Chris Mackey, the US Army interrogator, has written of "the gravitational laws that govern human behaviour when one group of people is given complete control over another in a prison. Every impulse tugs downward." We read Geraldine Mitchell's poem 'Guantanamo Alert' in the week that Barack Obama was elected president of the USA. We wondered, briefly perhaps, if the poem would still be relevant by the time we published it. The answer? More relevant with every passing moment, of course.
Here in Ireland, writing and talk around the appalling Ryan Report has reminded us that the fall-out, when one group of people is given complete control over another, is far from over when that power is finally taken away. It is in times like these that language becomes at once threatened and vital. And so we continue to read, talk and write: