When we made our call for submissions for an anthology of poems in defense of human rights, the allegations of torture were foremost in our minds. We knew people were outraged, saddened, profoundly moved and ashamed. But we also wanted to reach people who had suffered violations of their own rights from circumstances across the globe, or whose families had, or for whom preWhen we made our call for submissions for an anthology of poems in defense of human rights, the allegations of torture were foremost in our minds. We knew people were outraged, saddened, profoundly moved and ashamed. But we also wanted to reach people who had suffered violations of their own rights from circumstances across the globe, or whose families had, or for whom preventing or healing these violations had become a life's work. We drafted our call loosely: We are increasingly witness to torture, terrorisms and other violations of human rights at unprecedented degrees. What do our instincts tell us and what is our response to these violations? What is our vision of a future wherein human rights are not only respected but expanded? What we received were both first hand accounts of violation-see prisoner Adrian English's Raped Man's Stream of Consciousness," or Farnoosh Moshiri's poem recounting the terror of giving birth in Iran, or Li-Young Lee's "Self-Help for Fellow Refugees"-and responses from people who feel struck personally by the blows enacted on others: To speak for, to speak as, and to speak against. We were surprised at the range of issues spoken to by the poets. While torture remained a critical topic, as well as issues at stake in the Iraq War, there were also poems that addressed immigrant rights, prisoners' rights, the Holocaust, the wars in Cambodia, Vietnam, Serbia, South America, Palestine and Israel. We received poems that spoke of suicide bombing, violence against women, the aftermath of 9/11, and outlawing marriage for gay Americans.We were also moved at the range of experience among the responders: homeless advocates, civil rights workers, clinical social workers, medics, the mentally ill, veterans, humanitarian aid workers, teachers, conscientious objectors, and, of course, many writers who work and fight daily for social justice in their communities. We are particularly proud of the number of Native American poets included in this anthology, something unusual in anthologies of this sort. It seemed to us impossible to collect a group of poems on human rights issues if we didn't acknowledge the far reaching and often appalling violations that have taken place in our own country, upon the first citizens of this land who belong to five-hundred-sixty-two federally recognized tribes who function as sovereign nations. It is the acknowledgement of this history, among others, that will allow us to move forward as a country with a clearer conscience, extending our hand to other nations and other peoples who continue to endure neglect and abuse.CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDESandra Alcosser | Adrian D. English | Adrian C. Louis | Mohja Kahf | Gabe Furshong | Tiffany Midge | Bridget Whearty | Frank Ortega | Matthew Kaler | Lois Red Elk | Lowell Jaeger | Carolyne Wright | Eugenia Toledo | Ilya Kaminsky | Ellen Bass | Judith H. Montgomery | Farnoosh Moshiri | Joseph Bathanti | Dr. Peter Anderson | Kim Goldberg | Sarah Conover | Eric Torgersen | Christi Kramer | Willa Schneberg | Stacey Waite | Jeremy Halinen | Tamiko Beyer | Roger Dunsmore | G.M. Grafton | Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan | Benjamin L. Pérez | Elizabeth Martínez Huergo | Prabhakar Vasan | Marilyn Krysl | Ann Hunkins | Erika T. Wurth | Nicholas Samaras | Christopher Howell | Peter Marcus | Martha Collins | Mark Brazaitis | Philip Metres | Marvin Bell | Mark Pawlak | Philip Memmer Warren Slesinger | Rhonda Pettit | Aimee Parkison | Natalie Peeterse | Susan Rich | Joel Long | Donna Brook | Scott Hightower | Sheryl Noethe | Victor Camillo | C.K. Williams | Carolyn Forché | Yusef Komunyakaa | Li-Young Lee...
