Great News About Civilians!
Ever since my husband retired from his twenty-year career in the Navy, I’ve been working on a poetry collection that explores this difficult transition in a military marriage. The book, Civilians, is essentially the third and final part of a trilogy that began with Stateside (2010) and was continued with Dots & Dashes (2017).
When Stateside was published by Northwestern University Press, it was one of the earliest poetry collections to articulate a spouse’s perspective of war in the 21st century. After the release of Stateside, I led veterans’ writing workshops and gave readings at civilian and military institutions around the country. Promoting Stateside allowed me to reflect on the challenges of being both a military spouse and an academic, a member of two communities that speak in very different—and often conflicting—ways. This, in turn, led me to publish Dots & Dashes.
With Civilians, I now examine an entirely new stage of a military marriage. After twenty years of service, my husband has retired from the Navy; this transition afford me the opportunity to address what it means when someone who has been trained for war returns to the status of noncombatant. Civilians asks: What happens to the soldier who is no longer a soldier? What happens to the spouse, once physical and emotional distances are erased and she is reunited with her husband, a man made strange and foreign by his contact with war?
So, I am absolutely thrilled that Civilians has found a home at Louisiana State University Press and will published in Spring 2025. Poems from the collection have appeared in numerous journals, including Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Poetry Northwest. You can read poems that were featured on Verse Daily here and here, one that was published in American Life in Poetry here, and another that was published by Narrative here.