Monday, May 31, 2004
The Embedding of America’s Poets
interventionmag: "The government, with a defense contractor, elicits work from poets to give voice to the war in Iraq, but which voices will be heard and which ones not heard?
By Kevin Bowen

In the midst of the Vietnam War, a small group of recently discharged American veterans sent out a call for poems and stories written by active duty personnel and veterans like themselves. The result was an avalanche of submissions, some supportive, many deeply critical of the war effort. Winning Hearts and Minds, an anthology of some of the submissions edited by Larry Rottmann, Jan Barry, and Basil T. Paquet was published in 1972, winning high praise from the nation's literary journals and spurring the Nixon White House to start investigations into who these writers were.

Winning Hearts and Minds was a grassroots effort, its gathering of poetry a powerful expression of the frustration, anger, and alienation soldiers and veterans felt at the conduct of the war in Vietnam. Now, as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq inch deeper and deeper into troubled territory, one wonders at the shape of this generation"

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