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AAWW TV: Remixing Guantanamo Bay

Poet Philip Metres talks about why he chose to create an opera from a redacted history of torture


On AAWW TV, our new YouTube channel, you can relive the magic of live events at our space in the Flatiron, check out in-depth interviews with writers, and more. Every Thursday we’ll be sharing a new segment from AAWW TV on The Margins.


Watch AAWW Executive Director Ken Chen talk with poet Philip Metres about the War on Terror, ghost soldiers, and Metres’ latest collection of poetry, Sand Opera, whose title is a redaction of the military term “standard operating procedure.” In the book, Metres revisits the history of torture victims in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, redacting and remixing text from the U.S. military’s SOP manual for interrogation with testimonies from torture victims themselves.

Sand Opera, Metres says, becomes his best representation for “a way of working through things that are traumatic or illegible” and his method to make amends for what his country has done.




Sand Opera by Philip Metres. Alice James Books, $16.95.
Sand Opera by Philip Metres. Alice James Books, $16.95.



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