Final Author-Veteran Presentation This Week at University Campus

November 13, 2013

Saint Leo University has been hosting free presentations in November that explore the theme of military literature as part of the university’s efforts to commemorate its 40-year anniversary of educating military servicemembers, both active duty and veterans, and their families.

This literature covers a broad category of writing that attempts to explain or portray the human condition during times of war. Some who directly served in the armed forces during wars find they need to write about their experiences, observed Dr. Mary Spoto, professor of English. Even more people are engaged as readers, whether or not they actively served, especially now, Dr. Spoto noted. “War is so very much in front of us. It has become something we already have a familiarity with and texts bring us in deeper."

The final author-veteran presenting on this theme is poet and writing teacher Brian Turner. He is the author of the collections Phantom Noise (2010) and Here, Bullet (2005). Mr. Turner will deliver a public reading at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 13, in TECO Hall in the School of Business building. He will present a more informal talk on writing at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, November 14, in the browsing area of Daniel A. Canon Memorial Library. Now director of the graduate writing program at Sierra Nevada College in Nevada, Mr. Turner served in the U.S. Army for seven years and was deployed to Bosnia and Iraq.

His poetry has been praised as powerful, honest, and sensitive. His website includes this excerpt from a poem included in Phantom Noise.

A Lullaby For Bullets

Tomorrow is made of shrapnel
and blood. There will come a time
when the trigger calls you out quickly
to the streets. And as you leave the barrel,
I can't promise you won't kill the man
who has waited all his life for the answer
to this moment, but if you lean to the right,
if you lean back and look as hard as you can
for that mountain you came from, sunlight
warming the pines, clouds approaching
from the north with a gift of silence,
if you do this you might just graze
the man's temple, so close you might hear
his name, the humming of blood
over bone, the many voices
within, the years to come.

For more information on authors at Saint Leo University, contact Jo-Ann Johnston, academic communications manager, at or (352) 588-8237.