Kevin Powers, the Poet: Background information when reading The Yellow Birds

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The Yellow Birds

A Novel

by Kevin Powers

The Yellow Birds
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2012, 240 pages
    Apr 2013, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Kevin Powers, the Poet

Kevin Powers started writing poems and stories at about the age of 13. He began writing poetry about war a year or two after his discharge from the Army as a way to process his own experiences while in Iraq, and eventually decided to take classes to develop his talents. Powers graduated in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and received his M.F.A. in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. His poems have appeared in the New Orleans Review, Poetry, and The New York Quarterly.

Great Plain

Here is where appreciation starts: the Iraqi boy
in a dusty velour tracksuit almost getting shot.
When I say boy, I mean it. When I say almost
getting shot, I mean exactly that. For bringing
unexploded mortar shells right up to us
takes a special kind of courage I don't have.
A dollar for each one, I'm told,
on orders from brigade HQ
to let the local children do the dirty work.

When I say I'd ...

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