News Poem: ‘Decline’

News Poem: ‘Decline’

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“I wrote this poem in Denver, CO, in the summer of 2013, when the story broke in the news of the hunger strike by detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and their subsequent force-feeding.  Given that we are now in the process of trying to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, and that the stance of the Cuban Government has always been that the US presence at Guantanamo Bay is illegal, I found myself thinking about these men again.” — Tyler Atwood


The Colorado Independent‘s News-Stained Poetry Project features poems that are about the news, products of the news, responses to the news. “News stained” is meant as a badge of honor, a reference to the long tradition of the poet as witness. As Carolyn Forché wrote, politics can sometimes be seen as a “contaminant to serious literary work,” something to be avoided. But that way of thinking, she said, “gives the political realm too much and too little scope… It renders the personal too important and not important enough.” News developments, whether or not they are reported, shape our personal lives every day. We don’t often think in the moment about how that is happening and what it means. We should think more about it. Poets think about it. And we want to help encourage them to write more about it.

Please send submissions to tips@coloradoindependent.comsubject line “poem,” with a short bio and some mention of where and when the poem was written.

Photo by Alexandre Duret-Lutz



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About the Author

Tyler Atwood

Tyler Atwood was marooned on this planet as an infant, and has been searching for home ever since. His first collection of poetry, 'an electric sheep jumps to greener pasture,' is forthcoming from University of Hell Press, and his work has appeared in Lunch Ticket, Perpetually Twelve, HOUSEFIRE, and elsewhere. He lives and works in Denver, CO.

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