TWO NEW RELEASES by Paul David Adkins: (Book One) Flying over Baghdad With Sylvia Plath & (Book Two) FM 101-5-1 MCRP 5-2A: Operational Terms and Graphics

We are pleased to share two great new book releases now available from Paul David Adkins: Flying over Baghdad With Sylvia Plath: Experiences, Through Poetry, with Poets and Poems in Iraq and Afghanistan and FM 101-5-1 MCRP 5-2A: Operational Terms and Graphics.

Flying Over Baghdad With Sylvia Plath: Experiences, Through Poetry, with Poets and Poems in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Paul David Adkins

Flying Over Baghdad With Sylvia Plath: Experiences, Through Poetry, with Poets and Poems in Iraq and Afghanistan by Paul David Adkins. Now available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Waterstones | IndieBound

War poetry finally stopped glorifying bloodshed roughly a hundred years ago, and ragged, honest voices began to sing instead. In this blessedly peculiar and luminous book of poems, Paul David Adkins, a soldier and a poet, begs for another song. His tour of duty was also a tour of reading—in his barracks were the books by contemporary poets who did nothing short of save his life. For this soldier, the deep empathy poetry evoked transformed “the enemy” back into an innocent human who was, therefore, spared his bullet. I cannot recall a book that so authentically traces just how, exactly, poetry is a matter of life or death. – Katie Ford, Author of Blood Lyrics

Introduction

Poetry as hero, not heroic poetry. Just masterful verse which performs extraordinary work in extraordinary circumstances. No one has, likely, ever uttered the words, “Read Jennifer Kronovet’s collection; it will save your life!” That is, until today.

Because it has, for me. All the poets introduced here have literally plucked me from flames. I had to make sense of Afghanistan, Iraq, The Surge, our Senate’s approval of The Surge, my family’s struggles in my absence, and the moral decrepitude of the undertakings of conflict, these ones, and all the ones before.

Years ago, poet Donald Finkel introduced me to the writings of Albert Goldbarth. His piece “Knees/Dura-Europos” made me grasp the overwhelming continuity of war, its timelessness, and how Goldbarth confronted it with lines like, “This is what’s happening now,” and, “This is what’s going to happen.” So, the questions is, What is poetry doing about it? Because we know war happened, happens, and will happen again.

Well, if you ask the poets represented in this book, they can truly say, “We are denying it an enclave;” “We have named it what it is;” “We have plowed its fields with salt;” “We have refused to clothe or feed it.” There is no need to charge barricades. These poets have denied war the ability to traverse their land, in the time-honored guerilla fashion of refusing an enemy sustenance, support, a base from which to operate and raze surrounding country. While I served in President Bush’s wars, their work became a series of safe houses, places I could find sympathy and support.

So now, having departed these wars, reviewing my experiences, I pin these tiny medals on the poets that did a hero’s work, pulled me from the fire, fed me bread and wine in the dark, warm corners of their books.

Flying over Baghdad With Sylvia Plath: Experiences, Through Poetry, with Poets and Poems in Iraq and Afghanistan

Available for purchase!

Author: Paul David Adkins
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9976943-6-9
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Waterstones | IndieBound
Pages: 110
Genre: Poetry
Retail: $14.95
Wholesale purchase options will be available for booksellers and non-booksellers.

FM 101-5-1 MCRP 5-2A: Operational Terms And Graphics

By Paul David Adkins

FM 101-5-1 MCRP 5-2A: Operational Terms And Graphics by Paul David Adkins. Now available on Amazon (paperback $14.95).

“Paul David Adkins is a veteran and poet who knows a war zone’s brutality, beauty, humanity, and odd moments of levity. Operational Terms and Graphics is born of ruck sacks, field hospitals, and military maps; its poems confront both the terror and boredom of convoys, gun towers, patrols. Adkins’ straightforward language serves to disarm before the gut punch; his clear-headed storytelling and attention to detail adds another important voice to what we know of war and war’s leavings, and how all who survive it are changed. These are people and poems I will carry with me for a long time, and gladly.” – Karen Skolfield, US Army Veteran, Author of Frost in the Low Areas

Introduction

To the enthusiast of military history, a good map tells everything:  contour, overlook, reverse slope, avenue of approach, impassible obstacle. The unit symbols denote marches, routes, defenses, strongpoints. And yet, to the layman, the onlooker, the casual observer, they stand without value. They inherently cannot represent what is really happening on the battlefield to the single-most important element:  the combatant.

In Operational Terms and Graphics, I hope to divulge the human struggles beneath the symbols and designs:  the struggles, the slaughter, the fear, the boredom, the hatred, and the torching that war lays upon the human spirit. Hence, I couple the maps and symbols with corresponding human experiences to counter the reporting of events so coldly depicted otherwise in news outlets, social media sites, memes, and sound bites. While I am not so naïve to think my poetry can singlehandedly stem the tide of professionally-crafted propaganda, bald-eagle posters, and war-glorifying movies, I am responsible, required, to add my voice to the debate, even a single dissenting text to oppose the hyper-patriotic, the ignorant, and the overwhelming proponency of war. Ice Cube famously claimed while a member of the band NWA, “Yo, Dre, I got something to say!” And so do I, as a soldier, a veteran, to my country and the world.

Many poets have employed their talents to warn us about this blood sport called war:  Alan Seeger, Louis Simpson, Yusuf Komunyakaa, Karen Skolfield, and Harvey Shapiro, to name a few. And, accompanying the resonance of these masters, I ring the tiny chalice of my bell, to punctuate and highlight one soldier’s experiences during President Bush’s wars. I cannot speak for anyone else. But, “Insha’allah,” Arabic for “God willing,” I will speak clearly, concisely, precisely – a rifle shot, descending mortar round, incoming rocket – perfectly on point. FM 101-5-1 MCRP 5-2A Operational Terms And Graphics by Paul David Adkins, is now available (early release) on Amazon.

FM 101-5-1 MCRP 5-2A: Operational Terms And Graphics

Available for purchase!

Author: Paul David Adkins
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9976943-7-6
Pages: 114
Genre: Poetry
Retail: $14.95
Purchase on Amazon (more retailers coming soon)
Wholesale purchase options will be available for booksellers and non-booksellers.

About Paul David Adkins

Paul David Adkins attended Mercer University and Washington University. He then joined the US Army, serving for over 21 years. He toured Afghanistan once, as well as Iraq three times.

Upon returning from Afghanistan, he began writing to process his war-time experiences. He enlisted the assistance of poet Kelli Russell Agodon, allowing him to better share his war-related work.

Lit Riot Press published his debut collection La Doña, la Llorona in 2016. Chapbooks include Stick Up (Blood Pudding Press), The Great Crochet Question (Kind of a Hurricane Press), and The Upside Down House (Yellow Jacket Press). He works as a transition counselor and instructor within the SUNY University system, and has taught in a state penitentiary.

He lives with his wife Melanie and children Lily and Malachi in New York.