According to Publishers Weekly, poet Hugh Martin's The Stick Soldiers is a "solid, sad verse debut," as it recounts his years preparing for, journeying to, and returning from the Iraq war. "Stateside training generates some of his strangest, harshest poems, including a prose anecdote that might describe a murder. Time back at home, in snowy Ohio, prompts alienated, ambivalent regret, comparable at best to Randall Jarrell’s poems on World War II airmen and veterans. Yet the bulk of the book, and its reason for being, involve Martin’s time in Iraq. Sand gets everywhere, IEDs could be anywhere, children are sources at once of pathos and danger, and camaraderie is all-important." While the review concludes that Martin "breaks little new ground in the craft of verse," Martin is, at the same time, placed in the rare company of other published Iraq war poets like Brian Turner for what he offers to us instead: "thoughtful recollections, scary memories, articulate reflections, and the resolve of a man who has been there." Click here to read the entire PW review. The Stick Soldiers is available at the BOA Bookstore.
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