Author Archives: Larry Siems

About Larry Siems

Larry Siems is a writer and human rights advocate. He studied English and Classical Greek at the University of Notre Dame and poetry in the MFA program at Columbia University. Since then he has balanced writing and activism, publishing scores of articles on human rights and cross-cultural themes and serving for many years as director of Freedom to Write Programs at PEN USA in Los Angeles and then at PEN American Center in New York. In addition to editing and annotating Mohamedou Ould Slahi's Guantánamo Diary (Little Brown, 2015), he has two other books: Between the Lines: Letters Between Undocumented Mexican and Central American Immigrants and Their Families and Friends (Ecco, 1992; University of Arizona Press, 1993), and The Torture: What the Documents Say About America's Post 9/11 Torture Program (OR Books, 2012).

A Lens on Mohamedou Slahi at Guantánamo: A Conversation with Debi Cornwall and Larry Siems

Beginnings Jean-Philippe Dedieu: How did you first become interested in Guantánamo? Larry Siems: I came to this through my human rights work, and I came to human rights work through literature. I have a master’s degree in fine arts in poetry from Columbia. I’ve always been challenged by the idea of how writing and activism intersect and by poetry that makes action urgent and its nature clear. When I moved to California not long after graduate school, I was deeply interested in the American political Continue reading → Continue reading →