Reviews

Last Lambs

“I taught a Vietnam War class at a community college for many years.  I would use this book as one of my texts.  I highly recommend it to poetry readers, to veterans who wish a refreshing and different take on the tour of a grunt — and especially to teachers looking for something special with which to challenge their students.

— David Willson, Books in Review II, The VVA Veteran, February, 2014

 

“Death watches him from eyes of the angry ghosts of the Vietnam War, and so these pages are filled with a terrible beauty that draws its power from ever-present danger…this book remembers the  dismembered of that long war so we won’t forget.”

— Tony Barnstone, Tongue of War:  From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, November, 2013

“Bauer’s voice adds to the hard and necessary literature focusing on the Vietnam War.  These poems succeed where the historian’s pen fails; they take us into a green and unlivable world, serving as witness to that which would otherwise be lost in the wide sweep of history.

— Brian Turner, Here, Bullet & Phantom Noise, November, 2013

 

“Bauer reminds us that war is a dirty business not something to be romanticized or fibbed about.After finishing even a few of these gritty poems, you almost feel as though you’ve been there and that the trauma will linger for a long while.”

–Peter Thorpe, Rocky Mountain News, August, 1997

 

The Eye Of the Ghost

“The viper of war dehumanizes all the good young men with the selfishness of self preservation. Yet the persona that stalks these war poems exudes compassion and empathy, so much so one wonders how this sensitive soul escaped with his sanity.”

— Walter Mendoza reviewing Eye of the Ghost

 

Last Lambs was crafted to give voice to the inner war of the soldier in the field and the ghost “on the other side of the sky”. These poems guide the reader through the climate of the times, going to Vietnam, being transformed by the war, and the lifelong search for reconciliation. The everyday humdrum and pain of the war are felt through the experiences of its powerless victims: hootch maids, base camp dogs, mama-sans, Eurasian orphans, detainees, teenage G.I.s, and veterans alienated from their culture.  Bauer avoids the verbiage of diatribe and makes the war real by paying close attention to detail, allowing the war’s natural language and vivid imagery t evoke its own terrible legacy. Veterans have described his work as authentic and haunting, and it has been said that if Tim O’Brian wrote poetry it would sound something like this. The book aims to give future generations curious about the Vietnam era insight into the moral ambivalence and personal frustration of the American soldier and why so many continue to struggle long after the war is officially over.

— BkMk Press

 

Pear Season

“These poems are always in season…there is a ripeness in these pages that reflects…late summer light.”

— John Mark Eberhart, The Kansas City Star

 

Promises in the Dust

“Bill Bauer is a poet of spooky power. His poems literally make your neck hair rise, and his range is impressive: war, family, nature, the poems highly on darkly colored with a palette from disparate places.”

— Jim McKinley

 

The Boy Who Ate Dandelions

“The verses call up the Holocaust, the Vietnam War (in which Bauer served), and yet the writer blends those images with something as ‘mundane’ as a group of boys tormenting an outcast”

–John Mark Eberhart, The Kansas City Star