Phantom Noise

Phantom Noise


Brian Turner

Shortlisted for the 2010 T.S. Eliot Prize

“In Phantom Noise, the speaker recognizes the degree to which language is a co-creative of reality…and as such, these poems begin to interrogate the speaker’s entanglement in acts that he had heretofore largely only recorded.”
The American Poetry Review

April 2010

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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:

“[Turner’s] writing is crisp, reportorial, earnest… [He] challenges us to experience war at its worst and confront its human costs without ideology or nationalism.”
The Georgia Review

“In many ways, this is not a collection for the faint-hearted, dealing as it does with deaths and mutilations. However, its scope is broader than that, as it also skillfully looks at history, culture, love, and family.”
The North

“[Turner’s] is a poetry of horror, but also one of love and loss, infused with the restless spirits of the dead who hover over the living on both sides…His is a voice of honesty and despair, of imperfection and a self-awareness that most of us can only pretend to posess.”
Connotation Press: An Online Artifact

“Turner’s book of poems is something that transcends poetry…”
New Pages

“Turner’s second book, Phantom Noise, continues to bear witness…looking on with equal parts courage and concern, but also as a poet whose language is always drawing comparisons, shifting the picture to encompass not just one tragedy, but a world’s worth…”

“Turner’s resilient, humane poems remind us of war’s impact but also provoke and question.”
The Guardian

“It’s hard to think of a better way around ideology than poetry like this. Turner shows us soldiers who are invincible and wounded, a nation noble and culpable, and a war by turns necessary and abominable. He brings us closer to our own phantom guilt and speaks the words that we both do and do not want to hear.”
The Washington Post

“…we need [Turner’s] bracing “bullet-borne language” as he tries to reconcile the chaos of Iraq with the demands of the poetic line.”
The New York Times

“With courage and an uncommon willingness to see the world as it actually is, Brian Turner returns in Phantom Noise with a bullet-borne language in which helicopters hover like spiders over a film of water. His poem Al-A’imma Bridge alone proves his mastery, and joins him to the tradition of Wilfred Owen and David Jones, for he is their descendent, his poetic gifts detonated into a spray of lyric force that will mark what is possible in poetry for years to come, a chiseling of agony onto paper and a poignant cri de Coeur to the republic of conscience.”
Carolyn Forché

“Staring hard through a calibrated sight, this former infantry team leader…reveals the particular music of death and violence and military service, and these poems unfold with his effort to find meaning, to be decent, and to be alert to the suffering all around.”
ForeWord Reviews

“Turner’s debut, Here, Bullet (2005) was likely the most discussed debut of the decade… It’s a hard act to follow, but Turner manages well…”
Publishers Weekly

Phantom Noise is an enlightening and intriguing contribution to contemporary poetry that reaffirms the talent readers first observed in Brian Turner’s debut book. This rich and resonant new volume proves Brian Turner now has firmly earned a position as one of the nation’s more valuable poets.”
Valparaiso Poetry Review

“…constantly peeling away layers of experience until he gets to what is real…Turner’s poems shine light on key issues that will not go away.”
The Cafe Review

“Turner fascinated and unsettled many with his first collection, Here, Bullet,…this volume continues his mission…in sharp, straightforward, yet lyrical language, Turner exposes the many costs of war.”
Library Journal

“This book slayed me. It was full of the same power and intensity as the first, but if it is possible, I think this one struck even more to the core of my emotions. Turner masterfully got into my head…”
Outside Writers Collective

“This collection’s political statement is one of empathy; a declaration that death, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, belief, or anything else, is always death.”

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More by Brian Turner:

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