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Testimony

Found Poems from the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Shanee Stepakoff (author) Ernest D. Cole (Foreword by)

ISBN: 9781684483105

Publication Date: Jun 2021

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Derived from public testimonies at a UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Freetown, Sierra Leone, this remarkable poetry collection aims to breathe new life into the records of Sierra Leone's civil war, delicately extracting heartbreaking human stories from the morass of legal jargon.
£15.95

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Sierra Leone's devastating civil war barely caught the attention of Western media, but it raged on for over a decade, bringing misery to millions of people in West Africa from 1991 to 2002. The atrocities committed in this war and the accounts of its survivors were duly recorded by international organizations, but they run the risk of being consigned to dusty historical archives. 
 
Derived from public testimonies at a UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Freetown, this remarkable poetry collection aims to breathe new life into the records of Sierra Leone's civil war, delicately extracting heartbreaking human stories from the morass of legal jargon. By rendering selected trial transcripts in poetic form, Shanee Stepakoff finds a novel way to communicate not only the suffering of Sierra Leone's people, but also their courage, dignity, and resilience. Her use of innovative literary techniques helps to ensure that the voices of survivors are not forgotten, but rather heard across the world. 
 
This volume also includes an introduction that explores how the genre of "found poetry" can serve as a uniquely powerful means through which writers may bear witness to atrocity. This book's unforgettable excavation and shaping of survivor testimonies opens new possibilities for speaking about the unspeakable.
Pages 110
Dimensions 203 x 127
Date Published 30 Jun 2021
Publisher Bucknell University Press
Series The Griot Project Book Series
Subject/s Literary studies: poetry & poets   Anthologies (non-poetry)   Social theory   Violence in society   Poetry   African history   War crimes   Human rights  
Shanee Stepakoff is a psychologist and human rights advocate with extensive experience in postwar settings. Her work has been published in edited books and in literary and scholarly journals. She holds a MFA from The New School and is completing a PhD in English at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown.

Ernest D. Cole is John Dirk Werkman Professor of English at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. His research focuses primarily on post-apartheid South Africa, but he is also interested in body and trauma studies, especially the ways in which bodily injury shapes identity. He is the author of several books, including Space and Trauma in the Writings of Aminatta Forna and Theorizing the Disfigured Body: Mutilation, Amputation, and Disability Culture in Post Conflict Sierra Leone.

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