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Carol Muske-Dukes and the Art of Empathy

Muske-Dukes has written poetry, fiction, and essays addressing a broad range of subjects—from John Keats’s “This Living Hand” to Hollywood life on the inside—but what concerns her most is discovering how language used with precision and accountability can effect transformation. 

Exegesis

On Saturday, when I come to see
my brother, they call him, over loudspeaker,
to the tower—a small guardroom

Benediction

I thought that when I saw my brother
walking through the gates of the prison,
he would look like a man entering his life. 

A Prison Beyond the Law

Not long after September 11, 2001, the Bush administration began to develop plans for a prison at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station, in Cuba. Though modeled physically on maximum-security prisons in the United States, this facility—with a maximum capacity of 1,100 inmates—would not hold convicted criminals. In fact, most of the inmates at this prison would never be charged with a crime, let alone convicted.