U.S. soldier exposes Iraq war through poetry

March 30, 2009

During a year-long tour in Iraq, U.S. Army soldier Brian Turner turned to poetry as a coping mechanism. The soldier-poet served for seven years in the Army, including one year as an infantry team leader in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000.

His poetry is honest and powerful. Turner, who will share his poetry at an open mic session at Penn State Brandywine at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 2, in the Tomezsko Classroom Building Lounge, has a remarkable ability to turn the truth and brutality of war into a poetic masterpiece. And all while living each day in a world plagued with cruelty and bloodshed. 

His debut book of poems, "Here, Bullet," published by Alice James Books, won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times Editor’s Choice selection, the 2006 Pen Center USA Best in the West award, and the 2007 Poets Prize, among others.

Turner's poetry has been published in Poetry Daily, the Georgia Review, other journals, and the Voices in Wartime Anthology (accompanying the feature-length documentary film of the same name). He received a 2007 NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry. Recently, Turner has completed a second collection, Talk the Guns.
Turner’s visit to campus is part of the annual Brandywine LiTapaLooZa Literary Festival, sponsored by the Student Activities Fund. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 30, 2009