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Beacon Press

Liberation: New Works on Freedom from Internationally Renowned Poets

Published by Beacon Press October 6, 2015      ISBN: 978-0807000274

An exploration of freedom by some of the world’s most celebrated poets, published for the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi camps

The year 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the conclusion of the Second World War. But around the world, oppressed and imprisoned people are still longing for freedom and asking, “What does it mean to be free?” This collection of poems explores that question.

In honor of this anniversary, some of the world’s top contemporary voices—including Rita Dove, Robert Pinsky, Jay Parini, Yusef Komunyakaa, Agi Mishol, Tsering Woeser, Han Dong, Ernesto Santana, and Richard Blanco—have written poems on the theme of liberation as it inspires them personally and creatively. Nearly all of their poems are published for the first time in this volume.

The result is an artistic representation of the universal yearning for freedom in 82 poems from 25 countries —and countless stories of oppression, imprisonment, and liberation. Here are Afghan women writing in secret, Tibetan and Cuban dissidents, memories and hopes inspired by topics from Fergusson to the Middle East, from illness to spirituality to joy in nature. This collection demonstrates the power of art to heal and to bring attention to freedom as a universal human right. Lyrical, uplifting, contemplative, sometimes angry, sometimes hopeful, always masterful, these are enduring poems to enrich and inspire.

“These poems give a lot of pleasure and celebrate our existence. They remind us of the joy of being alive and able to work and do something decent. They compel us to appreciate the possibilities of life while commiserating with those who are deprived of them.”