R144. Citizen-Soldier-Poet: Using Poetry to Bridge the Civil-Military Gap

Supreme Court, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Thursday, February 9, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am


With a boot on each side of the civil-military divide, America's citizen-soldiers and their families are uniquely positioned to bridge the gaps between our armed forces and the society they serve. Five civilian and military-veteran writers of poetry, memoir, and fiction read from their works and discuss how they have specifically used poetry in published, practical ways to promote peace, respect, understanding, and empathy.


Randy Brown embedded with his former Iowa Army National Guard unit as a civilian journalist in Afghanistan, May/June 2011. He authored the poetry collection Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire, and is the poetry editor of Military Experience & the Arts' As You Were journal.

Tessa Poppe is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her poetry has appeared in such literary venues as 0-Dark Thirty and 34th Parallel magazine. She is a contributing writer for Task and Purpose and FP's Best Defense Council of the Former Enlisted. She works at the US Institute of Peace.

Frances Richey is the author of two poetry collections, The Burning Point and The Warrior. She is the creator and editor of Voices of the Guard, a chapbook of narrative poems drawn directly from the words of Oregon National Guard service members. She teaches poetry writing classes at the 92nd Street Y.

Susanne Aspley received the 2015 McKnight Artist Fellowship for her debut novel, Ladyboy and the Volunteer, based on her Peace Corps service. Other works include three bilingual books for children. She retired from the US Army Reserve as a photojournalist. She holds a BA in English literature.

Eric Chandler is the author of two books: a collection of outdoor essays called Outside Duluth and a novella titled Down In It. He is a retired F-16 pilot who flew in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a member of Lake Superior Writers and an associate member of the Military Writers Guild.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center