actors & poets group, inc.

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." Mark Twain

 Voices From Guantánamo
The detainees speak.
“Poems that will prick the conscience of the nation.”


The show is also available for bookings. It is an ideal educational piece for political science, human rights, sociology and poetry courses.

A dramatization of poems written by detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. These poems, some originally written in toothpaste, others scrawled on foam drinking cups and passed to attorneys, were recently published by the University of Iowa Press (Poems From Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak. 2007) in conjunction with The Center For Constitutional Rights and Amnesty International.

Although the piece can not help but have a political context, we intend to focus on the dramatization of the poetry and the individual stories of the men behind the poems.

The poems, along with a narrative outlining the events leading up to each man’s detention, were adapted for the stage by Duane Mazey, founder of Actors & Poets Group, and directed by New York actor-director Carlo D’amore (Latinologues on Broadway). With original music by Dave Hall.

"Unforgettably meaningful. Brilliantly directed." 
--Kelly Aliano,



What I sense is that the ultimate source of these poems
from Guantánamo is the simple, almost primeval, arithmetic
of breathing in and breathing out.
The origin of life and the origin of language and the origin
of poetry are all there, in each first breath, each breath as if it
were our first, the anima, the spirit, what we inspire, what we
expire, what separates us from extinction, minute after minute,
what keeps us alive as we inhale and exhale the universe.
And the written word is nothing more than the attempt
to make that breath permanent and secure, carve it into rock
or mark it on paper or sign it on a screen, so that its cadence
will endure beyond us, outlast our breath, break the shackles
of solitude, transcend our transitory body and touch someone
with its waters.
Breathing in and breathing out.
What these prisoners shared with their jailers, what they
shared with the men who incarcerated them and feared them
and saw them only as the enemy.
Poetry as a call to those who breathe the same air to also
breathe the same verses, to bridge the gap between bodies and
between cultures and between warring parties.


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