Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kamala Platt

I wrote the following poem as someone who abhors the death penalty for its cruel senselessness, but lives in one of the places where the death penalty is carried out most often. This poem relates the death penalty to other forms of racist violence through allusions to “strange fruit” and to the structural violence that killed and maimed the lives of many in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.... The winter before Katrina happened, an ice storm where I was living in Kansas shut down the electricity for a week; workers who came all the way from Louisiana fixed our electric lines. When Katrina happened I often thought of those men, wishing I had some way to return the favor; they ended up in my poem because I wanted to celebrate the “rightness” of such acts that provide means for healing and act as an antidote to violence & the impulse to harm. The poem also celebrates other art against death by hatred, racism, violence, for art is a fantastic means by which we might find the courage to discontinue dysfunctional practices such as the death penalty. “Seasonal Still Life, 2005” was first published by Border Senses ( and is part of my collection of poetry “On the Line” that was published by Wings Press in 2010 (

Kamala Platt, 1-29-2011

Seasonal Still Life, 2005

Strange fruit hangs once again in Texas.
“Francis, Francis, Francis*,” the protestors chant.
Before their song dies, a million are fleeing the wind on the coast.
There is no homeland security to blanket this state where
bitter fruit swells with toxins riding in on the east wind.
Further east, buds burst after poisons sloshed about, and receded.
And I remember last winter’s white blossoms of short-lived grace
after ice broke branch from trunk across the Kansas countryside,
after workers from Louisiana brought back the lights at
Egged on with environmental errors
made by an admin. with an attitude—
no global warning heeded here . . . no, sir—
Katrina killed a thousand, Rita threatens more . . .
and today, beneath the radar, beneath the fury, the State killed
Her last words are muted by poison that grabs her tongue.
The words left their shape on her mouth afterward.
Strange fruit still hangs in Texas
“Francis, Francis, Francis.” The wind chants.
Billie sings . . .
Strange fruit hangs again, again.

*Francis Newton was executed in Texas on September 14, 2005, one of ten
women executed in the U.S. in the decade following the 1976 death penalty
reinstatement; she had been denied a competent lawyer.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Darrell Black

No fees nesceeary

A story about an accidental death, asking the listener to decide if this should result in a death penalty case.

Linda Hesh

My work is very conscious of speaking to an audience, declaring private musings publicly to play with taboos or challenge social norms. With my "Death Totes" I propose that if you support the death penalty, you should be proud to carry a tote bag that proclaims your convictions. "An Eye For An Eye" is an obvious reference to the Bible- I think is important to reflect on religious teachings that promote peace allowing for violence when "necessary." "Choose Death" is a play on the phrase "Choose Life" that is used by the "pro-life" movement that is against abortion but seems fine with the death penalty. Irony is especially irritating when the life of a human is involved.

"Death Totes" by Linda Hesh presented as archival ink jet prints and canvas bags

Maren Fiebig

The last moments - waiting becomes torture
Guilty. Sentenced to death – are you sure?
Stop death penalty

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Athina Ouranidou

Under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights all citizens of Member States of European Union have the right to life.

Unfortunately, 52 countries all over the world have the death penalty on their statute books and while you are reading these lines people are executed or they are locked up in cells to be executed.

This blog was created for artists wishing the abolition of the death penalty. So, if you are an artist believing in human rights please send a piece of work of yours in order to demonstrate your opposition to the capital punishment.

Hopefully, one day all citizens of the world will have the right to life.