Press/Reviews

‘…one of the requests was for creative writing. We just knew that was going to be a good fit with most of the residents who participated. And we knew Jason. We knew he was a veteran, we knew he was an amazing writer and instructor, and we really wanted to bring him in,’ Boyd said.” -Brandy McDonnell (The Oklahoman)

“Writers such as Brian Turner and Kevin Powers have already lyrically illuminated the horror of the initial invasion of Iraq, the military conflict in which poet Jason Poudrier served in 2003 and about which he writes in his debut collection, Red Fields.  Such texts have become so common that readers might wonder just how much literary terrain is left to explore surrounding that war; however, Red Fields finds new ground.  For Poudrier, who was awarded the Purple Heart for his service, the healing of his shrapnel wound was only the initial challenge in full recovery.  Like ten to thirty percent of veterans, he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, and these poems, with honesty and concision, clarify how equally debilitating that portion of healing can be.” -Julie Hensley (Concho River Review)

“For the poet who has actually been to war, however, the artistic challenge is different, essentially the same as that faced by Sassoon, Owen, and the other ‘war poets’ of the early twentieth century, and later by poets from Anthony Hecht to Yusef Komunyakaa: how to do with the experience of war what modern poetry does in processing raw experience into art. Jason Poudrier, a veteran of the Iraqi war, is one such poet. Poudrier’s collection is an impressive first book of poems and a good indication of how poetry can process violence.” — Benjamin Meyers (Rattle)

“Jason Poudrier’s Red Fields . . . gives the reader a look into a restless mind, one filled with haunted memories and vivid details, from which images and sounds and feelings seem, at once, both to tumble onto and to jump off the page, invading the reader’s thoughts and comming somberly to rest upon the heart.” – Matt Higdon (Cross Timbers, USAO)

“Poudrier’s work is full of darkness, heart, and humor . . . He’s not necessarily making light of his experiences as a soldier, but he is making light with them.”- Charlie Sherpa, Red Bull Rising (featured on Doonesbury’s Sandbox 12 Nov 2012)

“Heavy subject matter doesn’t always translate to great poetry . . . it would be easy to enter the clichés of post-traumatic stress disorder, but [Poudrier] navigates those pitfalls, depicting the slow unraveling of history in the lens of the present . . . The result is poetry of the highest form where it relates experience beyond the specifics . . . .” -(The US Review of Books)

“[Jason Poudrier] uses strong words and contrasting images to show the pride of a veteran and the brokenness of a war hero. Without making strong political statements either way, the poetry in this book awakens the reality of war to every reader.” -(The US Review of Books)

“This poignant collection grips the reader and gives a complete account of war that creates a basis for understanding the experiences of our veterans.” — Dorothy Alexander (author of Lessons From an Oklahoma Girlhood)

“Poudrier’s verse is spare and passionate; measured, but energetic; witty, but grounded . . . Vivid, unusual, and authentic as the characters in classic war novels, such as Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, Poudrier’s book provides an insider’s glimpse into the lives of on-duty American soldiers at war.” — Kevin Rabas (Cybersoleil a Literary Journal)

“He received the Purple Heart, which gave him mixed emotions along with survivor’s guilt at coming home, when his friends couldn’t. He releases the weight of those memories with poetry.” – Ms Marie Berberea (Army.mil)

“PTSD saturates the book like Oklahoma humidity . . . This is a courageous, disturbing book, telling stories that need to be told for Oklahomans and Americans and Iraqis. It should gather national attention, for showing the truth of war in its toll on those involved.” — Coffee With Clark

“But a collection such as [Ain’t Nobody That Can Sing Like Me] should have the unfamiliar, too. The unfamiliar reminds us that Oklahoma changes. New experiences are added. Old experiences are seen in new ways. For instance, Jason Poudrier has three poems about the experiences of Army veterans returning from Iraq. In ‘Bagdad International’ he writes, ‘They returned to what once was home./ At least the only other man/ to go through Hell and arise/ went straight to Heaven after.'” — Tulsa World

“Poudrier notes, ‘The Oklahoma landscape meshes with the desert in Iraq.’ Poudrier’s poems use this idea deftly. In his poem, ‘Red Fields,’ the poet explores this difficult connection . . . Poudrier continues the comparison by describing the speed of the convoy to the speed of a tractor. He also makes reference to bloodshed in war reminding him of Oklahoma clay. The common Oklahoman characteristic allows the reader to see one way Poudrier perceives the state. Oklahoma is as integral to his life as is his experience in war.” — Okie Magazine

“One of the stand-out contributions [to the New Mexico Poetry Review] is ‘High Stakes,’ a poem by Iraq War vet Jason Poudrier that recounts a barracks game of poker played in order ‘to gamble with something other than your life.’ His lines reveal a gimlet eye for detail, ‘You buy in with/a twenty-dollar bill, and they question/their decision to let you play/because the peanuts were from/a mother, the cigarettes a brother.'” — Santa Fe New Mexican

“Jason Poudrier’s soldier-poetry, arising from active duty in Iraq and permeating his daily life on a farm in Oklahoma, is certainly among the best of its genre being written anywhere in America today.” – Sugar Mule