Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

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Shami Chakrabarti on Poetry and Human Rights in The Guardian

Coiniciding with the NCLA's discussion on Poetry and Human Rights between the former director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, and the poet Carolyn Forché, The Guardian have published an article by Shami extolling the virtues of poetry as the perfect form to challenge human rights abuses. 

Shami writes: 

"The poetry of witness has long compensated for censored or corrupted news media when truth must be spoken to power – think of Alfred Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade or Wilfred Owen’s Anthem for Doomed Youth. Poetry and human rights are very often tied together...

These days, human rights are under threat the world over – in Britain, Europe, and further afield. They have few friends in power, whether in politics, corporations or conventional media. Surely, this challenge creates a new opportunity and purpose for poetry, for it is this medium above all others that so connects our inner and outer voices; both a quiet conscience and a call to arms." 

Read the full article on The Guardian's website. 

published on: 12 May 2016