|Title||:||I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights|
|Number of Pages||:||147 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights Reviews
My review from the Missoula IndependentPoets have been clamorous in protesting transgressions against human rights for millennia. Unfortunately there is no shortage of inspiration or material; it seems that each subsequent generation has something pertinent to include, sometimes in the form of afflicted memories, horrors lived or tragedies endured, but usually as indictments of current conflicts and genocides. Every book published on the expanding topic would be opportune. With the relatively recent revelation of the Abu Ghraib photos, constant hostilities in the Middle East and the escalation of suicide bombings across the world, poets have responded with characteristic outrage. Opposed to Theodor Adorno's amnesiac dictum that "to write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric," the poetry featured in I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights strives to remember when many would rather forget the horrors meted out to themselves and their respective countries; it candidly demonstrates that the voices of universal protest have not been quieted or enfeebled. Although the poets in this anthology are not always as aggressive as those presented in others, they are certainly clearer in their articulation and enlightened views.I Go to the Ruined Place is no breezy summer reading. It's like leafing through a diary of diverse people inexplicably persisting in the shared wreckage of their world. Serious and horrifyingly precise, it revitalizes the genre of politically dissident verse to include poems of sexual liberation and cultural rights. Local poet Matthew Kaler intimately evokes a woman held prisoner in a chicken coup in Darfur in "Kalashnikov Staccato." In "KZ," Carolyne Wright reminisces walking through the nightmare of an abandoned concentration camp on a frigid day, writing, "But we must learn the signs: they hungered/they were cold, and in Dachau it was always winter." In the art-inspired "Interrogation II," C.K. Williams bewails the metaphysical verity of human-made misery in one sense or another, while in her frank portrayal of a dark, enforced sexual chronology, "No Exchange of Livestock," local Sheryl Noethe questions the very basis of morality and freedom:No choice. No chance.And where was God?They say God saved the few he could.The rest, however, he keptWidely published poet Li-Young Lee details the trials of fleeing his violence-ridden Indonesia and the contemporary anxieties and fears of assimilating into a society completely estranged from familiar traditions:If your name suggests a country where bellsmight have been used for entertainmentor to announce the entrances and exits of the seasonsor the birthdays of gods and demons,it's probably best to dress in plain clotheswhen you arrive in the United States,and try not to talk too loud.In Tiffany Midge's agonized "After Viewing the Holocaust Museum's Room of Shoes and a Gallery of Plains' Indian Moccasins: Washington, D.C." we have perhaps our closest estimation of the book's intent: "The portrait is clear:/one is art, the other evidence." Throughout these poems and brief, insightful biographies that accompany them, the line is blurred between the two, and in the end it's apparent that neither distinction can be separated from the other. The book confronts the reader with evidence of awful crimes, but it does so in language filled with stirring images and compelling metaphors.Compiled and edited by Montana poets Melissa Kwasny and M.L. Smoker, the slim volume is about as heavy and heartbreaking a collection of poems as you are likely to find. Ostensibly gathering works for an anthology focused primarily on the concept of torture, the editors note they were "surprised at the range of issues spoken to by poets." And this is perhaps the triumph of the book: Its themes are global and profoundly personal at once. There are stories of Cambodia and child sexual abuse, American Indian frustration and prison rape, lynching and Rwanda, gay rights and the Holocaust. Because it allows itself to stretch the limits of its ambition, the concerns of the book are as atypical as the poets, aid workers, soldiers and other activists who created it.A wise selection almost never lacking in consistency or originality, I Go to the Ruined Place mesmerizes with its unabashed honesty. With only one or two exceptions of billboard-style politicizing, the poems are chiseled to the essentials of the craft. The standouts of the entire collection, however, are the editors, who scoured both lesser known and influential publications for powerful works of modern poetry. They have managed to unify a manifold of styles into a genuine narrative of inhumanity and its impassioned resistance. Finalist for a High Plains Book Award, it is a valuable addition to the rows of shelves dedicated to struggle, survival and hardship. There is pain and dread herein, but somewhere amid the bruised dignity of the oppressed who limp through these pages, a slightly clouded, tiny fragment of hope sputters audibly beneath every line.