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

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Nineteen women who have served in all branches of the United States military lend their voices in the poetry and personal essays of this collection. They have seen conflicts from Somalia to Vietnam to Desert Shield, and many are authors and winners of writing awards and fellowships or hold MFAs from some of the country’s finest programs. The essays and poems here are inspi Nineteen women who have served in all branches of the United States military lend their voices in the poetry and personal essays of this collection. They have seen conflicts from Somalia to Vietnam to Desert Shield, and many are authors and winners of writing awards and fellowships or 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.


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Nineteen women who have served in all branches of the United States military lend their voices in the poetry and personal essays of this collection. They have seen conflicts from Somalia to Vietnam to Desert Shield, and many are authors and winners of writing awards and fellowships or hold MFAs from some of the country’s finest programs. The essays and poems here are inspi Nineteen women who have served in all branches of the United States military lend their voices in the poetry and personal essays of this collection. They have seen conflicts from Somalia to Vietnam to Desert Shield, and many are authors and winners of writing awards and fellowships or 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.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rayna

    I just wanted to cry through the entire book. And men don't think we can do well in battle. Evidently we do better in battle and as POW sometimes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    An anthology of women's writing about service in the military. The mixture of prose and poetry makes for a fast but interesting read. However, while one can quickly read the words, it is thought provoking. Not often does one think of women in the military and how that life affects them. The short biographies at the end of the book are a must read as they show the differences in background of the Veterans and puts some of the writing in context.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bronson

    I found this while at the AWP conference and, for the most part, enjoyed the essays, short stories, and poems about women and war. My favorite is Charlotte M. Brock's "Hymn," about working with a Mortuary Affairs unit in Iraq.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Naughty Edition Reviews

    I just wanted to cry through the entire book. And men don't think we can do well in battle. Evidently we do better in battle and as POW sometimes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Groundbreaking book including viewpoints from different women, different wars, different services

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Capen

  9. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frances Donovan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Frank Martin

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dee

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Soltis hillier

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kartika

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura Angyal

  18. 4 out of 5

    Casey

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becky

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rosie White

  21. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Erhart

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl Kurylo-Jongeward

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Trueblood

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bill Blocksom

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ona

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jess

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Hanley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

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