After the Noise of Saigon (Juniper Prize for Poetry)

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9780870236006: After the Noise of Saigon (Juniper Prize for Poetry)

This book is the winner of the 1987 Juniper Prize, the annual poetry award sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Press.

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About the Author:

Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of English at Texas Tech University, McDonald has published seven previous volumes of poetry. From 1957 to 1971 he was a United States Air Force pilot.

Review:

Walter McDonald's poems are records of human endurance in hard times and harsh places. Without bitterness, but with a wondering sorrow, he writes of the hardscrabble part of Texas where he grew up, and he writes also of Southeast Asia, where he served during the ill-fated American involvement in Vietnam. The disturbing juxtaposition of these two frontiers-- distant, and in such different ways inhospitable-- is one of the most striking features of this book. McDonald understands the survivor's sense of guilt and continuing jeopardy; his war veterans and cowboys, his pilots and his rodeo fool haunt us with the ironic ordinariness of their heroism. The style of these poems is one of eloquent plainness. The tone, level and compassionate, is capable of rising to climaxes of high intensity. McDonald displays so firm a mastery of experience that he might borrow Whitman's line without strain or apology: 'I am the man, I suffered, I was there.'

(Robert B. Shaw, Mount Holyoke College)

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Walter McDonald
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