Uncle s South China Sea Blue Nightmare is a moving poetic masterpiece by acclaimed author Lamont B Steptoe. It chronicles his life-changing war experience in Vietnam. The book begins with three letters to his mother, followed by two short poems, climaxing in the epic forty-one-page title poem. A former American soldier, Steptoe s unique voice and perspective provides an alternative to those who question the legitimacy of war and those who feel entitled to their freedom without any sacrifice. But there is always a price to war, often more than in human life. Steptoe dealt with the irony of defending American foreign policy while facing racism from a white military establishment, representing a culture that treated him as less than equal. He faced this as he battled in the jungle. This is his story, that of a reluctant warrior, an impassionate observer with a pen.
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Steptoe's work has appeared in Life on the Line: Poems of Healing, Brother-to-Brother, In Search of Color Everywhere, ALOUD: Voices of the Nuyorican Poet's CafZ, Unsettling America, Writing Between the Lines, Spirit and Flame, From Both Sides Now, Critical Perspectives on Dennis Brutus, Salutes: Selected Writings, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Jam Poetry Anthology, as well as Longmans Anthology of Afro-American Poetry and Oxford University Press Anthology of Afro-American Poetry. Most recently, he earned the 2005 American Book Award for his collection A Book of Shadows. In 1996 he received a Literary Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and in the same year was a Discipline Winner in the Literature Category of the Pew Fellowship program in Philadelphia.Review:
This is a poetry the sears with rawness and sings with its incantatory rhythms. He makes understandable some of what Tom Hayden calls 'the inner reality of Vietnam." Steptoe's work will move many and hep others to feel something of the anguish he feels in and for society. --Dennis Brutus, poet
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