. They were sending one another poems.""

Synopsis:

Since 2002, at least 775 men have been held in the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. According to Department of Defense data, fewer than half of them are accused of committing any hostile act against the United States or its allies. In hundreds of cases, even the circumstances of their initial detainment are questionable. This collection gives voice to the men held at Guantanamo. Available only because of the tireless efforts of pro bono attorneys who submitted each line to Pentagon scrutiny, "Poems from Guantanamo" brings together twenty-two poems by seventeen detainees, most still at Guantanamo, in legal limbo. If, in the words of Audre Lorde, poetry "forms the quality of light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change," these verses - some originally written in toothpaste, others scratched onto foam drinking cups with pebbles and furtively handed to attorneys - are the most basic form of the art.

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