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Hugh Martin featured essayist in NY Times

"On our first raid in Iraq, I bounded up a long staircase, turned a corner and found myself face to face with a young Iraqi woman cradling an infant. I nearly knocked her over, and she leaned hard against the wall to let me pass. A black abaya covered her entire body, and a white scarf concealed her head, only revealing part of her face: shaking lips, small nose, her eyes wide and white in the dark. The infant, wrapped in a blue shawl, was asleep. After lowering my rifle, I backed away, and ran onto the roof where the other men searched for weapons, remnants of improvised explosive devices — the things we’d come to look for." [caption id="attachment_1963" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="BOA poet Hugh Martin in Jalula, Iraq"]BOA poet Hugh Martin in Jalula, Iraq[/caption] So begins Hugh Martin's essay, "Learning a Language, and Relearning a Country" in today's New York Times. The essay appears in the NYT's section, "At War: Notes from the Front Lines" and chronicles Martin's study of Arabic as a way of coming to terms with his war experience. Martin served from June 2001 to June 2007 in the Ohio Army National Guard as an M1A1 Tanker. He was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and was stationed near Jalula, roughly 90 miles northeast of Baghdad. A current Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Hugh Martin first chronicled his experiences in a chapbook of poetry, “So, How Was the War?” (Kent State University Press, 2010) which was published by the Wick Poetry Center. His first full-length collection, The Stick Soldiers, won the 2012 Poulin Prize from BOA Editions and will be released in April 2013. The Stick Soldiers is a harrowing, enlightening account of Martin's military service including his re-entry into day-to-day life back in the United States. Read Hugh Martin's New York Times essay here: Learning a Language, and Relearning a Country If you're a poet, please note that the 12th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize contest has now begun accepting entries. This year's distinguished judge will be Dorianne Laux. Contest information and entry forms can be found here: The 12th Annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize
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