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Phantom Noise by Brian Turner
  

Phantom Noise

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Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2010.

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Brian Turner writes a powerful poetry of witness, exceptional for its beauty, honesty and skill. Like Keith Douglas’s poems from the North African desert in the Second World War, Turner’s testament from the war in Iraq offers unflinchingly accurate description but no moral judgement, leaving the reader to draw any conclusions. Repetitive media reports show little of people’s daily experience of the war and occupation. In Phantom Noise, as in his first collection Here, Bullet, we see and feel the devastatingly surreal reality of everyday life and death for soldiers and civilians through the eyes of an eloquent writer who served in the US Army for seven years, with a year’s tour of duty in Iraq as an infantry team leader.

If you like Brian Turner you might also like to read books by Harry Parker.

Synopsis

Phantom Noise by Brian Turner

Brian Turner's first book of poems, Here, Bullet, was a harrowing, first-hand account of the Iraq War by a soldier-poet. In Phantom Noise he pumps up the volume as he faces and tries to deal with the traumatic aftermath of war. Flashbacks explode the daily hell of Baghdad into the streets and malls of peaceful California, at the same time sending Turner's imagination reeling back to Iraq. If he thought he had written all he could of his Iraq experiences in Here, Bullet , he was mistaken, for what he saw and felt there affected him so profoundly that more poems had to be written, years later, from a place of apparent safety. Brian Turner writes a powerful poetry of witness, exceptional for its beauty, honesty and skill. Like Keith Douglas's poems from the North African desert in the Second World War, Turner's testament from the war in Iraq offers unflinchingly accurate description but no moral judgement, leaving the reader to draw any conclusions. Repetitive media reports show little of people's daily experience of the war and occupation. In Phantom Noise , as in Here, Bullet , we see and feel the devastatingly surreal reality of everyday life and death for soldiers and civilians through the eyes of an eloquent writer who served in the US Army for seven years, with a year's tour of duty in Iraq as an infantry team leader.

Reviews

'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 descendant, 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 Forche.

'The poems in Here, Bullet are steeped in pity for the occupants of Iraq, while at the same time remaining on full alert to the likely moment when a twelve-year-old / rolls a grenade into the room ...The most effective instrument in Turner's kit is his detachment - the particulars are so shocking that they need no sentimental boost - which is deployed in combination with complex feeling...There are poems in Here, Bullet good enough to hold a place in any anthology of war poetry' - The Guardian

About the Author

Brian Turner

Brian Turner served for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq from November 2003 with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. In 1999-2000 he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division. Born in 1967, he received an MFA from the University of Oregon and lived abroad in South Korea for a year before joining the army.

His poetry was included in the Voices in Wartime Anthology published in conjunction with a feature-length documentary film. His collection Here, Bullet (Bloodaxe Books, 2007) was first published in the US by Alice James Books in 2005, where it has earned Turner nine major literary awards, including a 2006 Lannan Literary Fellowship and a 2007 NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry. In 2009 he was given an Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship. His second collection, Phantom Noise is published by Alice James Books in the US and by Bloodaxe Books in the UK in 2010. It has been shortlisted for the 2010 T S Eliot Prize.

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Book Info

Publication date

31st October 2010

Author

Brian Turner

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Author's Website

www.brianturner.co.uk/
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Publisher

Bloodaxe Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
80 pages

Categories

Poetry
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Poetry by individual poets

ISBN

9781852248765

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