Veteran takes the stage at writer’s conference

ASU holds annual writers conference

By Christian Hunick
On February 15, 2018

Contributed Photo
Author and Veteran Brian Turner is the featured speaker at this years conference.

ASU’s 22nd annual Writers Conference in Honor of Elmer Kelton, held Feb. 22-23, will welcome award- winning poet Brian Turner as the featured speaker.

Turner is a military veteran who served seven years in the U.S. Army, including one year as an infantry team leader in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division.

Turner’s two poetry collections, Here Bullet (2005) and Phantom Noise, ( 2010) give a first-hand account of the trauma he experienced during and after the Iraq War.

His work has been published in Harper’s Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Times, Poetry Daily, Shortlist (UK) and others. He has also received several fellowships, including a USA Hillcrest Fellowship in Literature, NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, U.S.- Japan Friendship Commission Fellowship, United Artists Fellowship, Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

During his military service, Turner was featured in the documentary Operation Homecoming, which gives context to the experiences of service members who served in the Iraq war. There will be a viewing of the Academy Award-nominated film at the conference.

The conference will take place on Feb. 22-23 in the C.J. Davidson Center, free of charge and open to the public.

Operation Homecoming will be played 8-9:30 a.m. on the first day, followed by a presentation entitled "A Conversation with Brian Turner." From 7:30-9 p.m. that night, Turner will return for "An Evening with Brian Turner."

There are also eight sessions over the two days during which other writers will share their work.

Session One starts at 11 a.m. on Feb. 22 and features Jerry Craven (poetry) and Drew Geyer (fiction).

The ASU Writers Conference is dedicated to San Angelo’s best-selling western author, Elmer Kelton, who passed away in 2009. The author of more than 40 books, Kelton was a seven-time winner of the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award and was the first distinguished visiting professor at ASU.

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