Brian Turner

photo by Kim Buchheit

photo by Kim Buchheit

Brian Turner is the author of two collections of poetry: Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise (Alice James Books; 2005, 2010). Turner earned a Master Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Oregon before serving in the U.S. military for seven years. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.  Prior to that, he deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division (1999-2000).

In his work Turner bears witness to the human costs behind the statistics of war, eloquently rendering not only life on the military battlefield, but on the battlefield that is civilian life after military service. Here, Bullet, which won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award and was published by Alice James Books, was a New York Times “Editor’s Choice” selection. The book and its author have won numerous awards, including the 2009-2010 Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholarship, a Hillcrest Fellowship Award from United States Artists (2009), an NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry (2007), and a Lannan Literary Fellowship (2006).

His most recent book of poetry Phantom Noise (Alice James Books) was shortlisted for the 2010 T.S.Eliot Prize in Poetry. His work has been published in Poetry Daily, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Georgia Review, and others. Individual poems have been included in such anthologies as Best American Poetry 2007 and A Mind Apart: Poems of Melancholy, Madness, and Addiction (Oxford University Press). He is Director of the low-residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe, California.

Turner has been interviewed or featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Morning Edition and other NPR programs, The Verb (BBC), and many other venues.  He was featured in Operation Homecoming, a unique documentary that explores the firsthand accounts of American servicemen and women through their own words, and in the Voices in Wartime Anthology (published in conjunction with the feature-length documentary film of the same name). He has published essays in National Geographic and The New York Times blog, Home Fires. 

Turner has been a leader and a beacon in the contemporary American movement to integrate creative writing and the military experience, and his active participation in the military and literary communities have opened up that connection for many Veterans who could not have otherwise seen it.


  • Beyond PTSD: Stories of Reintegration (11:00 A.M. Monday, March 24)
  • Writing the Military Experience: A Hands-on Writing Session (3:00 P.M. Tuesday, March 25)
  • A Reading and Conversation (7:30 P.M. Tuesday, March 25)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s