Turner Talks True About War and Life
By Patrick Gebhardt
Special to the Live Wire
The horrors of wars and its effects on those who fight them are the subjects featured in the work of award-winning poet and veteran Brian Turner.
Turner brought his work to Manchester Community College Nov. 5 as part of the Connecticut Poetry Series behind throughout the school year. The event took place in the Community Commons in Great Path Academy and was co-sponsored by the MCC Cultural Programs Committee.
The reading began with fellow poet and MCC English professor Stephen Straight, briefly addressing the audience before turning over the microphone to Turner. Turner immediately jumped into a serious reading of his poem “Here, Bullet,” which begins with the passage “If a body is what you want, then here is bone and gristle and flesh.”
After the initial poem was read Turner thanked the audience for coming and even cracked a few jokes.
“Thanks for not throwing any boots or shoes at me,” said Turner, addressing the many veterans in the audience.
An Iraqi War veteran, Turner supplied the audience with his phone number and sincerely enco
uraged them to contact him to discuss poetry or other things.
He also asked the audience to ponder certain questions about war and its consequences.
“We’re connected to the wars we wage,” said Turner.
In all, Turner read 11 poems throughout the evening, including his works “At Lowe’s Home Improvement Center,” which discuses everyday life after war for a soldier, and “Helping Her Breath.”
He also read a couple of poems written by other authors including, “The Diameter of The Bomb,” by Yehuda Amichai, and “After Making Love We Hear Footsteps,” by Galway Kinnell.
Straight closed the event by thanking Turner for coming.
“For those who have never been to a poetry reading before,” said Straight. “That’s what poetry can be.”
The Connecticut Poetry Series will continuing next semester, with a reading by Connecticut Student Poets scheduled for March 4 and author Sue Ellen Thompson scheduled for April 8. For more information regarding these readings contact Stephen Straight by phone at (860) 512-2688 or via email at email@example.com.
To read more about Brian Turner and his poems visit www.brianturner.org.