Poems by Brian Turner

Here, Bullet

In the Leupold Scope



Brian Turner, recently featured on The News Hours with Jim Lehrer, earned an M.F.A from the University of Oregon and lived 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 had been deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division. His poetry has appeared in many journals, and in the Voices in Wartime Anthology published in conjunction with the feature-length documentary film of the same name. Turner’s first collection, Here, Bullet, published this fall by Alice James Books, is powerfully affecting poetry of witness, exceptional for its beauty, honesty and skill. The New York Times Book Review selected it as an Editor’s Choice, admiring the book for its fierce “attention to the terrors as well as to the beauty of ruins." In a New Yorker profile, Turner explained that “when given time to sleep after a mission, I would often use a red lens flashlight (to avoid disturbing other exhausted soldiers) and either work on a poem or write in my journal about the day’s events.” Certainly there is a kind of infra-red vision and a delicately expressed derangement evident in the poems which, as he says, were born of “the struggle to preserve something of value from what seems to be the inexorable pull of loss.”


Poetry Center Reading:
Spring 2006