Alumni Masterclass: Creativity and Trauma – the Poetry of Guantanamo Bay

Interested in learning something new? Want to engage in an interesting conversation with a University of Hull academic and alumni with a shared interest? Or do you want to get a taste of what a postgraduate class at the University of Hull is like? Then welcome to the Alumni Masterclass series.

Alumni Masterclass: Creativity and Trauma – the Poetry of Guantanamo Bay
Wednesday 9 February | 18:00 | On Campus
Book now >>


January 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay as a US military facility for those captured as part of the War on Terror. It is hence an apt moment to consider the series of shocking human rights violations that took place there. Many do not realise that the facility is still open, with an estimated 40 inmates remaining. On one hand it seems rather surprising that, out of such extreme circumstances, came a memorable collection of poetry – Poems from Guantanamo Bay – edited and published by human rights lawyer Marc Falkoff in 2007. On the other hand, it is not unusual – as the introduction to the collection suggests, in situations of trauma, people have often turned to poetry because it is a productive way to pour out and process emotions. In this master class, we’ll start to explore the problematic contexts that led to such extraordinary responses from both authorities and inmates and in so doing, we’ll consider creativity and what it means to be human.


Session Leader: Jo Metcalf

Jo Metcalf is a Senior Lecturer in American History & Culture, and herself an alum of Hull (American Studies, 1998). She has research interests in the (pop) cultural representations of gangs and prison and is the Co-Director the University’s Cultures of Incarceration Research Centre. Jo is currently working on a book about the former gang member, turned bestselling author, Luis J Rodriguez.

Jo is the Programme Director for the new MA in Incarceration Studies >>

Alumni Masterclass: Creativity and Trauma – the Poetry of Guantanamo Bay
Wednesday 9 February | 18:00 | On Campus
Book now >>

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