Here, Bullet

Here, Bullet


Brian Turner

2006 PEN Center USA “Best in the West” Literary Award in Poetry
2005 Beatrice Hawley Award
2006 Maine Literary Award in Poetry
2006 Northern California Book Award in Poetry
2006 Sheila Margaret Motten Award from the New England Poetry Club
2006 Lannan Literary Fellowship
2007 Poets’ Prize
2008 Charity Randall Citation

“The day of the first moonwalk, my father’s college literature professor told his class, ‘Someday they’ll send a poet, and we’ll find out what it’s really like.’ Turner has sent back a dispatch from a place arguably more incomprehensible than the moon—the war in Iraq—and deserves our thanks…” —The New York Times Book Review

November 2005

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Available in both print and digital formats.

Turner (Cork) Ibbotson pic.jpg

Brian Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and lived abroad in South Korea for a year before serving for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq beginning November 2003, with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division. His poetry has been published in Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review and other journals, and in the Voices in Wartime Anthology published in conjunction with the feature-length documentary film of the same name. He received a 2007 NEA Literature Fellowship in poetry.

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Additional Praise:

Here, Bullet is a book of poems about the war in Iraq, written by a veteran whose eye for the telling detail is as strategic as it is poetic.”
The Globe and Mail

“Several hundred books have now been published on the Iraq War…but none have felt necessary until now. There’s something in the lumbering of prose that cannot capture what poetry, done right, can make immanent with its insistent beat—as the power of the cadences soldiers sing cannot truly be understood apart from the accompanying beat of boots beneath them. With Brian Turner’s Here, Bullet, we have the first war poetry since Yusef Komunyaaka’s Dien Cai Dau that matters.”
Rain Taxi

“As a war poet, [Brian Turner] sidesteps the classic distinction between romance and irony, opting instead for the surreal.”
—The New Yorker

“Turner attempts to capture the extreme experience of war by depicting the feelings it generates: the sense of loss, hatred, humiliation, love, uncertainty, and dreamy longing for a normal life…”
Library Journal

“The poems on the pages of Here, Bullet, with their immediacy of impact, their universality of theme, their blend of cultural and historical insight, and their many tiered reverberations of the aftermath of gut wrenching violence, make for a powerful reading experience….The relationship Turner establishes with the reader is not dialogue but a tidal insistence on reflection, that if there is meaning in loss, there must be meaning in what precedes loss, in what is related to loss. There is no harm in such reflection, argues Here, Bullet, but, rather harm stems from the lack of it.”
The Franklin Journal

Here, Bullet is a poignant and brutally lucid evocation of war and the terror of human contingency…”
Military Review

“Turner’s work adds vividly to the sad record [of war literature]. I recommend a slow and careful reading. Be prepared for some pain.”
Wolf Moon Press Journal

“These poems are dispatches from a war we largely know through statistics and stage-managed press conferences and the words of correspondents holed up in hotels. And yet by invading this country, by sending our army to fight there, we have linked ourselves to its sand, its fire, its oil, its pride. ‘This land of confluence and heat,’ Turner writes, will become the nation of soldiers who die there, ‘and even if they live, it will be theirs as well—the land that tested their souls and changed them.'”
Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages

“[Brian Turner’s] work is straightforward and direct. It highlights the violence and death of the war in a manner little seen elsewhere.” —Publishers Weekly “Brian Turner’s poems are indispensable not only for their craft and their penetrating lyric power, but for the circumstances under which they were written. No book of poetry since Yusef Komunyakaa’s Dien Cai Dau brings us as close to the realities of combat as this, but the realities are uniquely Iraq’s. Reader, take note: 21st century poetry, as such, may well begin here.”
—T. R. Hummer

“Brian Turner writes as only a soldier can, of terror and compassion, hurt and horror, sympathy and desire. He takes us into the truth and trauma of the Iraq war in language that is precise, delicate and beautiful, even as it tells of a suicide bomber, a skull shattered by a bullet, a blade in a bloodgroove.”
—Andrew Himes, editor of Voices in Wartime Anthology

“Soldiers have long been the custodians of the real war inside the war of the politicians. Unfortunately, most of the voices get lost when they come home. Not so with Iraq war veteran Brian Turner, with his uncommon eloquence, and his sensitivity to the land in which the war is being fought. His poems reveal his own internal landscape, and they celebrate the other—even as they deplore the violence.”
—Doug Anderson

“It could be the best war literature of any medium published since 9/11; it’s certainly the best book I’ve read so far. I’ve spent the last couple weeks explaining why war memoirs don’t make for great literature, and it’s draining to be so negative, so often. It’s a relief to come out and say I love something. Every semi-literate person interested in the Iraq war needs to read this book, ingest it, remember it, and share it with others.”
—Eric Cummings, blogger at On Violence

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More by Brian Turner:

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