Books by Dana Gioia
NPR stories about Dana Gioia
When editor Andrew Carroll first read Ryan Alexander's "The Cat," the startling imagery of the former Marine's poem took his breath away. After all, troops aren't known for readily sharing their innermost feelings — certainly not with a wide audience.
In 2003, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Clint Douglas was deployed to Afghanistan. He found that the complications of fighting the Taliban were magnified by odd interactions with local leaders.
Like soldiers throughout time, former Sgt. John McCary wrote a lot of letters home while fighting in the Iraq War. During his tour of duty, he sent one e-mail to his family that was different from the rest. The letter was included in the book Operation Homecoming.
Helen Gerhardt enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2000. She was 33 years old. Three years later, having just completed her degree, she found herself in the Middle East with the Missouri Army National Guard, 1221st Transportation Company.
Army Major Robert Schaefer's poem "Clusters" is featured in the book >Operation Homecoming, a collection of recent writings by U.S. troops. The NEA project inspired Schaefer to relay his war experiences through writing.