Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq


663 in stock

$19.95, 6x9", 168 pages, Perfect Binding
ISBN 978-1-888553-25-3

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Powder brings us poetry and personal essays from 19 women who have served in all branches of the United States military. Contributors to Powder have seen conflicts from Somalia to Vietnam to Desert Shield. Many are book authors and winners of writing awards and fellowships; several hold MFAs from some of the country’s finest programs. The essays and poems here are inspired by an attempted rape by a Navy SEAL; an album of photos of the enemy dead; heat exhaustion in Mosul; a first jump from an airplane; fending off advances from Iraqi men; interrogating suspected terrorists; the contemplation of suicide; and a poignant connection with women and children in Bosnia. Their writing exposes the frontline intersection of women and soldiering, describing from a steely-eyed female perspective the horror, the humor, the cultural clashes and the fear.

Sharon D. Allen

Sharon D. Allen’s writing has appeared in The Hamilton News-Journal,The Pulse Journal, The Cincinnati Enquirer and Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and their Families. Allen joined the Ohio National Guard in 2000, at age 22. She was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and left the service in 2008 after working as…

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Cameron Beattie

Cameron Beattie spent her childhood observing the military life. Her father, a Special Forces officer, was away from the family for long deployments, but she didn’t understand what it was like for him until she lived part of it herself. As a freshman at Loyola College, Beattie joined the ROTC, receiving a scholarship to cover the remainder of her undergraduate…

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Judith Boyd

Judith K. Boyd joined the Army in 1991, at 20 years old. As she watched the news of the UN arms inspectors and listened to U.S. rhetoric, she decided that as soon as she could she would seek a government job that would help shape policy rather than execute it. Boyd left active duty in 2004 and went to work…

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Dhana-Marie Branton

Dhana-Marie Branton, author of the play Five Rooms of Furniture, joined the Navy’s Delayed Entry Program when she was a junior in high school, at age 16. Branton left the south side of Chicago for boot camp in 1984, just before the crack epidemic decimated her neighborhood. She reports that many of her friends and schoolmates didn’t survive those years.…

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Charlotte M. Brock

  Charlotte M. Brock’s father is a Foreign Service Officer, so growing up, her family moved from country to country every few years.  She has lived in Jamaica, South Korea, the Cape Verde Islands, Algeria, France, Mexico and Benin. One of her father’s uncles, a Marine, died test-piloting the Harrier; another, John Ripley, is a Vietnam War hero.  She knew…

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Christy Clothier

Christy L. Clothier enlisted in the Navy in 1997, when she was 20 years old, to improve her life: steady pay, healthcare, money for college.  She was stationed at Naval Air Stations on San Clemente Island and Whidbey Island. While in the military she met the man she has since married, which she cites as one of her many positive…

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Donna Dean

Donna Dean served in the Navy from 1963 to 1981, seeking a more interesting life when the jobs open to her as a woman were "killingly boring." After many years of treatment and persistent advocacy with the Veteran’s Administration, she is now adjudicated at one hundred percent permanent and total disability for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Dean now writes about…

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Deborah Fries

Deborah Fries was the Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania from 2006 - 2007. Her poems have appeared in North American Review, Cimarron Review, Terrain, and other journals, including the premiere issue ofCream City Review. A recipient of a grant from the Leeway Foundation, she lives in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. She received an MA in English from the University of…

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Victoria A. Hudson

Victoria A. Hudson earned her MFA in 200X from St. Mary’s College. Her poetry, essays and short stories have appeared inWhat Was it Like in Desert Storm, Milvia Street, Army Times, More Bridges, Ballyhoo Stories and Back Room Live. Hudson joined the Army ROTC in 1979, at 20 years old. With five mobilizations over thirty years of service, she remains in…

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Terry Hurley

Terry Hurley joined the Army in 1981, following her high school graduation. She has served in North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, Georgia, Arizona, Kansas and at the Pentagon. Overseas, she has served tours in Germany and Korea, and deployed twice in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, where she served in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait, as well as Operation Restore…

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Bobbi Dykema Katsanis

Bobbi Dykema Katsanis' poetry has been published in numerous journals, literary magazines and anthologies, including Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry,The Chaffin Journal, The Litchfield Review, The Binnacle, and Ruah. Her chapbook,The Magdalene’s Notebook, was released in September 2006 from Finishing Line Press. Katsanis joined the 188th Army National Guard Band in 1988, when she was 17 years old and was…

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Anna Osinska Krawczuk

Anna Osinska Krawczuk was born in Warsaw, Poland, to Ukrainian parents. In order to be accepted for immigration to the United States, her mother worked as a live-in cook while her daughters lived in an orphanage. Krawczuk joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1955 in Newark, New Jersey, at 18 years old, just after becoming an American citizen. She worked…

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Elizabeth Keough McDonald

In her words: “The military is not something I want to talk about—only write about in my poems. I am not the wonderful person I was before being in the military and even as I write this I am filled with sadness.”

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Heather Paxton

Heather Paxton (center) was an Army Reserve Specialist in the 418th Civil Affairs Battalion stationed in Tikrit, Iraq from 2003-2004. Upon her return she graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.A. in English Literature. She and her husband live in Columbia, Missouri.

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Khadijah Queen

Khadijah Queen's work has appeared in numerous journals, including Poemmemoirstory and New Ohio Review, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Khadijah's first poetry collection, Conduit (NY: Black Goat/Akashic Books), was published in 2008. A video/sound/performance artist, Cave Canem Fellow, and founding member of Red Thread Collective, she holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los…

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K.G. Schneider

2003 saw the birth of Free Range Librarian: K.G. Schneider’s blog on librarianship, writing, and everything else, which remains a popular site among literary blog readers. In addition to her work in Powder, Schneider has been published in Gastronomica, White Crane, Nerve, Linux.com, IT Managers Journal, American Libraries, Library Journal, The Bottom Line, and Wilson Library Bulletin, among others. She…

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Elaine Little Tuman

Elaine Little Tuman has written for military and civilian publications, including the literary magazine Kestral. Tuman is also an accomplished photographer and, during her time in service, photographed many Afghan people and military members. Tuman joined the Army in 1982, at 23 years old, as a morse code interceptor, and also trained as a Russian linguist. She is scheduled to…

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Rachel Vigil

Rachel Vigil performed MFA studies in Creative Writing and Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been published in War, Literature, & the Arts; The Common Review; Poem; Blue Line; The Inkwell; Combat; Copper Nickel and many others. She received the Amy Gruneberger Memorial Poetry Award in 2005 and was a finalist in the Cleveland State University…

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