Why Are We in Iraq?
Poetry About America at War
We are awash in the blood of the weak,
and only those who have been there,
whose blood has run from their wounds unto death
know the truth. Â “Blood” by Larry Woods Zoeller
U.S.A. (rushprnews) April 2, 2007 – “Why Are We in Iraq?” is an internet publication dedicated to poetry about the Iraq War and its aftermath. (http://www.whyareweiniraq.com) The mission of “Why Are We in Iraq?” is to publish political poetry based on literary merit rather than political orientation. The journal has published numerous anti-war poems, patriotic poems, as well as poems about the difficulty of choosing one side over another.
In its first eight months of operations, whyareweiniraq.com has featured original poetry by military personnel serving in Iraq as well as several distinguished American poets. On Thursday, March 29, 2007, “Why Are We in Iraq?” published its fiftieth poem, “Abu Ghraib” by Richard Swanson, winner of the 2006 Posner Poetry Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. New poems are introduced every Thursday.
Among the poems is “Kingdom of Heaven,” a poem highly critical of the Bush administration, written by an active duty National Guardsman while stationed in Iraq. In December, “Why Are We in Iraq?” introduced three poems by David Grundy, a major in the U.S. Army Reserve and emergency room physician. His poems reflect on his time in Iraq and how he felt when he came home.
Other poets who have contributed to the site include Anne Caston, winner of the 1996 New York University Press Prize for Poetry; Stephen Haven, director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Ashland University; and G. Sierra Khan, Executive Director of the African Repertory Troupe in Boston, MA.
“Why Are We in Iraq” is published by Charles S. Cooper, a former computer consultant turned writer and artist. He started the site to give poets a public venue to express their feelings about America’s involvement in Iraq and feels strongly that his own political leanings should not influence the content of the site. “Our purpose is to foster discussion and expose our readers to differing points of view,” said Mr. Cooper.
Rather than attempting to debate the political issues involved, and being drowned in political rhetoric, these poems explore the impact the conflict in Iraq is having on the personal lives and emotions of ordinary people. “We don’t want to know what you think. We want to know how you feel,” said Mr. Cooper.
Several contributors have never been published before. One poet wrote, ” Over the years, I have been writing poetry, but have not shared it publicly. However, I am so troubled by the tragedy of war and particularly moved by the sacrifice and courage of the soldiers who answer the call, that I feel I need to do so now. “
Another poet wrote, “Thank you for creating this place where people can hear what we have to say.”
For more information contact:
Charles S. Cooper
RUSH PR NEWS, press release services at www.rushprnews.com, Anne Howard writer and publicst at www.annehowardpublicist.com