Interview with Randy Brown

Interview with Randy Brown Randy Brown is a poet, journalist, and editor, and a leading figure in the veterans’ writing movement. He is the author of the award-winning poetry collection Welcome to FOB Haiku (Middle West Press, 2015); editor of a 2016 book-length collection of citizen-soldier journalism; poetry editor of the on-line literary journal As […]

Civilian War Casualties Day

Civilian War Casualties Day This is a call for an informal Civilian War Casualties Day. A call to you to help a community group acknowledge once a year the suffering caused, intentionally or coincidentally, to civilians by war and terrorism. We should spend a few moments away from celebrity news and mass entertainment to better […]

Review: Alan Farrell, Expended Casings

Review: Alan Farrell, Expended Casings In his foreword (whimsically rendered “Deployed Forward”) to this collection of his poems, Alan Farrell ridicules pretension, incomprehensibility, poetry as therapy, literary critical jargon, posturing, the cult of free verse, swingebuckling, and shallow war poetry cliches. You sense that he is trying to be restrained and polite, and barely succeeding. […]

Edward Jasowitz, “Courtship in Italy”

Edward Jasowitz, “Courtship in Italy” Circumstances change the fashion,
 flowers and music yield to C-rations. This modest epigram is from a 1945 anthology of poems published in the Mediterranean edition of Stars and Stripes. I know nothing about Edward Jasowitz, and neither does Google, but I am grateful for these two lines. Most American soldiers […]

Keith Douglas’s “Christodoulos”

Keith Douglas’s “Christodoulos” Christodoulos moves, and shakeshis seven chins. He is that freaka successful alchemist, and makesGod knows how much a week. Out of Christodoulosʼ attic,full of smoke and smells, emergesoldiers like ants, with antsʼ erraticgestures seek the pavementʼs verge; weak as wounded, leaning in a knotshout in the streets for an enemy —the dross […]

Keith Douglas’s “Egypt”

Keith Douglas’s “Egypt” Egypt Aniseed has a sinful taste;at your elbow a woman’s voicelike I imagine the voice of ghosts,demanding food. She has no grace but, diseased and blind of an eyeand heavy with habitual dolourlistlessly finds you and Iand the table, are the same colour. The music, the harsh talk, the fineclash of the […]

Henry Lee’s “Starvation Romance”

Henry Lee “Starvation Romance” Starvation Romance I dream so often of the days we knewThose days when love was like a guiding light,And yet although I know your eyes were blue,Although I swore to be forever true,Although I dream of going home to youYour name has slipped my memory tonight. Unlike many soldier poets and […]

Review: Alice Oswald’s Memorial

Review: Alice Oswald’s Memorial If Alice Oswald’s Memorial is not the greatest English-language war poem of modern times, I can hardly wait to discover a better one. Alice Oswald’s idea was simple but brilliant. Writers talk sometimes about encountering a work that they wish they had written themselves, and Memorial would be such a work […]

Review: Camouflage for the Neighborhood

Review: Camouflage for the Neighborhood Unlike most books of poetry, which are collections of separate poems ignoring each other like subway commuters, Lorene Delany-Ullman’s Camouflage for the Neighborhood is better understood, in fact only understood, as a single coherent work, the whole being far greater than the sum of its parts. Collectively the 71 prose […]

Review: Uncontested Grounds

Review: William Conelly’s Uncontested Grounds William Conelly’s wonderful new poetry collection, Uncontested Grounds (Able Muse Press, 2014), includes five war poems well worth our attention. Conelly is a veteran of the United States Air Force, although the war poems here come not from his personal experiences but from his imaginative understandings. “R & R” imagines […]